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Provost's Monthy Report
Provost Monthly Report: April 2019

April 2019 was an extraordinarily busy month filled with energy and anticipation as the campus finalized preparations for the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE) Evaluation Team’s visit to the College. In this Provost's Monthly Report for April 2019, we provide highlights of the visit as well as focus on a select number of strategic initiatives and activities within the Division of Academic Affairs and Student Success and the College to advance our institutional mission and the President’s priorities.

  • The College welcomed the Evaluation Team of the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE) for their scheduled visit regarding re-affirmation of institutional accreditation. The Team, led by Dr. Sue Henderson, President, New Jersey City University (NJCU), was on campus from April 7-10, 2019, and met with many members of the college community, including faculty, staff, and students, as well as officials from CUNY and several members of the Board of Trustees. Following the visit, the Team is expected to provide its Evaluation Report to the College, with opportunity for the College to respond to the Report. The Commission will make a final decision regarding re-affirmation of accreditation in early June.

  • MSCHE granted approval to Lehman to offer two fully online certificate programs: Advanced Certificate in Gifted and Talented Education and Advanced Certificate in Health Education, CUNY’s only such program for health education teachers. Both certificate programs respond to labor market needs based on New York State Department of Labor's Long-Term Occupational Employment Projections for 2016-2026 and discussions with the New York City Department of Education respectively.

  • An April summary of awards received by Lehman students through the work of the Office of Prestigious Awards (OPA) reads as follows: one Soros Fellowship, one Boren Fellowship, two Watson Fellowships, and five Fulbright Fellowships. Given the number of Fulbright recipients, Lehman College now qualifies as a Fulbright "Top Producing Institution." Congratulations to OPA director, Dr. Michelle Augustine, and our students for this tremendous accomplishment.

  • The Center for Global Engagement announced a record number of Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship winners for summer 2019 study abroad. 11 students will be traveling to Russia, Thailand, Greece, Spain, Netherlands, England, Italy, South Africa and South Korea. With these awards, Lehman will continue its distinction as a “Top Producing Gilman Institution.” Additionally, 21 students received funds from the Chancellor’s Global Scholarship (CGS) and the Office of Special Programs (OSP) for summer/fall 2019 study abroad programs. These students will be traveling to Ireland, France and Japan, Russia, Thailand, Greece, Spain, Netherlands, England, Italy, South Africa and South Korea. Two other students received full scholarships from the Council on International Education Exchange (CIEE), as part of an effort to expand access to study abroad to underrepresented groups, for a summer study abroad program to St. Petersburg, Russia. Congratulations to Dr. Teresita Levy, Director of the Center for Global Engagement and the CGE team for this amazing work.

  • The Provost launched a new initiative (The Lehman Students’ Excellence Awards) to support students' excellence at the College. The initiative provides awards annually to recipients in each of the categories listed below, to be given during the Honors Convocation ceremony, beginning with the May 2019 Honors Convocation. The awards are as follows: Outstanding Undergraduate Research, Outstanding Graduate Thesis/Project, Excellence in Leadership and Service, Excellence in Global Engagement, and Outstanding Graduating Seniors. The office of the Vice Provost for Academic Programs is coordinating the efforts regarding these awards in collaboration with the Dean of Arts and Humanities, Dean of Students, and the Senior Registrar. Discussions about these awards, made possible through endowment support, have taken place at the Provost/Deans' Council and the FP&B.

  • The department of Psychology hosted the Psi Chi Spring Induction Ceremony on April 1. Psi Chi is the national honor society in Psychology, and the annual induction ceremony celebrates high achieving students admitted to the society and helps to advance the science of Psychology.

  • Met on April 10 with the ad-hoc committee on International Student Recruitment established by the provost to develop recommendations and strategies for increasing the number of matriculated international students at Lehman. This includes identifying and/or expanding the types of support services at Lehman that may be unique to attracting and retaining international students at the College. Members of the ad-hoc committee chaired by Dr. Teresita Levy (Center for Global Engagement) include: Laurie Austin (Admissions), Richard Finger (Graduate Studies), Bethania Ortega (Budget and Planning), Dr. Goher Murtaza (School of Continuing and Professional Studies), Amanda Dubois-Mwake (Student Affairs), Dr. Steve Wyckoff (FYI/Eng Composition), and Jonathan Gagliardi (OIREE).

  • Student Affairs continued work with various stakeholders to finalize the 2019 Commencement Program and Schedule. This includes the Program Booklet, with information about our graduates, Honorary Degree recipients, faculty and alumni award recipients, and the order of speakers.

