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William J. Fritz, PhD
Building 1A, Room 404
Phone : 718.982.2400
Fax : 718.982.2404
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College Council
November 29, 2018

Good afternoon.

I hope everyone had a good Thanksgiving and is looking forward to the final stretch of the semester. 

Because Ken Iwama will be making a presentation in a few moments on our Dorms, I’m going to keep my remarks brief. I would like to mention something related to Ken’s area though, we’re putting out an RFP for a new bookstore. We envision something greater than the existing store – something that’s not hard to do. The plan is to work with the successful bidder to create a space that will include a coffee shop and a much-needed area for students and faculty to relax and socialize.

I want to announce that effective January 1st the HPCC will transition to Academic Affairs, moving it from Patty Kahn’s leadership to Mel Pipe. Patty was initially reluctant to take on the role when I first approached her about it, but I think she did a great job over the last few years addressing a number of concerns and improving a number of areas. Under her direction we:

  • developed a faculty profile area on CSI website to showcase research that leveraged HPCC; 
  • Streamlined HPCC website and included a presence on main CSI website;
  • Expanded our most widely used HPCC system Penzias by installing additional memory and cores to accommodate research needs.
  • drafted policies and chargeback sustainability models for HPCC steering;
  • established a strategic model for HPCC governance including an HPCC advisory board and an HPCC steering which consist of faculty and research administrators across CUNY;
  • Created a specialized student server; and
  • Reconfigured HPCC systems to provide for greater processing to accommodate job submissions. 

It’s still not clear what direction the HPCC is headed and whether or not we can find a sustainable funding model. Ideally, it will become a CUNY Institute, meaning that it will have a funding stream, with CSI taking a leadership role in its operations. I think it is important to have leadership from academic affairs and a person with Mel’s Research background be the face of the HPCC in the upcoming discussions. 

At the last Council we had some questions about the process for hiring Gittlesons following the publishing of the test results. I am happy to say we placed every Gittleson who had been working in a provisional title. While this will result in a slight increase in our budget, I felt it was the right thing to do and was important to keep our people in the positions where they had been working. I want to thank Jessica Collura, Manuela Alongi, their team, and everyone who worked with them to help ensure we could place each person who passed the exam.

We’re in the final stages of our Provost Search and I am looking to make a selection in the next few weeks with the hope of having someone onboard by early spring semester. Similarly, I am advised that we are nearing the completion of interviews for the AVP of Enrollment Management.

I just want to mention as well, that like many of the Senior Colleges, we do not yet have a final budget, but are working with CUNY and hope to have something in the coming weeks. I predict that this will be another tight budget year but a survivable one! As I have said before, I am placing infrastructure and deferred maintenance at the highest level of funding priorities. We must keep our campus safe and clean in order to fulfill our Strategic Priority of becoming a destination campus.

This Saturday, is our Gala with the CSI Foundation and it looks to be the best yet. Cheryl Adolph and her team have secured the over $100k in sponsorships and I am looking forward to seeing many of you there. I think it’s important to note, that the Gala is more than just a celebration with good friends from the community. It is an event focused on continued support of the College. Over the last 6 years, the Foundation has more than doubled its assets, now holding $9 million, which is used to support measures like our scholarships, faculty travel expenses, expenditures related to the Con Ed trading room, and summer research mini-grants. In short, they do a great deal to support the College and its mission. If you’re not able to make this year’s Gala, I’d urge you to consider attending a future event.

William J. Fritz