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President's Monthly Report/Update- August 2022

Dear College Community,

Happy New Academic Year!   On the eve of the new academic year, many of us found ourselves surrounded by throngs of eager, nervous, excited, focused and delightful new students.  Kudos to the Division of Student Affairs for an amazing New Student Orientation program.  Preliminary reports are that we had 300 students participate in online orientation and over 850 students on campus for the in-person event.  Thank you to the faculty, staff, departments, programs and offices that participated in the Fall 2020 orientation sessions.  I know you would agree that not only is it good to be back, but it is good to see students back on campus.  

 And speaking about our campus, I am left speechless every time I walk the halls.  From the additional outdoor seating by the Hall of Flags, to the Breezeway that we may have to rename the Beautifulway, (because it is simply breathtaking), to the welcome mats, to the new cafeteria seating and tables, to the Career Wall that reflects organizations that we have internship or employment partnerships with.  But my favorite upgrade is the removal of the yellow lines on the floor, a sign that we are moving further away from COVID.  If you see VP Rios, any member of the custodial staff, buildings and grounds, facilities, painters, contractors and members of the Communications/Marketing team please tell them thank you for all their efforts upgrading spaces and beautifying the campus.

 Last month the Divisions of Enrollment Management, Student Affairs, and Academic Affairs held a second and successful new student reception.  I have no doubt that the work of department chairs in meeting enrollment needs by opening new sections, hiring faculty, as well as collaborative efforts between these three divisions as well as other units across the college has resulted in us meeting our enrollment target for Freshmen and Transfer students.  The retention of continuing students is a concern.  We plan to have a post mortem after registration which will include strategies for improved student retention.

 Over the past week, I have had the pleasure of meeting our newest class of full-time faculty.  Thank you to all the members of departmental search committees for your work in interviewing and recommending for hire what I can only describe as dynamic set of faculty and a welcome additions to our college community.  A welcome reception is being planned and more information will be forthcoming.   The search for the Assistant Dean of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion is still underway and I hope to have a slate of finalists to interview in the coming weeks.  Searches for a VP of Institutional Advancement (replacement for Tasheka Sutton-Young, Dean of Institutional Research (replacement for Richard Fox), and Director of Alumni Affairs (replacement for Laura Glazier Smith) will be launched in the coming weeks. 

 I want to take this opportunity to welcome our new Athletics Director, Robert ‘Bobby’ Allison to KCC and say a special thank you and farewell to members of our college community who earned themselves an enjoyable retirement season Richard Najjar, Miriam Korfine, and Angela Pagnotta; as well as farewell to Eric Conte, those who is moving on to the next phase in his professional journey. 

The KCC Community Farm and Garden has seen a fair amount of traffic over the past few weeks.  In August, Sen. Persaud visited and this past week we received a visit from Assemblywoman Frontus who has provided funding for new beds, to improve accessibility and supplies.  

 Later this month, we will hold our Fall Convocation.  CUNY’s new Executive Vice Chancellor & University Provost, Wendy Hensel has accepted our invitation to serve as the guest speaker.  Convocation was moved later in the month to provide staff who are typically unable to attend because of registration activities the opportunity to participate.

Congratulations to the following KCC faculty for receiving funding as part of CUNYs historic and Mellon Foundation funded Black, Race and Ethnic Studies Initiative:

  • Shawna M. Brandle
    Proposal Title: Evaluating Intro to American Government: A Student Research Lab
  • Lili Shi
    Proposal Title: Digitizing the Diaspora: Chinatown Mothers’ Pandemic Feminist Organizing through WeChat
  • Michael Spear
    Proposal Title: Civil Rights Activism and White Resistance in South Brooklyn, 1960-1975
  • Keisha Thompson
    Proposal Title: Reset/Respite Promoting Resilience in Equity Workers

We look forward to seeing their projects as well as the projects awarded as part of the Sense of Belong Initiative come to fruition. 

 I am also looking forward to what is sure to be an incredible academic year punctuated by an ever-blooming culture of assessment, preparation for MSCHE, a refreshed website, continued fulfillment of our Strategic Plan, enhancement of our Governance Plan, the opening of our satellite classrooms with  continuing ed programming in Cypress Hills, enhanced professional development opportunities for staff, and a host of other initiatives, opportunities and activities. 

 I look for forward to doing this work with you and for our students and the mission of our college. 

- Schrader