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Provost's Monthy Report

Provost Monthly Report: August 2019

August has been a very busy month already. A new academic year officially began, with more than 15,000 new and continuing students expected at the College. New faculty orientation was held bringing in 22 new faculty colleagues to Lehman. An executive workshop focused on growth and investment took place for chairs and members of the Provost/Deans’ Council as well as the President’s Cabinet. The first fall meeting of the Faculty Personnel and Budget (FP&B) Committee took place and we hosted an Opportunity Fair for CUNY2X Tech Talent Pipeline students featuring some of the region’s major employers. In this Provost's Monthly Report for August 2019, we provide highlights of a select number of the initiatives and activities within the Division of Academic Affairs and Student Success as well as throughout the College in furtherance of Lehman's mission and the President's priorities.


  • We received exciting news this month about the full reaffirmation of our baccalaureate program in nursing. The Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) Board of Commissioners has extended the program’s accreditation to June 30, 2028. An on-site evaluation visit for the program will now take place in fall 2027. The Continuous Improvement Progress Report for the baccalaureate program is due on June 1, 2023. Congratulations to the faculty and staff in the department of Nursing and to the college for this major accomplishment!
  • Lehman’s long-time faculty and chair of the department of Nursing Dr. Catherine Alicia Georges, will receive the American Academy of Nursing’s highest honors, The Living Legend Award, at the Academy’s Annual Policy Conference scheduled for October 24. Dr. Georges’ is one of five individuals selected in July by her peers for this extraordinary national award, which officially designates “exceptional leaders” who have “a lifelong commitment to transforming health care,” and have “spearheaded academic, practice, policy, and social change with extraordinary impact.” Academy President Karen Cox said “Their legacies will be felt and celebrated at the Academy, as well as, by the public, for many years to come.” Dr. Georges received a standing ovation from her colleagues when Provost Nwosu shared the fantastic news at the August 23 executive workshop for department chairs, members of the Provost/Deans’ Council and the President’s Cabinet.
  • Continued work to finalize the membership of the taskforces for the 2020-2025 Strategic Plan. The Plan will focus on eight areas: Guiding Statements (Mission, Vision, and Values); Faculty and Staff Success; Program and Curriculum Innovation; Enrollment and Student Success; Revenue and Facility Optimization; Institutional Effectiveness and Assessment; Diversity and Campus Climate; and Anchor Institution.

  • The draft Strategic Planning website was presented by Office of Media Relations to the President’s Advisory Board (PAB), which comprises of the President’s Cabinet and Deans. The website will be unveiled by the President in his memo announcing membership of the strategic plan taskforces.

  • Held conference call with Dr. Sal Rinella, strategic planning consultant, to finalize his visit to the college in October to assist with facilitating a series of campus-wide planning conversations with college stakeholders.


  • Launched a major initiative with President Lemons to accelerate the computer replacement cycle for a percentage of faculty and staff in the Division of Academic Affairs and Student Success. The new initiative will support student learning and innovative pedagogy as well as faculty research. It will also ensure that the new computers have a considerable useful life and are easy to manage in light of emerging new technologies. A total of $150,000 is being provided to fund the purchase of 135 new Windows and Apple computers/laptops this academic year. This will also cover OS/MS office, management tools, and extended warranty and recovery software costs. The initial beneficiaries of the initiative are faculty and staff with computers aged between six and ten years old. IT Vice President and CIO Ron Bergmann is coordinating this initiative.

  • President Lemons and I were very delighted to join the New Faculty Orientation on August 23, and welcome twenty-two new faculty colleagues to the college. The all-day orientation included a three and half hour tour of the Bronx, and an evening reception for our new colleagues attended by several department chairs, deans and associate deans, and many members of the President’s Cabinet and the Provost/Deans’ Council.

  • I was very equally thrilled to commence the Provost’s fall visits to academic departments for AY 19-20. The first such meeting was held on August 27 with the faculty and staff of the Leonard Lief Library at the Treehouse Conference Room, hosted by associate dean and Chief Librarian Kenneth Schlesinger. My goal is to visit as many departments as possible this semester in very small settings and to meet with faculty and staff in their units. Ms. Debbie Rhem-Jackson in the Provost’s Office is coordinating these meetings.

