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President's Monthly Report

President’s Report and Updates

President's Monthly Report- February/ March- Update

Dear College Community,

Happy Spring!

I walked around the campus on the first day of classes and seeing the large crowds of students in the cafeteria and in the halls brought me immeasurable joy. But the little things, too, brought me joy; like the return of the salad station, lines in the bookstore, seeing Page and Heaven—two students who I greeted as freshmen last fall, staff decked out in their KCC t-shirts, and the many cars in the parking lot.  

The latest Enrollment Management report reflects data showing that we have exceeded our enrollment targets for freshmen, transfer, continuing and readmit students, over spring 2022.   KCC is one of five CUNY colleges that exceeded its enrollment for undergraduate degree students.  And we are one of only four colleges, and are, in fact, the College with the second highest percentage increase in undergraduate continuing degree students.   

Thank you to our Enrollment Management team, our community of advisors, academic department staff, the Bursar’s Office, IT, Communications and Marketing, Student Affairs, Continuing Education and Workforce Development, Building and Grounds, and everyone who had a hand in attracting, recruiting, enrolling, advising and registering degree seeking as well as non-degree and continuing education students; getting them campus ready; and ensuring a successful start to the semester. 

Spread the word, registration for the fall semester begins on May 1 and CUNY’s $65 application fee will be waived for high school seniors at New York City public schools between March 1 and April 15, 2023. 

As we look forward to the rest of the semester, we know that recruitment and enrollment are only part of the equation for success; the other part of the equation involves the retention and engagement of our students.  I have no doubt that we will approach this work with the same spirit, commitment and focus that our College is known for. 

Now more than ever enrollment, recruitment, engagement and retention have taken center stage, as we have been asked to identify $1.4 million in savings targets this year.  Given years of enrollment decline, staffing increases, and the fiscal aftermath of the pandemic, there has been, understandably, feelings of worry and uncertainty across CUNY, and here at KCC.  

During the pandemic, we had to adjust to our circumstances, and now we are being called to do the same even without many of our longtime friends who are retiring or pursing new opportunities.   At KCC, we are taking this opportunity to right size our hiring and spending to ensure alignment with our priorities.  VP Rios, Provost Russell and I have met with the Personnel and Budget Committee, and have met with program directors to discuss the budget and our savings target. VP Rios provided a budget update at Convocation as well.  We will continue to focus on our priorities, and be active in our communication and transparent in our decisions, which are made in order to meet required University savings targets for this year and next fiscal year.  As you know, we are also required to submit all hire requests to the University’s Vacancy Review Board (VRB).  We continue to ensure that prospective hires meet the priority needs. We also continue to work with our elected officials to advocate for resources for the College.    

In February, we attended the New York State Association of Black, Puerto Rican, Hispanic and Asian Legislators’ 52nd Annual Legislative Conference (Caucus Weekend) in Albany along with a cohort of KCC students. We were also pleased to host what we believe to be CUNY’s first Brooklyn Legislative Breakfast that was attended by the presidents of the other Brooklyn colleges: NYC Tech, Medgar Evers, and Brooklyn College, along with elected officials from their respective districts.  We were pleased to have representatives from CUNY’s central office speak about the budget, priorities and capital projects.

We’ve also engaged our campus and elected officials to speak out about the adverse impact the proposed MTA bus rerouting, elimination of stops, and extended commute time would have on many in our community that use mass transit. 

Our Governance Review Adhoc Committees (GRAC) are actively meeting and developing recommendations for consideration that will be completed before April 18.  On Friday, we will have a retreat with the College Council where we can engage in a thoughtful discussion about each of the recommendations.  Ideally, I would like the governance plan to be approved by the CUNY Board of Trustees (BOT) in the spring so that it can be implemented in the fall.  However, I am committed to ensuring a deliberate and thorough review, which may mean it will not go to the BOT until the early fall.  

One only needs to look at the results of the last administration of the COACHE survey, data from our Faculty and Staff Satisfaction Survey, student outcomes data and other measures and sources to see that diversity, equity and inclusion are areas in need of attention, and which often impact the college climate. We are excited to have presented two finalists for the Assistant Dean for Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DEI) position to the college community. I am in the process of making a final decision the both the DEI and VP for Institutional Advancement positions. 

This week, we highlight assessment at KCC.  We get to dive deeper into a discussion about data in a number of areas, including the Faculty Staff and Satisfaction Survey, and highlight some of our academic and administrative assessment efforts.  I hope that you have the opportunity to participate in one or more of the schedule events.  

Claudia V. Schrader, Ed.D.