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Provost's Monthy Report

Provost Monthly Report: October 2019

This October 2019 Provost’s Monthly Report provides highlights of progress on a select number of strategic initiatives and activities within the Division of Academic Affairs and Student Success and across the College to advance our institutional mission and strategic priorities.


We continued our efforts to strengthen student success for both undergraduate and graduate students with a number of key initiatives:

  • The College officially launched the development of the 2020-2025 Strategic Plan with a kick-off event on Monday, October 21, 2019. The event was held at the college’s East Dining Room, and was attended by more than 125 faculty, staff, students, and members of the college administration. President Daniel Lemons open the event and framed the development of the Strategic Plan as a logical step to planning the college’s future following the successful reaffirmation of its accreditation by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE). Provost Nwosu provided an overview of the day’s event and the series of events planned during the week related to the 2020-2025 Strategic Planning process. Dr. Sal Rinella from the American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU) and former president, Austin Peay State University, in Clarksville, TN, facilitated the week’s planning process, including the kick-off workshop. Dr. Joe Fera, Assistant Professor, Department of Mathematics and Chair of the Governance Committee of the College Senate and Ms. Maria Camaj in the Office of the Provost served as moderators of the kick-off workshop. Other events which took place during the week to advance the development of the 2020-2025 Strategic Plan were: an Alumni Forum, a Community Partners Forum, Student Forum, and meetings with the President’s Advisory Board, the Strategic Plan Task Forces, and the Strategic Plan Steering Committee.

  • At the first meeting of the Steering Committee, comprised of co-chairs of the eight Task Forces, held on Wednesday, October 23, members finalized the 2020-2025 Strategic Plan Workplan, and outlined Actions, Timelines, and Responsibilities. The second meeting of the Steering Committee is scheduled for November 25, where Task Force co-chairs will share rough drafts of the strategies and measurable criteria developed by their respective task forces for each of the eight priority areas of the Strategic Plan. These areas are as follows: Guiding Statements (Values, Mission, Vision); 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.

  • To further broaden the conversations within academic departments around the development of our 2020-2025 Strategic Plan, Provost Nwosu, Chair of the Strategic Plan Steering Committee, and Dr. Anne Rice, Chair of the General Faculty and Co-chair of the Strategic Plan Steering Committee, requested department chairs in an October 25 memo to schedule meetings and lead the faculty in conversations related to five questions in the memo. A similar request was made to division heads at the President’s Cabinet meeting by Provost Nwosu. The deadline for submission of the department’s feedback was set for November 15, 2019.

  • Information and updates on the development of the 2020-2025 Strategic Plan can be found on the College’s website.

I am delighted to announce that President Daniel Lemons has approved more than a quarter of a million dollars in funding to support significant initiatives in the Division of Academic Affairs and Student Success to advance our student success work, strengthen student learning, improve graduate enrollment, and respond to labor market needs. These initiatives, which were announced by the Provost at the October 15 meeting of the Faculty Personnel and Budget (FP&B) Committee include:
  • $100k to support the Student Success Course Redesign Initiative, which builds on the successful pilot work of faculty in the School of Natural and Social Sciences as well as the literature on national best practices on student learning and retention. Funding will promote innovations in pedagogy through the redesign of core, foundational, and gateway courses. To achieve maximum impact on student learning, engagement, and persistence, redesign efforts supported by this initiative in 2019-2020 will focus specifically on undergraduate General Education courses with high DWIF (Drop-out, Withdrawal, Incomplete, and Failure) rates (>15% over 5 years) and high enrollments (at least 400 students per course over 5 years), as determined by a recent analysis commissioned by the Provost, and conducted by the Office of Institutional Research. Student performance in these courses creates a significant barrier to their ability to make progress toward degree completion. Course redesign supported by technology-enhanced modalities (including digital learning) will be helpful to this initiative, coordinated by Academic Programs’ Office of Online Education.

  • $100k to support growth in graduate program enrollment through the marketing of targeted graduate programs of promise (focusing on enrollment trend for existing programs, current graduate online programs, and labor market needs). Enrollment Management is coordinating this effort working closely with school deans, associate deans, department chairs, and graduate program coordinators of targeted programs.

  • $80k to support new curriculum development or the renewal of existing curricular that advance regional labor and workforce needs, with emphasis on online graduate programs, including certificates. Considerations will also be given to undergraduate programs that advance critical areas of regional needs. Application for development funding from department chairs can be made in consultation and collaboration with the School Dean to the Vice Provost for Academic programs.

