President's Monthly Report
February 2019 – March 2019
Dear Campus Community,
It’s hard to believe that February is the shortest month of the year, because my past month has been filled with enough activities and events to fill two months. The following report includes information through March 8th.
In February, I ventured to downtown Brooklyn to meet with Eric Adams, Brooklyn Borough President, then upstate to meet with the Brooklyn Delegation where I connected with Assemblyman Nick Perry, Chair of the Brooklyn Delegation, Joseph Lentol, Senator Kevin Parker, Senator Andrew Gounardes and Senator Roxanne Persaud; and then attended the New York State Black, Puerto Rican, Hispanic and Asian Legislative Caucus Weekend.
Last month, I was pleased to host Hector Batista, President of the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce. We had an engaging conversation about partnership opportunities and he was helpful in recommending organizations and businesses that we can partner with.
I was excited to attend my first Achieving the Dream Conference along with Provost Russell, Stephanie Akunvabey, Chris Calienes, Joseph Verdino and Lisa Paler; but I was even more excited to learn that we would be named an ATD Leader College of Distinction due to the strides we have made in narrowing equity gaps among student groups. Colleagues there is still much to be done in this area.
Results from the recent student equity survey, completed by 619 students in the fall of 2018, were generally positive but they also highlight some persisting challenges. Our underserved students in particular reported difficulties getting to campus, affording textbooks, and feeling welcome in our classrooms. These same groups of students also report studying less frequently for tests and attending class less often. It is not difficult to associate these trends to inequities in retention and graduation rates. There is much work to do to in our classrooms, our offices and our communities to provide all of our students the education they deserve. Please make every effort to attend the Student Success Summit which will be facilitated by the Office of Academic Affairs on Friday, March 22where we will continue to discuss these critical issues. A Town Hall meeting to discuss Developmental Education will be held on Monday March 25th as well. Detailed information regarding the time and venue will be forthcoming from the Office of Academic Affairs.
As of March 8, our total enrollment for degree seeking students was 9,469; this represents a -6.9% difference from where we were last year at this time. Our FTE’s are also behind, with a -6.9% of where we were last year as well. As I indicated in my January Report, the Enrollment Management and BARFIT in collaboration with advisors have been working diligently to increase outreach and follow up efforts. More information regarding the college’s enrollment trends and strategic activities for the summer and the fall along with the implications for next year’s budget was presented at Convocation on March 8, 2019.
As you know marketing and advertisement are key aspects in attracting students to the college. I am pleased to report that we have will have leadership for this area. Ms. Cheryl Todmann will be joining KBCC as the Assistant Vice President for Marketing and Communications. Ms. Todmann, who will start on March 19, comes to us from the Bowery Mission and has worked in the area of communications, branding and fundraising at such organizations as Brooklyn Community Services and the Brooklyn Public Library. Under her leadership, those organizations have been featured in a variety of media. Cheryl earned a BS in Marketing Management from Syracuse University and a certificate in International Business from Syracuse’s study abroad program in London, England. Also joining the Office of Communications and Marketing this month is Ms. Tonya Collins. Tonya who will serve as our Communications and Multimedia Production Specialist has been a member of the CUNY family for over 15 years, serving in various capacities, Digital Media Specialist, Director of the TV and Radio Studio and Technical Director at Medgar Evers College. She holds a BS in Television and Film Production from the CUNY BA Program and is currently completing her MFA in Motion Picture and Television from the Academy of Arts University.
We are also pleased to welcome Jennifer James who will assume the position of Labor Relations and Legal Manager. She comes to us from Medgar Evers College, CUNY where she served as a Labor Relations Specialist and prior to that spent 6 years at Brookdale University Hospital Medical Center. Ms. James holds a graduate degree in Business Management from Long Island University and earned her BA at John Jay College of Criminal Justice. She is a certified Paralegal and a licensed Notary Public.
I had the pleasure of having breakfast with some of KBCC’s outstanding young alumni this past month. Among them, who you may be familiar with, was Brian Suckie ‘14, a current graduate student at Columbia University; Christine Dixon ’09, an award-winning actress for her one woman play Harriet Tubman, Dr. Kinta Alexander ’98; Dr. Kwesi Blackman ’08; and Jennifer Fernandez ’12 who are all doing amazing things with their KCC and four-year degrees. Our alum spoke highly of their experience at KCC and the faculty who taught, supported and encouraged them to reach their full potential.
I wish you all a productive and successful semester.