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President's Monthly Report

President's Monthly Report - September/October 2023 Update

Dear College Community,

This week I had the opportunity to attend Chancellor Matos-Rodriguez’s State of the University Address which was centered on the University’ Strategic Road Map: CUNY Lifting New York (  It is a seven-year map, with 6 thematic areas and four overarching goals focusing on accelerating CUNY’s role as “the nation’s greatest educational vehicle for equity and upward mobility, and amplifies the well-being of the cities of the city and the state of New York”.

At Kingsborough, we continue to do our part as we lift KCC higher.

We are lifting assessment, as evidenced in Dr. Davy’s presentations at Convocation and College Council as she reinforced our continued shared focus on where we are as an institution and where we want to go.  Assessment is an active part of what we do and is the responsibility of each one of us.  The College has aligned our current Strategic Plan (projected goals/college initiatives to support achieving these goals) with the University’s Strategic Road Map.  I reported that our Self -Study design was approved last Spring and implementation is underway. An institution’s Self-study involves every member of the College, so I thank you all in advance for your responsive and engagement with the co-chairs in their inquiry in identifying our strengths and gaps. 

Additionally, the University’s Performance Management Process (PMP) has been restructured to align with the Strategic Road Map.  The dates and times for a virtual data town hall about our 2022-23 performance will be shared shortly. 

This academic year, we have already lifted our enrollment higher thanks to the efforts of Enrollment Management, Advisement, Academic departments, Communications & Marketing, Student Affairs, and so many faculty and staff.  But we are not resting on our laurels; we are preparing for a new season of strategic recruitment and enrollment. Final enrollment data will be available this month.

What we do know already is that good is the enemy of great.  It is not good enough that at 61%, our first-time freshman fall-to-fall retention rate is the highest among community colleges and comprehensives.  Not only have we done better at 69% during fall 2019, but 61% means that 39% of first-time full-time students who entered in the fall 2021 did not return last fall. Improving retention rates mean that more students persist each semester toward completion, transfer, and gainful employment. So, we will continue to lift persistence higher. In addition to all we do to help students persist to the goal: academic support, internships, counseling, mentoring, athletics, student life and a host of other things, we will launch a second round of the Sense of Belonging grants for staff and faculty to develop student-focused programs to promote students’ sense of belonging.  More information will be forthcoming.

We are lifting transfers and relationships as part of our retention, persistence, completion efforts and focus on outcomes. As such, we were honored to have Brooklyn College President Michelle Anderson serve as our speaker at Convocation. Her remarks focused on the strength of our KCC-to-BC transfer rates and collaboration driven by bringing the best support and success to our KCC graduates as they prepare to transfer and continue to pursue their bachelor’s degree after graduating from Kingsborough.

As you know, over the summer we lifted off with a new and refreshing website.  Thank you to VP Todmann and all the members of the website redesign and implementation team.  A tremendous amount of work went into developing a new site and a tremendous amount of work continues as we refine the content.   Enhancements are still in progress, but check out a few of our newest pages:

At a time in our city and world where there are increasing levels of divisiveness, hate and aggression, we will continue to lift positivity, community, and education.  From jazz in the amphitheater last week to salsa in U219, we will continue to create ways for us to come together.  Later this month, on October 26 we will hold our 3rd intramural softball game. This year, we are playing for pink and blue to bring awareness to prostate and breast cancer. A call for players will be forthcoming.

From November 14 -16, we will mark the 10th anniversary of our Diversity Symposium with the theme “Honoring social justice through the 50th Anniversary of Hip Hop: A diverse world of voices and expression.” We will continue to lift our efforts up through education. I hope you can attend sessions and bring students as well.

We recently made an offer to a candidate for the position of Chief Diversity Officer (CDO).  We are completing the necessary processes to onboard them, and once this is complete, we will share additional information.  I look forward to the leadership a new CDO will provide especially as it relates to implementing our comprehensive plan for DEI and related trainings.

I also want to take this opportunity to reemphasize messages previously shared by Senior VP and Provost Russell.  We are obligated to ensure that all individuals within the University who are observing religious holidays are respected and supported.  We are obligated to provide accommodations for students with disabilities.

Even with all of our lifting efforts, our heaviest lifts may very well be addressing the savings target of $5.9 million that we are still mandated to meet.  We are still making hiring decisions that align with our priorities and strategic plan, and these decisions are being reviewed, scrutinized and ultimately approved or disapproved by the VRB.  With regard to our budget, VP Rios will first present the budget to the P&B and SGA, and will then update the campus accordingly.

I can’t remember in recent history when there was good budget news.  The budget and the impact on our college and mission is always in the back of my mind, but what is always at the forefront of my mind are our students who took a leap of faith to earn a college degree despite their doubts, finances, or present circumstances.  At the forefront of my mind are the faculty who show up and the staff who show out so much so that they make students fall in love with KCC, fall in love with themselves, and the thought of themselves in a cap and gown. At the front of my mind are our former students, now alumni, who are on their way to work and careers that they have always dreamt of.   From Nursing orientation, the first day of classes, and the PTA pinning ceremony, September was truly a month where dreams began for so many of our students.

Finally, we left September and entered October celebrating Latin culture and the contributions of Hispanic and Latinx/a/o Americans understanding that we are all richer because of them, we are richer because of what we all bring.    Happy Hispanic Heritage Month!