  • Lehman submits Interdisciplinary Online Ed.D. Proposal to CUNY I am pleased to announce the college’s submission in October to CUNY of a preliminary proposal to offer an interdisciplinary online doctorate in organizational leadership, development, and change. The 48-credit hour program, which will be housed in the department of Counseling, Leadership, Literacy and Special Education (CLLSE) in the School of Education, has now been circulated by CUNY Central office to other CUNY institutions for comments as part consultation with the larger university community. All comments were due back to the Central by COB on Monday, November 4, 2019. The Ed.D. degrees within CUNY and institutions in the region are heavily focused on issues of curriculum and instruction in urban schools and/or K-12 schools only. The proposed program at Lehman goes beyond these, and provides students with exposure and practice to relevant qualitative and quantitative research techniques, and opportunity to acquire and practice a diverse array of leadership skills in multiple contexts, including traditional and non-traditional settings. The School of Education has worked with an external consultant to develop the preliminary proposal. Congratulations to Interim Dean Gaoyin Qian and CLLSE Chair Janet DeSimone and faculty for reaching this important milestone.

  • New Certificate Programs: I am pleased to report that progress continues to be made on the implementation of new certificate programs to meet regional workforce needs and enhance revenue opportunities through shared partnerships with the academic schools. This is part of the recommendation made by the Taskforce on Re-imagining the School of Continuing and Professional Studies (SCPS) established by the Provost in spring 2019, and co-chaired by SCPS Dean Jane MacKillop and Economic and Business department chair, Dene Hurley. A total of 34 certificate programs were recommended by the taskforce for phased implementation over the course of the next two and half years. Five new certificate programs have now been completed and will be rolled out in spring and summer 2020: Human Resource Management (aPHR Certification, formerly SHRM), Restorative Justice & Nonviolent Conflict Resolution & Human Rights, Certified Dementia Practitioner (CDP), Certificate in Organizational Leadership, and Emergency Medical Technician. The last two are not in the original list of 34 certificates but emerged from new external demand based on the needs of industry. Kudos to SCPS and the department chairs who have worked closely together to address the need for quality credentials to meet growing workforce needs in the region and further position Lehman College as a critical player in this domain.
  • The process for AY 2020-2021 Student Technology Fee Proposals was launched during the month. As in previous years, the division of Academic Affairs and Student Success will develop Tech Fee proposals in a collaborative approach, where departments, Deans Offices, and the Office of the Provost work together to prioritize Tech Fee proposals with student input. The Divisions of Finance and Administration, Institutional Advancement, and Information Technology will also follow the same procedures from past years.  The theme of the 2020-2021 Student Technology Fee proposals is civic engagement and community service. Proposals incorporating these concepts into curricular and co-curricular learning initiatives are encouraged and will be given priority consideration by the Tech Fee Committee. Please note that an online process has been established for submitting tech fee requests. The online proposal form can be found on Lehman 360/One Access. For your reference, sample copies of the Tech Fee proposal form and budget spreadsheet are posted on the Technology Fee website. Vice President Ron Bergmann is coordinating this initiative.
  • Vice President Reine Sarmiento presented the College’s Fall 2019 Enrollment Report to the Faculty Personnel and Budget (FP&B) meeting held on October 29, 2019. Here is how we performed compared to several other CUNY institutions:


Fall 2018 Final

Fall 2019 Final

Difference #

Percentage +/-




















Less than 1%

John Jay










Medgar Evers





NY City Tech








































KCC (in progress)





LAGCC (in progress)










  • While we exceeded our enrollment target and ranked among the top three CUNY senior colleges in enrollment growth, the Enrollment Report showed that we were 105 students shy of achieving the number of registered students for both new non- SEEK Freshmen and new graduate students for the year compared to the previous year. We achieved our targets for new SEEK Freshmen, new transfer, undergraduate readmit, and ACE program. Kudos to Vice President Sarmiento and her team, our school deans and department chairs, as well as other members of the college community who participated in this fall’s recruitment and retention efforts for a job well done!


