Dear Campus Community,
I begin this report with a heavy heart as I am saddened by the horrific incidents of last week. My thoughts and prayers go out to all those who lost their lives, their loved ones and those who hurt as I do. It is unfathomable that in 2018, racism, anti-Semitism and intolerance for diversity of thought, political ideology, religious beliefs and difference is alive and well in our country. Now more than ever, we must be committed to ensuring that hate does not take root at our College. In its place, we must sow the seeds of goodwill, respect, and tolerance.
In a few days, as part of daylight savings time we will set our clocks back one hour. Let us use this time to both reflect on why we came to KCC and renew our commitment to our students and their success. I was reminded on Monday at my second campus wide Meet and Greet, that October 29th marks the 6th anniversary of Hurricane Sandy. Although I was not here to experience the storm with you, the stories I heard about the aftermath, and how you pulled together to support each other, students and the community validates my reasons for coming to KCC. This is an amazing place with equally amazing people that are making a difference in the lives of so many.
The recent visit (October 2nd and 3rd) by our Aspen Team further proved this point. The Team applauded our many institutional strengths and our support of the whole student. They were particularly impressed by the students who reported a sense of belonging and expressed their love for the College. In my first weeks as President, I was ultra excited to sport my purple t-shirt and participate in the #KCCSpirit Day alongside a cadre of vibrant students and staff as we brought the college’s mission “strengthening and serving its diverse community” to life. And I was equally excited to be among the first diners at The Oceanview Kitchen to indulge in a succulent feast prepared by the students in the Culinary Arts Program.
I have had productive and what I will consider the first of many meetings to come with a few of our greatest supporters: Assemblyman Steven Cymbrowitz, Councilman Chaim Deutsch, New York State Senator Roxanne Persaud, and Assemblywoman Jamie Williams. I also testified alongside Vita Rabinowitz,
Interim Chancellor and Jose Luis Cruz, President of Lehman College before the New York City Council Committee on Higher Education regarding the state of African American Studies and the Hiring of Black Faculty at the City University of New York.
My Welcome Address, Meet and Greets with a host of faculty and staff at the college, visits to the Departments of Physical Sciences and Foreign Languages, participation in a variety of meetings like College Council and my walk around, have also afforded me the opportunity to meet and get to know more members of the KCC community hear and more about the issues that they experience and ideas about What’s Next for KCC.
As I indicated in my Welcome Address, what’s next and right now for me is a focus on increasing our enrollment. As of last week, the University report is showing our overall headcount excluding College Now is down 3.2 % from last year. Also, transfers are down 3.2%. But we have shown some gains with freshmen as enrollment for this cohort is up 5.3%. A short-term strategic enrollment plan has been developed and is in the process of being implemented. Among the key areas is enhancing marketing and advertising efforts. A search for an Assistant Vice President for Communications and Marketing will commence shortly.
In the coming weeks, I will be recognizing and celebrating a number of special groups within our community, beginning with a lunch for our Veteran employees and staff on November 6th and A Season of Thanks Breakfast for our Buildings & Grounds and Gittleson staff and trade workers on November 20th. I also look forward to celebrating the holidays with all of you at our college wide holiday celebration on December 11th.
As we enter the season of giving and celebration, let us remember that charity begins at home. I encourage everyone to actively participate in Giving Tuesday on November 27th. I along with my small (but mighty) staff in the President’s Office will be actively participating.
I look forward to writing to you next month as the winner of both the Golden Shoe for the most funds raised and the Spirit Award for the KCC Can Do Challenge.
October 30, 2018