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Provost's Monthy Report
Dear Colleagues,

This combined Provost Report for December 2019 and January 2020 from the Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs and Student Success provides highlights of progress on a select number of key initiatives and activities within Academic Affairs to advance our institutional mission and strategic priorities.  For more updates and announcements from the Office of the Provost, along with past monthly reports, and emails to the campus community, please visit the Provost Corner.

  • Work on the development of the 2020-2025 College Strategic Plan continued, with a meeting of the Strategic Plan Steering Committee held on December 18, 2019. The steering committee, chaired by both the Provost and the chair of the General Faculty, Anne Rice, comprised of the co-chairs of each of the 8 strategic plan task forces. At the December meeting, taskforce chairs presented updates and exchanged ideas on the draft content of the plan focusing on Lehman’s draft Values, Mission, and Vision (VMV), as well as on draft strategic plan goals, objectives, metrics, and strategies.  Co-chairs of the taskforces are Paula Loscocco and Jane MacKillop (VMV), Pam Mills and Ronald Bergmann (Faculty and Staff Success), Donald Sutherland and Zoila Morrell (Institutional Effectiveness), Dawn Ewing Morgan and Alicia Georges (Campus Climate and Diversity), Elin Waring and Carl Mazza  (Program and Curriculum), Dene Hurley and Reine Sarmiento, (Enrollment Management and Student Success), Ron Bergmann and Gaoyin Qian (Anchor Institution), and Rene Rotolo and Haiping Chen (Resource Planning and Facility Optimization).
  • Work continued on the development of the College’s MSCHE Supplemental Information Report (SIR) due to the Commission on March 1, 2020. Initial draft of the report was completed in January 2020.
  • We successfully secured MSCHE substantive change approval to offer fully online degree programs at the college, and we received the approval of the New York State Education Department (NYSED) in December 2019 for delivery of distance education across state lines through Lehman’s participation in the State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement (SARA),  an agreement among member states, districts and territories that establishes comparable national standards for interstate offering of postsecondary distance education courses and programs. This agreement positions Lehman to fully participate in online learning, expand access and equity to quality education and provide additional revenue streams to the college.

  • Currently, Lehman offers 5 fully online degree programs and over 500 online and hybrid courses a year. We have increased enrollment in our online and hybrid course offerings by 21% for FY 2019. This is the highest percent of any college in the university system and nearly double the senior college average (12.4%) (Performance Monitoring Project Data 2018-2019.). In FY 2019, 12,030 unique students (UG and GR) enrolled in one or more fully online, hybrid, or partially online courses; and 506 unique faculty taught in an online environment at Lehman in FY 2019.
  • Attended CUNY Chief Academic Council monthly meeting on December 11, 2020 and January 16. Agenda items included: student transfer, which has emerged as a major priority for CUNY, Committee on Academic Policy, Programs & Research (CAPPR) dashboard, faculty development and pedagogical innovation, undergraduate research, and an update on the new PSC Contract.

  • Met with Executive Vice Chancellor and University Provost (EVC) Cruz on December 11, 2019, to discuss progress on the CUNY/Lehman Leadership Institute, a pilot leadership pipeline initiative funded by the Mellon Foundation and CUNY. The program is targeted at Arts and Humanities faculty aspiring to assume leadership opportunities in the nation’s urban-serving institutions. Provost Nwosu is the program director while EVC Cruz is the grant’s PI.  Also met on January 16, 2020, to discuss the national Institute for Higher Education Policy (IHEP) and related CUNY items.

  • Participated in the AASCU-Lehman Student Success Pilot Cohort zoom conference call on January 22, 2020. Also attending the meeting were Assistant Vice President Jonathan Gagliardi, A&H Associate Dean Karin Beck, Dean of Student Affairs Stanley Bazile, Director of Career Exploration and Development Bascillia Toussaint, and Vice President for Enrollment Management and Associate Provost Reine Sarmiento. Lehman is one of six institutions selected by the American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU) to participate in a 15-month collaborative on student success with a focus on refining and validating an institutional transformation process that advances students’ success through information sharing and data exchange. The AASCU team was led by Cameron Smither, Director of Assessment & Network Engagement and Bao Le, Director of Data, Analytics, and Impact.

  • Joined President Lemons and Vice President Susan Ebersole in a meeting with iMentor NYC Executive Director, Max Polaner and team (Arri Shelton-Edwards and Annie Foreman), held on December 17, 2019, to discuss the possibilities of a scholarship program from the organization for our students.

  • Met with Victor Rivera, President and CEO, Bronx Parent Housing Network, and his staff, along with staff from Lehman’s Division of Institutional Advancement, on December 5, 2019 to discuss partnership opportunities.  

  • Attended the 2019 annual meeting of the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE) held in Philadelphia from December 9-11, and participated in a number of activities, including the all-day pre-conference workshop on “Using MSCHE’s Annual Institutional Update (AIU) to Improve Decision Making” and the Opening Plenary Session on “Accreditation’s Role In Catalyzing Institutional Transformation for Equitable Student Outcomes” both held on December 9, as well as the Presidents/Provosts Breakfast meeting, held on December 10, where updates were provided by MSCHE’s outgoing President Elizabeth Sibolski and President-Elect Heather Perfetti on the new federal guidelines regarding regional institutional accreditors as well as MSCHE leadership transition and the future of the Commission. President Lemons and I attended this meeting. The 2019 annual meeting coincided with MSCHE’s 100th anniversary and focused on the theme: “Innovating for Student Success: New Ideas, Practices, and Services in Higher Education.”