  • EVC and University Provost José Luis Cruz hosted the Fall 2019 Deans’ Council meeting of the NYC LSAMP (Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation) Alliance held on October 16 at CUNY Central. The meeting was chaired by Provost Nwosu who serves as Principal Investigator of the NSF-funded $4.2 million multi-year program designed to broaden minority participation in the STEM. NYC LSAMP is comprised of 12 participating CUNY institutions (Bronx Community College, Guttman Community College, Hostos Community College, Baruch College, Brooklyn College, City College of New York Grove School of Engineering, College of Staten Island, Lehman College, New York City College of Technology, Medgar Evers College, Queens College, and Hunter College). Interim Dean Pamela Mills of the School of Natural and Social Sciences provided an overview of the program, while Lehman’s Laura Oliveira, who serves as Project director, provided the annual report on the program’s first year of implementation, and responded to questions from members of the Deans’ Council. More than 130 students with strong interest in pursuing STEM majors and related fields have participated in the program since its inception. Other co-PIs of the project include: Scott Evenbeck, President, Guttman College, Gilda Barabino, Dean of Engineering, CCNY-Grove School of Engineering, Sarah Bonner, Professor, Hunter College, and Gustavo Lopez, Professor at Lehman College.

  • Congratulations to Dr. Niki Fayne and Dr. Anne Rothstein, School of Education, for receiving a U.S. Education Department grant in the amount of $5.4 million to support their project titled Lehman Urban Teacher Education-STEM: Teacher Quality Partnership with Micro-credentialing in Computer Science. The award is for a 5-year period.

  • Enrollment Management and Career Exploration and Development Center (CEDC) received a $50,000 grant from CUNY. The grant will support a new Career Ready Freshman Initiative focused on Lehman’s freshmen population and introducing National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) competencies to them early in their educational journey. These competencies are: Critical Thinking/Problem-solving, Oral/Witten Communication, Teamwork/Collaboration, Digital Technology, Leadership, Professionalism/Work Ethic, Career Management, and Global/Intercultural Fluency. CEDC director Bascillia Toussaint and Senior Director of Academic Retention Programs Althea Forde are Co-Principal Investigators on the grant.

  • The Office of Research and Sponsored Programs (ORSP) announced the opening of the Grants Proposal System for Cycle 51 of the PSC-CUNY Research Awards Program. The deadline for submission of applications by faculty is Sunday, December 15, 2019.

  • EVC Cruz announced the appointment of Dr. Tamera Schneider to the position of Associate Vice Chancellor and University Vice Provost for Research, effective November 18, 2019.

  • At the request of the Provost, ORSP completed the development, in collaboration with school deans and other stakeholders, of the Indirect Cost (IDC) Recovery Plan draft proposal for grants and contracts at Lehman College. This plan is informed by the low net recoveries on grants and contracts administered through the Research Foundation of CUNY along with a reduction of our federally negotiated indirect cost rate from 65% of modified total direct costs to 59% of personnel costs only. At this time, Lehman College is not generating enough recovery from grants and contracts to sustain a robust research enterprise or support pilot initiatives to strengthen student and faculty success at the institution. The IDC Plan is intended to address this gap. In the coming months, the draft Plan will be presented by ORSP director Brandon Bagerly to various campus stakeholder groups for additional input before its implementation.

  • Institutional Advancement initiated a series of planning meetings to begin engagement with each of our deans on issues related to funding priorities, alumni engagement, grant writing and media planning. The meetings will continue through the academic year. An advancement training session will be scheduled for deans, chairs and directors of centers during the week of January 20, 2020.

  • I am pleased to report that, with the President’s approval, the summer/winter incentive allocations generated from the summer 2018 and winter 2019 semesters were disbursed to schools and academic departments on October 22. Total incentive funds allocated for this period amount to $201,068 for fiscal year 2020 and it is based on a fixed incentive amount per FTE. The Office of Budget and Planning in the Division of Administration and Finance has disbursed these funds to the respective departmental OTPS accounts. As a reminder, incentive funds are tax-levy resources and as such, must follow all State and CUNY spending regulations. Schools and departments were requested to refer to the “CUNY All Funds Expense Matrix” for guidelines related to tax-levy purchases. In addition, as I communicated during the October 29 FP&B meeting, all allocated incentive funds must be spent by June 30, 2020.
  • CUNY’s new Executive Vice Chancellor and Chief Operating Officer Hector Batista paid an official visit to Lehman College on October 1, and met separately with President Lemons, members of the President’s Cabinet, and the Student Government Association, among others. In his meeting with Cabinet, he discussed his new role at CUNY and shared information on the initiatives his office is focused on addressing at CUNY to support the university’s mission: HR, Procurement, CUNY First, Financial processes, and Facilities, including deferred maintenance.

  • Joined President Lemons on October 2 at CUNY Central for the monthly President’s Student Success Roundtable, a collaboration with John Jay College, City College, and Queens College to share best practices on student success among the four colleges. John Jay College President Karol Mason coordinates the Roundtable.