  • Also finalized the beginning of Monthly Faculty Coffee Sessions with the Provost, with the first session planned in September 2019. The sessions will provide an informal opportunity for a mixed group of faculty to deepen engagement with the Provost on a wide range of campus issues. There will be no agenda for these informal sessions.

  • Held the executive workshop for department chairs, members of the Provost/Deans’ Council and the President’s Cabinet on August 23, with a special focus on strategic growth and investment, in order to continue to strengthen the long-term health and financial sustainability of the college.

  • Attended the Student Affairs’ fall leadership retreat held at the APEX facility on August 20 and provided opening remarks. Continued revisions to the Chairs’ Handbook to include adjunct faculty issues, based on work completed by Dr. Janette Tilley, who chaired an ad-hoc committee appointed by the Provost to update the handbook.

  • Continued planning for the College-wide Symposium on Student Success scheduled for September 13, 2019. Dr. Timothy Renick of Georgia State University in Atlanta will be keynote speaker.

  • Continued planning for New Chairs’ Orientation for six new chairs elected by their departments.
  • Lehman College became an institutional member of the National Center for Faculty Development and Diversity (NCFDD), an independent professional development center dedicated to helping faculty make successful transitions throughout their careers, August, 2018. This membership enables Lehman faculty, staff, postdoctoral scholars, and graduate students from across disciplines to participate in comprehensive professional development activities that are entirely free of charge. As a NCFDD member, Lehman joins the ranks of over 450 institutions nationwide—leading research institutions. Hunter College is the only other CUNY institution taking advantage of NCFDD’s offerings.

  • NCFDD offerings include live webinars and an extensive library of trainings that can be personalized to fit each participant’s personal and professional development needs. A “Core Curriculum” focuses on the 10-key skills necessary to develop extraordinary writing and research productivity and a full and healthy life off campus. Following a successful pilot year with over 143 institutional subaccounts, 1,087 total active sessions, 84 writing challenge registrations and 2 faculty success program alumni, Lehman entered into a two-year MOU with NCFDD August, 2019. Additional NCFDD information can be found here. Be sure to claim your free institutional account at www.ncfdd.org.
  • We received funding support in the amount of $186,698 to support the CUNY Tutor Corps program at Lehman, a partnership between the City Department of Education and CUNY. Funding is for the period July 1, 2019 through June 30, 2020.

  • New University Provost circulated a proposal soliciting feedback and input from chief academic officers for an annual CUNY Department Chair Professional Development Program. The proposal builds on two pilot programs that served 42 department chairs last year, and included two Lehman Department chairs: Kofi Benefo, Department of Sociology and Wesley Pitts, Department of Middle and High School Education. The proposed CUNY Department Chair Professional Development Program will comprise of three components:

    • A day-long Introduction to Being a CUNY Department Chair session focused on managing conflict, mentoring and motivating faculty at all levels

    • A three-day Chair Leadership Development program which focuses on the department chair as a leader, and allows the examination and discussion of leadership characteristic, styles and skills

    • A day-long CUNY Chair Development Conference, which will offer multiple concurrent sessions addressing specific topics relevant to running an academic department at CUNY.

  • Finalized review of the proposal for a joint partnership between Lehman College and Queens College to establish the CUNY Institute for Collaboration and Research in Computational Social Science (ICARSS). The proposal is designed to transform the social sciences across CUNY by establishing core activities in Computational Sciences, including collaboration for international exchange of faculty and students. Select faculty members from Lehman College and Queens College worked through the spring semester and summer to develop the proposal with feedback and input from chief academic officers from both institutions. President Lemons and Provost Nwosu reviewed the initial proposal and provided significant input, including recommendation to establish a working group of expert faculty from both institutions to finalize the proposal. Lehman faculty who participated in the working group are: Esther Wilder, Department of Sociology, José Cao-Alvira, Associate Dean of the School of Natural and Social Sciences and Associate Professor, Department of Economics and Business and Jennifer Laird, Department of Sociology. The proposal will now go to CUNY’s Committee on Academic Policy for review and approval, and then to the Board of Trustees.