  • Participated in multiple meetings of the American Council on Education (ACE) Council of Fellows’ Professional Development Committee in December 2019 and January 2020 to finalize the program for the annual leadership convening of the ACE Fellows scheduled for March 13 and 14, 2020, in San Diego, California.

  • Participated in the Board of Directors’ meeting of the National Association of Chief Academic Officers (ACAO) held December 4, 2019

  • Participated in a planning meeting on January 13 regarding ACE Annual Meeting- ACAO Session titled: Leading Institutional Change: The Academic Leader’s Toolkit,” a special session for chief academic officers at the 2020 ACE annual meeting in San Diego. The session will be moderated by Scott Newman, Vice President for Academic Affairs, Oklahoma State University Institute of Technology, and will feature Provost Nwosu and Laura Niesen de Abruna, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs at York College of Pennsylvania, as panelists.

  • Joined President Lemons, Vice President Susan Ebersole, and Vice President Rene Rotolo on December 12, 2019, in a visit to SUNY Purchase to explore the intersection of the college’s performing arts center with academic programming and the strategic work done by the college to unify the arts. The visit was hosted by Purchase President Dennis Craig, Provost Barry Pearson, and Interim Vice President for Institutional Advancement Donna Frithsen.

  • Joined President Lemons on January 28, 2020, in a meeting with Dr. Edwin Quezada, Superintendent of Schools, Yonkers School District, to discuss opportunities for strengthening the District’s relations with Lehman, including enhancing the pipeline for Yonkers students to come to the college, and developing bilingual education certification programs for teachers in the District through our School of Continuing and Professional Studies (SCPS).
  • Convened Provost’s and Deans’ Council (PDC) meetings on December 5 and 12, 2019, and January 15 and 30, 2020, and discussed the following agenda items: updates from Academic Affairs, Student Affairs, and Enrollment Management, Course redesign initiatives, BTAG Transfer Advising Summit, Update on Academic Momentum, GRTI submissions, Low Enrolled Programs/Low Graduation Programs Report (Program Productivity Indicators), Lehman-CUNY Leadership Institute for Urban-Serving Institutions, among others. 

  • Attended the Faculty Budget and Personnel Committee (FP&B) meeting chaired by President Lemons on January 21, 2020.

  • Attended the December 11, 2019 College Senate meeting held in Carman Auditorium.

  • Participated in the College Senate Governance Committee meetings on January 23, 2020 to review and make recommendations for revisions to the Bylaws of the College Senate. Dr. Duane Tananbaum, Professor of History and Senate Parliamentarian facilitated the discussions of the review. General Counsel Bridget Barbera attended the meeting.

  • Met with Dr. Joe Fera, Chair, College Senate Governance Committee, on January 8, 2020.

  • Attended the President’s Cabinet meeting on December 10, 2019.

  • Continued regular 1:1 meeting with President Lemons; Deans, and members of the President’s Cabinet. Agenda items included strategic and operational issues regarding the strategic plan, budget, curriculum, student success, and personnel, among others.

  • Continued regular 1:1 meeting with Interim Vice Provost for Academic Programs regarding accreditation, assessment, curricular, and related matters.

  • Continued regular 1:1 meeting with Director Brandon Begarly, Research and Sponsored Programs, to discuss college progress on research and creative activities as well as implementation of the new Indirect Recovery (IDC) rate approved by the President in fall 2019.  

  • Chaired (with Vice President Susan Ebersole) the Honorary Degree Committee meeting held on January 27, 2020, to review nominations for the award of honorary doctorate degrees by the college. Committee members include: William Murray (Mathematics), Dimitra Karabali (Physics and Astronomy), Julie Maybee (Philosophy), Marie Marianetti (History), Melisssa Brown (Art), Nancy Dubetz (Early Childhood and Childhood Education), Ryan Raaum (Anthropology), Suzette Ramsundar (Campus Life), Tara Registtomlinson (Advancement), Karen Crowe (Media Relations), and Gladys Maldoon (Office of the President).
  • Chaired the meeting of Pre-Health Program Advisory Board (with Co-chair Haiping Cheng) held on January 13, 2020. Program Director Scott Calvin provided updates on institutional affiliations that provide opportunities for Lehman students to pursue advanced programs in the health professions.

  • Held lunch meeting with Naomi Zack, Professor of Philosophy, on January 13, 2020 to discuss teaching and pedagogy.

  • Held meeting with Amanda Sisselman-Borgia, Assistant Professor of Social Work and Chair, SHRAB, on January 23, 2020, to discuss undergraduate research and experiential learning.