  • Enrollment Management finalized a new template for reporting enrollment and launched outreach efforts to meet summer enrollment goals as well as fall 2019 enrollment targets, following several meetings with Academic Affairs and Administration and Finance, as well as the President’s Cabinet. The new template, which includes a dashboard developed by IT and OIRPA, was presented to the President’s Cabinet and Provost/Deans’ Council (PDC).

  • Dan Lemons, Interim Dean for Academic Affairs, represented Academic Affairs at the Committee on Academic Policy, Programs, and Research (CAPPR) held on April 15 at CUNY Central. Agenda items included committee approval of three resolutions from Lehman for award of Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters.

  • Meeting with Angie Kamath, University Dean of Continuing Education and Workforce Development, on April 24 to discuss CUNY Career Success Initiatives (e.g. Employer engagement, Career exploration, Experiential learning, Data transparency, Budget advocacy, Partner development, Adult learner initiative, and Adult and continuing education) and potential opportunities for Lehman. Also explored funding support for a number of career pathway initiatives for Lehman students.

  • Continued to engage in several exploratory discussions with potential external partners (e.g. Per Scholas, HERE TO HERE, and Ballet Hispanico, etc.), focused on NYC’s success and inclusive growth with the goal to expand the footprint for career pathways, internship and job placements opportunities for Lehman students and graduates.

  • Participated in a planning meeting held on April 22 with staff from the American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU) for the launch of Lehman’s involvement with the student success partnership with AASCU. Lehman is one of six institutions selected by AASCU to participate in this 15-month project to refine and validate an institutional transformation process that advances students’ success.

  • Began preliminary discussions with the Aspen Institute on an initiative funded by the Mellon Foundation to explore potential relationship with Lehman on developing leadership pipelines from the arts and humanities to enhance higher education leadership and administration in urban-serving institutions. This is part of a $100,000 grant awarded to Lehman through President Cruz to develop a pilot program in this space.

  • Hosted the inaugural Provost Professional Development Series (PPDS), a professional development opportunity for the leadership team in the Division of Academic Affairs and Student Success. The inaugural workshop held on April 18 included deans, associate deans, and department chairs, and was facilitated by Dr. Sona K. Andrews, Provost Emerita, Portland State University. President Cruz provided welcome remarks. Interim Dean Elin Waring and Interim Dean Lemons presented the results of the chairs’ survey highlighting key findings, including areas for specific professional development opportunities.

  • Held several planning meetings related to the May 6 campus-wide conversation on assessment. Also, began conversations with key stakeholders on identifying a location for the Office of Assessment, as well as a faculty director of assessment and key staff for the office. These efforts are designed to further deepen the culture of assessment across the campus and provide technical support for both academic and administrative assessment activities.

  • The March-April issue of Assessment Update (Volume 31, Number 2, 2019), a publication of the National Institute on Learning Outcomes Assessment (NILOA), which focuses on progress, trends, and practices in higher education, published a paper by Provost Nwosu under its NILOA Perspectives column. The paper titled: “Creating a culturally responsive ecosystem for learning and assessment: Lessons from a small private university,” examines campus-wide efforts to improve student learning and retention, drawing from students’ performance data in gateway courses. The paper also discusses intentional steps taken by the campus (with accompanying results) to work with faculty to redesign courses utilizing technology enhanced learning platforms, offer professional development opportunities on innovative pedagogies focused on growth mindset, and reorganize support services in academic and student affairs to enhance the learning climate. NILOA is based at the University of Illinois and Indiana University.

  • Participated in the monthly Board of Directors’ meeting of the national Association of Chief Academic Officers (ACAO).

  • Provided welcome remarks on April 16 at the Symposium on Global Warming Demystified hosted by the department of Sociology and the School of Natural and Social Sciences. Keynote speaker was Dr. Jeffrey Bennett, a noted astronomer and mathematics educator. The symposium, facilitated by Dr. Esther Wilder, Professor in the department of Sociology was held at the East Dining Room, and was attended by an overflowing crowd that included students, faculty and staff from across the college.

  • Attended the memorial event celebrating the life of Dr. Dominick Basile of the department of Biological Sciences. Colleagues and former students of Dr. Basile spoke at the event, hosted by the department of Biological Sciences and the School of Natural and Social Sciences.

  • The School of Natural and Social Sciences hosted Conversations at 50 on April 15 celebrating the history and accomplishments of the school since the founding of Lehman College. Also, the School of Health Sciences, Human Services and Nursing hosted its Conversations at 50 celebrating the school’s history and accomplishments since Lehman's founding.