  • Represented President Lemons at the October 28 Board of Trustees meeting held at CUNY Central.

  • EVC Cruz accepted the recommendation of Chief Academic Officers (CAOs) of the CUNY consortia institutions of the Ph.D. program in Nursing housed at the Graduate Center for an external review of the program. The review, which will be coordinated by Hunter College, will assess program demand, program needs, resource support, role of consortia members, program marketing, and identification of research partners. In the meantime, the Graduate Center has placed a moratorium on the admission of new students to the program effective immediately pending the outcome of the review. Current students enrolled in the program will continue to receive full support from consortia institutions until their graduation. The consortia institutions are Lehman College, Hunter College, College of Staten Island, and the Graduate Center.

  • Participated in the CUNY Academic Council meeting of Chief Academic Officers on held on October 10 at the Central office.

  • Held conference call on October 18 with Brooklyn College and Queens College Chief Academic Officers (Anne Lopes and Elizabeth Hendrey respectively) to discuss a CUNY 20/20 Proposal, a proposed partnership between and among the three institutions to advance workforce entry through strengthened preparation in Speech-Language and Hearing Sciences Education. The colleges are seeking funding to renovate existing space and update technology for speech-language pathology and audiology programs. Vice President Rene Rotolo, Administration and Finance and Interim Dean Elin Waring, School of Health Sciences, Human Services, and Nursing, joined the call.

  • Joined the Bronx Transfer Affinity Group (BTAG) Chief Academic Officers on October 10 at CUNY Central to launch the commencement of BTAG-2, aimed at further strengthening the community college student transfer experience to Lehman College. Chief Academic Officers from Lehman, BCC, Hostos, and Guttman, as well as BTAG’s newest member, BMCC (Borough of Manhattan Community College) were in attendance with their teams and also spoke at the event. Vice President Reine Sarmiento moderated the event, which was also attended by EVC Cruz. A key outcome of BTAG-2 is a Faculty Summit scheduled for spring 2020 and designed to enhance faculty awareness and engagement with the transfer process.

  • Participated in the quarterly call meeting of the AASCU Student Success Pilot Cohort held on October 7 to review our draft student success KPIs, among other items. Members of the Lehman team included Jonathan Gagliardi, Richard Finger, Bascillia Toussaint, Karin Beck, Maria Camaj, Stanley Bazile, Michael Goldberg, and Yajaira Alvarez. AASCU team included Bao Le, Cameron Smither, and Janelle Mahone. Lehman is one of six institutions first selected in spring 2019 by AASCU to participate in a 15-month Collaborative on Student Success, which has now been extended through 2021. The project’s goal is refine and validate an institutional transformation process that advances students’ success through information sharing and data exchange. The Lehman team has identified two focus areas for the project:

    • Academic Readiness and Pedagogical Innovation, which includes investing in initiatives to expand active learning, digital learning, and online learning.

    • Advising, which includes investing in initiatives that support students’ transitions into Lehman from undergraduate to graduate, enhancing the students’ experiences during their time at Lehman, as well as strengthening their career readiness and workforce outcomes.

  • Participated in the CUNY Academic Council meeting of chief academic officers held on October 10 at the Central office.

  • Participated in the CUNY Chief Academic Officers Sub-committee on Academic and Resource Planning held at the School of Labor and Urban Studies on October 31.

  • Participated in the October 10 meeting of the Board of Directors of the National Association of Chief Academic Officers (ACAO) as a member of the board. Also participated in the monthly meeting of the Membership and Communications Committee as a member.

  • Participated in the American Council on Education (ACE) Council of Fellows Professional Development Committee monthly meeting held on October 25 as a member.

  • Provided opening remarks at the meeting of the New York State Department of Education (NYSED) Regents Early Childhood Blue Ribbon Committee held at the East Dining Room on October 17. Dr. Zoila Morell, Associate Professor Early Childhood Education in the School of Education, who serves on the committee, coordinated the event, which was also attended by President Lemons. NYSED Regents Young and Reyes participated in the all-day meeting at Lehman.
  • Joined President Lemons, General Counsel Bridget Barbera, and Chief Diversity Officer Dawn Ewing-Morgan on October 8 for a Labor Management Meeting with the Lehman College Chapter of PSC led by Robert Farrell.

  • Participated in the HEO Screening meeting held on October 8.

  • Joined the Department of Social Work in their faculty meeting held on October 30 as part of my fall 2019 meetings with academic departments.

