President's Monthly Report
President’s Report and Updates
President's Monthly Report-April 2023
Dear College Community,
During our College Council meeting on April 18, 2023, the GRAC Ad hoc committees after several weeks of researching, consulting, meeting with some members of College Council, and having their recommendations reviewed by the Legislative Committee, had the opportunity to present their recommendations for discussion and to be voted on by the members of College Council. One was passed, some were withdrawn or remanded and others voted down.
I believe that the work of the GRACs present a foundation upon which we can build stronger recommendations that truly have the college’s voice and that can be forwarded on to the Central Office for subsequent review. However, there is a need to strengthen the recommendations that are put forward during the Council presentations.
At Council, the presentation made by the Parliamentarian GRAC, which provides insight into their approach, provides an excellent blueprint upon which to develop remaining recommendations. I have had some time to reflect on Council as well as a following discussion with the Steering Committee about the importance of not just the plan, but the importance of this process to the College. As such, I believe it is only appropriate that we re-consider the items that were voted down by the College Council, thereby providing all with a clean slate. These items could benefit from using the Parliamentarian GRAC framework/approach, but I am confident that it will bring greater clarity to what we are trying to achieve as a college through the college council.
I understand that this will now extend the time to implement a revised Governance Plan, but it is imperative that what we submit to the central office for their review is well thought out. I have discussed my thoughts with the Collee Council Steering Committee and we have determined a way forward.
We will hold an open-to-the-college meeting with GRACs to discuss how they can improve their GRAC recommendations using the new framework. It can also give members of the community an opportunity to learn or ask us questions. Although we cannot guarantee that our recommendations will help their suggestions be successful via vote, hearing why they might not be approved can help college members understand the framework and clarify their thoughts.
The second meeting will be a Strategic Planning Committee meeting. Although the meeting is open to the College community, only members of the Strategic Planning Committee can vote at that meeting. The purpose of this meeting will be to discuss what and how Governance recommendations can be integrated into the broader Strategic Planning Committee. For example, the creation of a Facilities Sub-Committee under the Strategic Planning Committee. This can open the Sub-Committee to non-council members and allow anyone interested in facilities a chance to participate. Also, as a sub-committee, it would not need additional approval as it is not a standing council committee.
A special thank you to John Mikalopas and members of the Parliamentarian GRAC for serving as a resource and for the guidance they have provided to others and to Steering Committee members Daniel Kane, Mary Dawson and John Acosta for agreeing to facilitate the next steps in this process.
I want to share my concerns with the tone of the discussion that occurred during College Council which seem to be very personal and negative in nature. I cannot stress the importance of adherence to the process, collaboration, meeting deadlines and respect for the input of everyone. Cooperation and mutual respect are necessary to move forward not just with the revised plan, but in the work of governance and the work of the college.
The Campus Climate Grant funded by CUNY has been a tremendous financial support in expanding the work and efforts of our faculty and staff in creating spaces where we can learn, and explore difficult topics, and challenge views and actions that influence identity and negative stereotypes. With our first three events an Interfaith Conversation on Anti-Semitism, an Interfaith Meet & Greet and Shared Sentences, all funded by the Campus Climate Grant and facilitated by our Student Union and Intercultural Center and the third facilitated also with Project Thrive, we have seen impactful engagement, conversations, learning and exploring differences and similarities. As a community, I urge you to get involved and to remain vigilant in condemning anti-Semitism, anti-Asian, racism and all forms of hate and promote understanding, teaching and learning, inclusion, and respect.
Thank you again to all our COA/CAAs who serve as the frontline staff in many of our offices and do the administrative work that keeps our departments running and support our students, we were honored to honor you on Administrative Appreciation Day with a special breakfast. We were also excited to thank all those who contributed to a successful Spring 2023 with a Virtual Registration and Welcome Week Lunch. Kingsborough experienced a 3.9% overall enrollment increase, the 2nd highest increase among community colleges.
April 20 was a proud day for all of us to have received the Aspen finalist award that I was honored to accept on behalf of our college alongside Provost Joanne Russell and Dean Colleen Davy. This was in no way an easy feat. Our outcomes and the great work that we do here for our students both inside and outside the classroom went through an independent rigorous evaluation process starting from a thousand community colleges across the nation, to 25 semifinalists to the top 10 finalists and a site visit. The receipt of this award brings us more than just accolades but it is the feedback and opportunity to determine what we can do better and improve upon, determine the ‘how’ and implement new strategies.
This along with our recent Middle States Self Study preparation visit that included meetings with senior leadership, the working groups, an Open Forum and myself provided another opportunity to be presented with suggestions on ways to strengthen our Self Study design. I would like to thank the steering committee, chairs and working groups for all of your work and contributions to the Self Study Design and encourage everyone to continue to focus on assessment to bring about a consistent cycle of setting goals, gathering evidence, interpreting findings, making determinations, and implementation across the college. It is with this that we reinvigorate our commitment to student success, staying ahead of trends and meeting the needs of our students and community.
Thank you for your participation in Denim Day and KCC Wave Day. I look forward to seeing you at our upcoming community-building events: Theatre Arts Production of Big Love 5/12; 5/13; 5/15 and 5/16; Volley for Mental Health on 5/16 (I will certainly be on the court); and over the few weeks at the Deans’ List, Phi Theta Kappa Induction, Pinning and Award ceremonies, as we get ready for our ultimate celebration of graduates at Commencement on June 21, 2023.
Claudia V. Schrader, Ed.D.