  • Traveled to the Borough of Manhattan Community College (BMCC) with Vice President Reine Sarmiento and Interim Vice Provost Vincent Prohaska on August 26 for a meeting with BMCC Interim Provost Erwing J. Wong to discuss BMCC’s participation in the Bronx Transfer Affinity Group (BTAG) and related areas for collaboration between our two institutions. BTAG colleges currently comprise of Lehman College, Guttman Community College, Hostos Community College, and Bronx Community College.

  • Met in Brooklyn for lunch with Honorable Una S.T. Clarke, Chair of the CUNY Board of Trustees Committee on Student Affairs. The Committee will begin campus visits to CUNY institutions in fall to meet with students, with a visit to Lehman College anticipated sometime in fall 2019.

  • Participated in the monthly conference call meeting of the Board of Directors of the National Association of Chief Academic Officers (ACAO) as a member of the board.

  • Attended the annual RTM Higher Education Congress for Chief Academic Officers and Chief Information Officers held in Washington, D.C. from August 4-6. More than 60 chief academic officers attended the meeting, which focused on shared challenges and best practices.

  • Participated in a Lehman planning meeting to discuss next steps regarding Lehman’s engagement on the student success academy initiative of the American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU). AVP Jonathan Gagliardi coordinated the meeting attended by the Lehman team: Karin Beck, Stanley Bazile, Bascillia Toussaint, Maria Camaj, and Reine Sarmiento.

  • President Lemons and I participated in the Presidents’ Student Success Roundtable held at CUNY Central, and hosted by John Jay College President Karol Mason.
  • Participated in the first fall meeting of Faculty Personnel and Budget (FP&B) Committee held on August 20. Meeting included the President’s update on engagement with elected officials, the strategic planning process for the Performing Arts Center, Lehman’s public display spaces, ACE enrollment, and COACHE survey, among others. This was followed with the Provost’s update on ECP searches and timeline, faculty and staff computer replacement initiative, and a robust discussion of department scholarship statements. Professor Haghighat, chair of the department of political science, presented the Report of the Committee on Committees on the reconfiguration of the Committee on Tenure, Promotion, and Certificate of Continuous Employment (TPCCE) for discussion. FP&B approved a motion for the following: TPCCE subcommittee membership consisting of nine chairs and representation of the Schools as follows: three chairs from the School of Natural and Social Sciences; three chairs from the School of Arts and Humanities and the Chief Librarian; one chair from the School of Education; and two chairs from the School of Health, Human Services and Nursing.

  • Following the FP&B meeting, President Lemons hosted a small gathering to recognize the contributions of General Counsel and Labor Designee Es Tulier who retires from the College in September.

  • Held 1:1 meeting with Dr. Elhum Haghighat on August 7 to discuss recommendations of the Committee on Committees regarding composition of TPCCE.

  • Met with Dr. Amanda Sisselman on August 28 to discuss AY 19-20 Plans for the Student Research Advisory Board (SRAB). Discussions focused on building a culture of student research at Lehman. Chief of Staff Melissa Kirk participated in the meeting.

  • Had lunch meeting with AVP Karen Crowe to discuss campus strategic communications.

  • Met with President’s Communications/Speech Writer, Joshunda Sanders and Deputy to the President Gladys Maldoon to discuss Academic Affairs strategic communications.

  • Met with Dr. Catherine Alicia Georges, Chair, department of Nursing to discuss implementation of the Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) program recently approved by the Governor, and the Ph.D. program in Nursing at the CUNY Graduate Center.

  • Hosted a meeting of the Provost Committee on Re-entry on August 28, and formally charged the committee to develop recommendations for a well-coordinated system of college care and support to assist previously incarcerated men, women and youth to successfully participate in college at Lehman. This is consistent with our mission of social justice and expanding access and opportunity in our region. The committee will be co-chaired by Dr. Penny Pence and Dean Jane MacKillop, and has 45 days to submit its report to the Provost. Other committee members include Drs. Carl Mazza, Anne Rice, Stanley Bazile, Associate Dean Jaye Jones, Ms. Dugeidy Ortiz, and Ms. Pam Hinden.

