President’s Monthly Report and Update June/July 2022
Dear Campus Community,
Over the past few weeks the political and social climate of our country, spurred on by the tensions around the repeal of Roe v Wade, gun control, hate crimes, and the what seems to be the continued and senseless loss of life due to violence has been steadily moving us toward a boiling point. But even in the midst of all that is occurring and where you might stand on these issues, I am sure we all stand together in this belief: our work as higher education professionals preparing students to be change agents who respect and value diversity is more important than ever.
If you attended our 57th Commencement Exercises you would know that we have many graduates who are ready and excited to make their mark on the world and be the change agents we need. The Commencement Committee, chaired by Dr. Wayne Harewood and Professor Kristin Polizzotto with support from individuals like Paul Winnick, numerous departments (Student Life, Buildings and Grounds, Public Safety, Marketing and Communications, the Print Shop, the Custodial Staff, Events Management ) and all the faculty and staff who celebrated in person with our students-- made the day a perfect one for our graduates and their families. Thank you again!
And if June 16th was a perfect day, then June 23rd was a perfect Night by the Sea and Under the Stars. Kudos the VP Tasheka Sutton- Young and her incredible team in the Division of Institutional Advancement along with the usual and incredible departments of Public Safety, Marketing and Communications, the Print Shop, the Custodial Staff, and Events Management. Not only were we able to surpass our fundraising goal, but we also got to surprise KCC’s own Ryan McKinney and celebrate our outstanding Alumna Jill Marcus, Foundation Board Chair Suzanne Murphy and partner New York Council Navy League. Thank you to all those who attended, donated, or participated in the auction or raffle.
Starting next Monday, VP Rivera will send weekly enrollment reports. Currently, a year to year comparison (July 1, 2021 vs July 1, 2022) demonstrates a 12.1% increase in headcount. However, much of this is attributed to our non-degree students. We are -22% behind in freshmen enrollment and -1.5% behind in both continuing student and transfer enrollment. I have conferred with VP Rivera and she and her team along with Dean Bondar are strategizing to identify areas in need of immediate attention and redress.
We are rapidly moving towards a new academic year. So while summer is a time for relaxation, it is also a time for preparation. As such we are in the midst of planning for the coming year. Among the many efforts is the search currently underway for an Assistant Dean of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion; the formation of a working group lead by Gavin Ireland which will focus on how we better attract, engage and support immigrant students; and the launched the KCC Auxiliary Ventures Committee to explore, discuss and recommend to me salient ideas about how and what kinds of external interest in KCC we can/should pursue as a means of generating income for our auxiliary enterprises. VP Simone Rodriguez will serve as the Committee Chair.
In addition, over the next few weeks, the Division of Institutional Research and Strategic Planning will host a series of working sessions where units will develop their missions/goals and ask questions or get feedback in real time. These sessions are important as there is significant work to do as we advance our efforts to enhance our culture of assessment and move closer to our Middle States visit. Directors are required to attend along with an additional representative from their office. Please sign up for a time here: https://kingsborough.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_2hivOaS6yIcmhwi Also, the Division of Institutional Research and Strategic Planning will be launching a survey to gauge what areas of professional development would be of interest to staff. Please be on the lookout for the survey.
As you know, VP Sutton-Young will be leaving KCC this month. The search for a new Executive Chief of Staff/Deputy to the President has been completed and a formal announcement will be shared shortly. With regards to oversight of the Division of Institutional Advancement, until such time as interim or permanent executive oversight is in place, please be advised that Mabel Chee will be responsible for the staff and matters pertaining to grants, the KCC Foundation Board, Research Foundation, and corporate/ foundation giving; and Maria Patestas will supervise staff and operations related to college advancement and operations which includes scholarships, 1963 Giving Society, Donor relations and advancement events.
I took some time to sneak in a bit of relaxation of my own and unfortunately did not have the opportunity to formally say farewell, but most of all ‘thank you’ to Ricardo Aguirre, Laura Glazier-Smith, Juanita Linares, and Benjamin Stewart for their service to Kingsborough and our students. I wish them the best in the next leg of their personal and professional journeys.
Colleagues, I wish you all a relaxing and safe summer. I look forward to seeing you all in the coming academic year.