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President’s Report to the College

March 2022

Dear College Community,  

April is designated as Community College Month (#ccmonth), but we all know that for us, there isn’t a month that goes by that we are not engaged in the work of helping students to achieve their personal, educational and professional goals.  As a community college, we serve as a vital center of the city and engine of its economy. 

In March all eyes looked to Kingsborough  and to the Kingsborough Art Museum’s opening of the ‘UnHomeless NYC’ exhibition.  The interactive exhibition, curated by Profs. Midori Yamamura, Tommy Mintz, Jason Leggett; artist Maureen Connor; and activist Rob Robinson shines a light on the problem of homelessness in NYC.  Hats off to our faculty and their partners for this timely exhibition which I recently had the opportunity to experience.  It closes in a few weeks, so I strongly encourage you to see it and take your classes to see it before it goes. 

This past month we welcomed Mayor Eric Adams, Chancellor Matos Rodriguez, Administration of Children Services (ACS) Commissioner Jess Danhauser and Assistant ACS Commissioner Rodney Singleton for a press conference about the V-CRED Program ( initiated here at KCC.  We were also fortunate to hear from Antoinette Grant and Lola Ramaseur, who completed the EMT program. A special thank you to VP Simone Rodriguez, Alissa Levine, Profs. Osama Mansour and Omar Serrano for bringing this program that will change the lives of youth in foster care to fruition.

This month we launched “Transfer Days” a new initiative centered around improving the bridge to transfer to our four-year CUNY institutions.  We invited presidents and their teams to campus to speak to students about their college (highlighting unique and flagship programs, etc) and students will have the opportunity to ask questions.   We were pleased to welcome President Vincent Boudreau and Provost Tony Liss to campus for City College Day at Kingsborough.   We are working on scheduling more colleges.  To date, Brooklyn College Day at KCC is scheduled for May 10th  and John Jay College Day at KCC is scheduled for 24th. .  We encourage you to bring your classes.  For more information, please reach out to  Improving transfer is an integral part of Academic Momentum (AcMo 2.0) so you can expect increased attention and activity in this area moving forward. 

I recently had a follow up meeting with the Business Operations & Standards Taskforce to review the status of recommendations. Many of the actions we are taking to improve campus operations either grew out or were reenergized by their recommendations, including: improved access to information, cross campus collaboration, improved internal communication and attention to customer service. Thank you again Judith Cohen and Cynthia Olvina for their leadership of Taskforce and to all those who served. We will continue to address the concerns identified in the report which will be made available in Inside KCC.  

Last week I relaunched the college’s meeting of Directors to provide a forum for both the exchange of information and discussion of pertinent issues.   Moving forward I will be selecting co-chairs of the committee  who will help to set the agenda and facilitate discussion.  I also kicked off my Spring Chats with faculty and staff. As I shared previously, these chats give us an opportunity to connect with each other and talk about new and positive ways to move the college forward. The next chat is scheduled for April 25th.  Please contact Helen Fabrizio, extension 5109 to RSVP.

In 2020, we had just begun a professional development in the area of customer service when the onset of the pandemic forced us to end the program.  I will be forming a Customer Service Committee to develop an Action Plan for Excellence in Customer Service at KCC.  More information will be forthcoming.  

The University is committed to strengthening and diversifying the managerial pipeline.  As part of the CUNY Leadership Initiative, I have been mentoring Sheilah Paul, Professor and Dean of the School of Education at Medgar Evers College.  You have met her in passing last month as she spent time on campus shadowing me at meetings and events.  One such event was our  sendoff to celebrate VP Fox and his 37 years of service to the college. Given the work that we have to complete on the Implementation Plan for the Strategic Plan, as well as preparing for MSCHE, we will be appointing an interim executive for the division.  Please note that until such time as an interim is named, the division will report to me.  I ask that you copy me on all requests for data during this period.

Also, if you haven’t already heard—let me be the first one to tell you that the KCC Men’s Baseball team is on fire!! I had the pleasure of watching them in action a few weeks ago and since then they have won 5 games in a row, one of which was against BMCC with a score of 20 to 5.  I know away games may be difficult, please make a plan to support our student athletes at our home games. The next home game is April 9th, but you can check out the schedule here:

In closing, given that April is also National Poetry Month, I leave you with these stanzas from Maya Angelou’s On the Pulse of Morning (1993)

Lift up your eyes upon
This day breaking for you.
Give birth again
To the dream.

Women, children, men,
Take it into the palms of your hands,
Mold it into the shape of your most
Private need. Sculpt it into
The image of your most public self.
Lift up your hearts
Each new hour holds new chances
For a new beginning.
Do not be wedded forever
To fear, yoked eternally
To brutishness.

The horizon leans forward,
Offering you space to place new steps of change.
Here, on the pulse of this fine day
You may have the courage
To look up and out and upon me, the
Rock, the River, the Tree, your country.
No less to Midas than the mendicant.
No less to you now than the mastodon then.

Here, on the pulse of this new day
You may have the grace to look up and out
And into your sister’s eyes, and into
Your brother’s face, your country
And say simply
Very simply
With hope—
Good morning.