  • Joined President Lemons on January 14, 2020 in a zoom conference call with Dr. Willie Hopkins, Founding Dean of the School of Business at Brooklyn College, to discuss scope of work related to advancing the vision for a School of Business at Lehman. In attendance were Dene Hurley, Chair, Economics and Business, Interim Dean Pam Mills, NSS, Vice President Rene Rotolo, Administration and Finance, and Vice President Susan Ebersole, Institutional Advancement. Dr. Hopkins has been retained as consultant for this strategic initiative.

  • Met with the Leadership Team in Student Affairs on December 17, 2019, and provided updates on several initiatives in the Division of Academic Affairs and Student Success. EIC of Student Affairs Dean Stanley Bazile chaired the meeting.

  • Met with the Leadership Team in Enrollment Management on December 12, 2019, and provided updates on several initiatives in the Division of Academic Affairs and Student Success. Vice President Reine Sarmiento chaired the meeting.

  • Convened the Provost Team meeting on January 23, 2020, to discuss organizational and office changes with staff. Chief Diversity and Compliance Officer and EIC of Human Resources Dawn Ewing Morgan joined the meeting.

  • Met with Director of Budget Bethania Ortega on January 28, 2020, to discuss Academic Affairs Strategic Investment Budget related to the Strategic Growth and Investment Plan (SGIP).

  • Continued the Provost’s Professional Development Series (PPDS) with a workshop on CUNYFIRST held on December 17th.  Chris Buonocore facilitated the workshop, which was well attended by department chairs, deans, and associate deans. Elin Waring, Interim Dean, HS2N, chairs the PPDS.

  • Met with the faculty of the Department of Political Science on December 3, 2019.

  • Hosted a celebration on December 3, 2019, honoring Melissa Kirk, Chief of Staff, Office of the Provost. Ms. Kirk accepted the position of Assistant Vice Chancellor for Student Success at Antioch University, New England.

  • Joined President Lemons on December 7, 2019, in a meeting with the Latinx Student Alliance, English Chair Paula Loscocco, Assistant Professor Melissa Castillo-Planas, and Dean Mahon, to discuss progress on the renewal of the English department’s undergraduate curriculum. On January 24, department faculty hosted a retreat to further advance progress on this strategic work. A copy of the agenda and materials for the retreat shared with me showed tremendous progress on the part of the English faculty to concretize a vision for advancing the discipline and the English program at Lehman. The department leadership, faculty, and students have my support and that of President Lemons in completing this important work.

  • Met with the President’s Task Force on Food Insecurity on December 17, 2019, and received its final report about the nature and impact of the challenge on Lehman students. The task force, co-chaired by Dean Stanley Bazile and Vice President Susan Ebersole, comprised of the following members: Karen Crowe (Media Relations and Publications), Marina Stopler (Health Sciences), Jaye Jones (HS2N), Carl Mazza (Social Work), Dugeidy Ortiz (Wellness Education and Health Promotion Program), Suzette Ramsundar (Campus Life), Tara Regist-Tomlison (Advancement), Wayne Witherspoon (Metropolitan Food Service), Tarialy Hernandez (SGA), Kassandra Montes (SGA), Amanda Sisselman-Borgia (Social Work), and David Charape (Campus Life).
  • Continued the searches for a permanent dean for the following three schools: Natural and Social Science; Education; and Heath Sciences, Human Services, and Nursing. Zoom interviews were conducted with semi-finalists, and search committee chairs met with the Provost to discuss candidates.

  • Announced to the to the campus on January 8, 2020, the appointment of Dr. Victor Brown to the position of Associate Provost for Academic Programs and Educational Effectiveness (APAPEE), and the appointment of Dr. Vincent Prohaska as Faculty Director for the newly established Office of Assessment and Educational Effectiveness (OAEE) and Senior Faculty Advisor to the Provost. OAEE is located in Room 318 of the 3rd floor of Shuster Hall.

  • Commenced the search processes for Manager for Academic Budget and Resource Planning for the Division of Academic Affairs and Student Success; and Director of Assessment and Educational Effectiveness; as well as Director of Institutional Research for the College.

  • Completed the following seven (7) faculty searches with offers accepted: Rabab Abi-Hanna, Assistant Professor, Middle and High School Education; Vanessa Arce Senati, Assistant Professor, Library; Rhiannon Dowling, Assistant Professor, History; Dialika Sall, Assistant Professor, Sociology; Jose Gomez-Gonzalez, Associate Professor, Economics and Business; Wang Hsien-Tseng, Assistant Professor, Economics and Business; and Kezia Hercules, Lecturer, Health Sciences.

  • Interviewed fifteen (15) finalist candidates for five faculty positions in the following academic units: Economics and Business, Library, Health Sciences, History, and Sociology.
Wishing everyone a successful semester!

Peter O. Nwosu, Ph.D.
Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs and Student Success
Lehman College
The Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs and Student Success is the College's chief academic and student success officer and senior member of the Cabinet. The Provost is responsible for all educational and student support programs, as well as for academic issues that relate to the faculty, including appointments, promotions, and evaluations. He also is responsible for preparing accreditation reviews, program reviews, campus strategic planning and the review of division and departmental budgets. Questions? Email provost.office@lehman.cuny.edu or call 718-960-8222.