  • Participated in several planning meetings (jointly and individually) with Gladys Maldoon, Maria Camaj, Jonathan Gagliardi, and Dr. Sal Rinella during the month for the kick-off events regarding the development of the 2020-2025 Strategic Plan.

  • Attended the Academic Assessment Council meeting held on October 15, and spoke on campus progress to address strengthening the infrastructure for assessment as well as respond to the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE) Report due on March 1, 2020.

  • Joined President Lemons on October 16 to charge the committee appointed to develop the guidelines for the Lehman Chairs of Excellence. Dr. Pam Mills and Dr. Nancy Dubetz are co-chairs of the committee.

  • Facilitated a 3-hour New Department Chair Workshop on October 28 in the President’s Conference Room. The interactive workshop was designed by the Division of Academic Affairs and Student Success to assist faculty elected as department chair to acquire the tools for becoming an effective academic manager and leader. The following new department chairs attended the workshop: Melissa Brown (Art), Betrade Ngo-Ngijol-Banoum (Africana Studies), Teresita Levy (Latin American and Latino Studies), Daniel Fernandez (Languages and Literature), and Diana Battipaglia (Music, Multimedia, Dance, and Theater). Ms. Deborah Rhem-Jackson and Ms. Maria Camaj in the Office of the Provost provided technical support for the workshop, which was also attended by Ms. Alison Abreu, Faculty Development Specialist.  

  • Attended the college’s community panel discussion on Making Sense of the Census on October 30. Panel members included: New York State Assembly member Marcos A. Crespo, José Higuera Lopez, Deputy Director, CUNY Mexican Studies Institute, Jennifer Laird, Assistant Professor, department of Sociology, and Maria E. Matos, Partnership Specialist, with Bronx Area New York Regional Census Center. David Charcape, Chair, Lehman College Census Committee and Kassandra Montes, SGA Vice President for Internal Affairs and a Philosophy Major, moderated the event, which was well attended by many students, faculty, staff, and administrators. President Lemons provided opening remarks.  

  • Joined President Lemons and several campus leaders to welcome Ms. Kommareddi Madhuri, new State Director of Workforce, on her maiden visit to Lehman College on October 22. Following a formal presentation of Lehman’s positioning relative to regional workforce needs, Ms. Madhuri took time to visit Lehman’s facility at CUNY on the Concourse.

  • Provided welcome remarks at Lehman’s Global Gala event held at the Villa Barrone on Throgs Neck Expressway in The Bronx on October 24 to celebrate the accomplishments of our study abroad programs. More than $14,000 was raised at the event attended by many students, faculty, staff, administrators, and friends of the college. Also honored at the event with distinguished service awards were:

    • T.J. English, New York Times Best-selling author and Journalist
    • Marie Marianetti and Yuri Gorokhovich, Professors at Lehman College
    • Jaci Maurer, Director of the Childcare Center at Lehman College
    • Cyrille Njikeng, Executive Director, CUNY University Student Senate
  • Continued 1:1 meetings with President Lemons

  • Participated in the October 9 President’s Cabinet meeting.

  • Participated in the October 16 meeting of the Governance Committee of the College Senate.

  • Held 1:1 meeting on October 30 with Student Government Association President (SGA) President Tarialy Hernandez and Vice President Jose Acevedo; also held 1:1 meetings with a number of other students during the month.

  • Participated in the Faculty Personnel and Budget (FP&B) meeting held on October 29, provided the Provost’s Report, and chaired the meeting on behalf of the President.

  • Held 1:1 lunch meeting with Professor Ira Bloom to discuss MSCHE and related matters.

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

  • 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; Vice Provost Vincent Prohaska, International Programs and Community Engagement Executive Director Teresita Levy.

  • Held Provost/Deans’ Council (PDC) weekly meetings on October 3, 10, 17 and   31 to discuss strategic and operational matters. 
  • Met with the Associate Provost Search Committee on October 7 to formally charge the committee, and acquaint it with the expectations and timelines. The search committee is co-chaired by Chief of Staff Melissa Kirk and Associate Dean Serigne Gningue in the School of Education. Ms. Dawn Ewing-Morgan, Chief Diversity Officer also attended the meeting and provided information to the committee about policies and processes.

  • There are currently 24 active faculty searches underway. During October two (2) of the searches were approved for on-campus interviews; six (6) searches were approved to conduct pre-campus interviews and the remaining searches are in the initial stages of recruiting (approval and/or posting of job description, awaiting applications and/or CV review). 
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.