  • Met with Dr. Megan Owen, assistant professor in the department of Mathematics, and a recipient of one of the most prestigious career advancement awards offered by the National Science Foundation (NSF). The $412,038 award, which is for over a four-year period, supports faculty with potential for a lifetime of leadership in integrating research and education in furtherance of the faculty member’s academic program, as well as advancing the institutional mission. Dr. Owen is the first ever recipient of the award from Lehman, and one of only four City University of New York (CUNY) faculty members to receive this award in 2019.

  • The Taskforce on the School of Continuing and Professional Studies (SCPS) established by the President to re-imagine the school continued its meetings. The taskforce is co-chaired by Dr. Jane MacKillop, SCPS dean, and Dr. Dene Hurley, chair, department of Economics and Business.

  • Provided opening remarks on behalf of President Cruz at this year’s Administrative Professionals' Day Breakfast held on April 24 in the East Dining Room.

  • Inaugural meeting of the newly established President’s Advisory Board (PAB) took place on April 2. PAB, chaired by the President, comprises members of the President’s Cabinet and Deans of the five Schools and the Chief Librarian. The team, which meets monthly, serves an advisory role to the President and provides a platform for engagement on some of the major strategic issues facing the college. The meeting of April 2 focused on budget and resource planning.

  • Continued weekly 1:1 meetings with President Cruz; and a monthly joint meeting with President Cruz and Dr. Dan Lemons, Interim Dean for Academic Affairs.

  • Served as Executive-in-Charge of the College from April 21 to April 29 while President Cruz was away on annual leave.

  • Continued 1:1 meetings with members of the Provost’s/Deans’ Council and the President’s Cabinet.

  • Held Provost/Deans’ Council (PDC) meetings on April 11 (with deans and associate deans only) and 25 (with full PDC).

  • Chaired the President’s Senior Leadership Team (SLT) meetings held on April 16 and April 22. SLT consists of members of the President’s Cabinet (excludes the President), and serves as a platform for strategic conversations designed to advance college goals and the president’s priorities.

  • Participated in the Faculty Personnel and Budget (FP&B) Committee meeting held on April 16 and 30, and chaired the meeting on behalf of President Cruz.

  • Participated in the HEO Screening meeting to review staff portfolios for promotions and reclassifications.

  • Continued meetings between Academic Affairs and Christina Chiappa, CUNY Deputy Chief Financial Officer, and Bethania Ortega, Lehman’s Director, Budget and Planning in the Division of Administration, to discuss College and Academic Affairs budgets and resource allocation with a focus on improving efficiencies and identifying and implementing growth strategies to maximize college financial health and sustainability.

  • Academic Assessment Council (AAC) held a meeting of the group on April 17 to continue conversations on advancing assessment activities at the college.

  • The School of Arts and Humanities (A&H) led by Dean James Mahon, hosted the April 25 rotating meeting of the Provosts/Deans’ Council (PDC). The meeting held at the College’s Art Gallery included presentations from the director of the gallery, Bartholomew F. Bland, as well as Dr. Mahon and Associate dean Karin Beck, who provided highlights on the history and accomplishments of the college. PDC members also had the great opportunity to participate in a tour of the undergraduate and graduate art studios/facilities and saw majestic works of arts curated by Lehman students. PDC rotating meetings are designed to inform and educate members of the leadership team in the Division of Academic Affairs and Student Success about each other’s work, minimize silos, improve efficiencies, and increase opportunity for collaboration among units.

  • Provost and General Counsel Es Tulier worked together to develop a draft process for review of Department Scholarship Statements. The draft document will be discussed at the Provost/Deans' Council meeting in early May, and subsequently at the May 16 meeting of the FP&B for discussion and approval. As noted in the March 26, 2019 Academic Affairs and Students Success Report to FP&B, the Provost announced a pause in the use of Department Scholarship Statements, in light of a pending grievance. He indicated at that time, that scholarship guidelines developed by the departments would be reviewed through a consultative review process. He pointed out that "the respective school executive committee and ultimately the FP&B would have a role, as would the departments themselves, in this review process."

  • Academic Affairs completed review and discussions of full-time faculty lines with school deans for AY 2020, with the President approving twenty-six full-time faculty lines. Of this number, 16 are replacement lines, and 10 are new faculty lines (5 tenure-track and 5 lecturer lines)—this represents a doubling of the president’s previous commitment of 5 new lines. The search process for each of these lines will commence immediately.

  • Interviewed finalists for full-time faculty positions in the following academic units: Africana Studies, Journalism and Media Studies, and Nursing.

  • Completed full-time faculty searches and appointments in Philosophy (A&H).

  • Participated in finalists’ interviews for the position of vice president for Administration and Finance.
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.