  • Participated in the HEO Screening Meeting held on August 27 with HR Director Eric Washington, Chief Diversity Officer Dawn Ewing-Morgan, and General Counsel and Labor Designee Es Tulier.

  • Hosted two separate Assessment planning meetings with Interim Vice Provost Vincent Prohaska, Associate deans Karin Beck and José Cao-Alvira, Donald Sutherland, Interim Academic Assessment Manager and AVP Jonathan Gagliardi respectively to discuss Middle States supplemental report due March 1, 2020, as well as staffing and related matters for the new Office of Assessment and Educational Effectiveness.

  • Held planning meeting with Interim Dean Elin Waring and Dr. Justine McGovern, new Interim director, CUNY Institute for Health Equity (CIHE) to discuss AY 2019-2020 plan for the institute.

  • Participated in the HEO Screening Meeting held on August 27 with HR Director Eric Washington, Chief Diversity Officer Dawn Ewing-Morgan, and General Counsel and Labor Designee Es Tulier.

  • Attended the College Now Multimedia Arts Festival held on August 7 and 8, and witnessed a wonderful display of talent and creativity reflected in the various productions put together over a short period of time and shared at the summer festival. Kudos to our faculty and students. Included in this year’s festival are theater and dance performances, student videos, animation, as well as art work and journalistic writings produced by students in the Lehman College Now Summer Multimedia Arts Academy.
  • Continued 1:1 meetings with President Lemons.

  • Held 1:1 meeting on August 28 with Dr. Anne Rice, Chair of the General Faculty Assembly.

  • Continued 1:1 meetings with members of the President’s Cabinet.

  • Chaired the regular meeting of the Senior Leadership Team (SLT), which comprises of the President’s Cabinet and Deans.

  • Continued 1:1 meetings with Deans Jane MacKillop, Pamela Mills, James Mahon, Elin Waring, and Gaoyin Qian, and Associate Dean and Chief Librarian Kenneth Schlesinger, as well as other direct reports to the Provost: Dean Stanley Bazile, ORSP Director Brandon Begarly; International Programs and Community Engagement Executive Director Teresita Levy.

  • Met with Chief Diversity Officer Ms. Dawn Ewing-Morgan and Chief of Staff Ms. Melissa Kirk on August 7 to discuss ECP searches and timelines.

  • Held Provost/Deans’ Council (PDC) weekly meetings on August 1, 15, 22, and 29 to discuss strategic and operational matters.

  • Participated in the weekly Provost Staff Planning Meeting held on August 27 and discussed college strategic initiatives and priorities.

  • President Lemons and Provost Nwosu held strategic planning meetings with Vice President Susan Ebersole to discuss and identify funding priorities for the college.
  • Ms. Bascillia Toussaint, appointed new director, Office of Career Exploration and Development Center (CEDC).

  • Dr. Justine McGovern, Assistant Professor, Department of Social Work, appointed interim director, CUNY Institute for Health Equity (CIHE) by President Lemons, following recommendation of interim dean Waring and Provost Nwosu. The appointment is for AY 2019-2020. An Administrative Coordinator (aHEO/Research Assistant) will support the work of the Institute..

  • President Lemons announced his recommendation for the appointment of Ms. Bridget Barbera as Lehman’s new Counsel to the President and Labor Designee. She replaces Mr. Esdras Tulier who begins his leave in September..

  • Dr. Robert Schneiderman, elected chair of the department of Mathematics, while Dr. Mahmoud Zeinalian was elected to the department’s Personnel and Budget (P&B) Committee, to fill the vacancy resulting from Dr. Scheneiderman’s election.

  • Dr. Diana Battipaglia, elected chair, department of Music, Multimedia, Theater, and Dance (MMT&D), while Dr. Marta Ghezzo was elected to the department’s P&B Committee.

  • We have initiated full-time faculty searches for appointments to commence in August 2020. Updates on appointments and accepted offers will follow throughout the semester.

  • Completed search and named an interim IRB coordinator. Ms. Leslie Unger will serve in this role through the fall semester.

  • Ms. Kimberly Kendall, appointed Director, Workforce Education Program, School of Continuing and Professional Studies (SCPS).
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.