Having trouble reading this? View it in your browser.
Provost's Monthy Report
Provost's Monthly Report for November 2019

Dear Colleagues: In a few weeks, we will draw the curtain on fall semester 2019, and head for holiday celebrations to spend time with family and loved ones. While December marks the official end of the semester, it also marks the end of the calendar year. Working together, we accomplished quite a lot. We saw an enrollment headcount of 15,500 students this fall (a 3% increase from the previous year), representing the largest such enrollment for Lehman College since 1975, when CUNY’s free tuition policy was discontinued. We graduated 3,676 students in May, the highest graduating class in Lehman’s history, contributing to the largest increase in our six-year graduation rate over the last five years (11.9%), positively impacting our 90x30 goal of advancing educational attainment in the Bronx, and making us the only senior college in CUNY to have increased its graduation rate in each of the last five years. Indeed, an analysis this year by The New York Times showed that Lehman’s actual graduation rate was 9 percentage points higher than its expected graduation rate, giving us the highest positive gap among CUNY senior colleges. We received a much-awaited wonderful news in June: the decision of the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE) to fully reaffirm our institutional accreditation through 2028. And we reached a major milestone with the approval of funding in the amount of $75 million by the CUNY Board of Trustees for the construction of the new Nursing Building at the institution. These accomplishments and many more this year would not have been possible without the collective efforts of so many, and months of hard work by our college community--students, faculty, staff, and administration. President Lemons and I are deeply grateful to each of you for your dedication and continued commitment to our mission of transforming lives and igniting new possibilities in our students, and we look forward to the great work ahead of us in the new year.

Consistent with my goal of keeping you abreast of progress on our institutional goals and academic priorities, I am pleased to share highlights on key activities and initiatives during the month of November 2019.

  • The site visit for the re-accreditation of our two social work programs (BA and MSW) by the Council on Social Work Education took place on Tuesday & Wednesday, November 12 and 13, 2019. President Lemons and I, along with Social Work chair, Carl Mazza and HS2N Interim Dean Elin Waring met with the two-person team from Bowie State University, Laurel, Maryland and James Madison University in Virginia.

  • Continued work on developing the initial draft of the Supplemental Report requested by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE) regarding the college’s accreditation. While the college’s accreditation was fully re-affirmed through 2028 following a site team visit in April, MSCHE requested a Supplemental Report, to include the College’s Institutional Effectiveness Plan, as well as update on assessment of student learning outcomes related to academic programs and General Education, and an update on assessment of administrative and educational support units. The Supplemental Report is due to MSCHE on March 1, 2020.

  • Academic Assessment Council (AAC) held the fall 2019 AAC Workshop on Lehman’s Six-step Assessment Process on November 25. Interim Vice Provost, Dr. Vincent Prohaska and Dr. Evan Senreich of the department of Social Work facilitated the workshop, which was attended by more than 35 participants, including faculty and staff from academic and AES (Administrative and Educational Support) units from across the college. I was very pleased to join the AAC for this important convening.

  • Following feedback from the campus community, we discontinued the use of Taskstream, and began review of alternative assessment management systems, with plans to implement a new system in spring 2020. In the interim, the Office of Assessment and Educational Effectiveness is coordinating the use of an electronic DropBox system for assessment reporting.

  • Recommendation to make the Academic Assessment Council (AAC), currently an ad-hoc committee of the College Senate, into a Standing Committee, was presented to the College Senate Governance Committee.

  • Continued work on the development of the new strategic plan, with a meeting of the Strategic Plan Steering Committee held on November 25. At the meeting, co-chairs of the plan’s taskforces presented and received feedback on drafts of their work. The taskforces charged with developing various components of the strategic plan are focusing on the following eight priorities:

      • 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
    • The next meeting of the Strategic Plan Steering Committee, co-chaired by Provost Nwosu and General Faculty Chair Anne Rice, will take place on December 18.

  • In keeping with the college’s focus on student success, the Office of the Provost announced a $100,000 student success course redesign initiative to enhance student learning and retention and promote innovations in pedagogy through the redesign of core, foundational, and gateway courses. 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 conducted by the Office of Institutional Research.

  • Finalized plans to launch the Braven Accelerator program at Lehman beginning spring 2020. The program, which is a career pathway partnership between Braven, Lehman and CUNY, is designed to enhance soft and networking skills, which will result in strengthened career opportunities for students. Lehman is the first CUNY college to participate in the program, with funding support from CUNY. An initial cohort of 150 students is expected to enroll in the program during spring 2020. On November 13, Provost Nwosu visited Rutgers University-Newark, NJ, with Enrollment Management Vice President, Dr. Reine Samiento, to observe Rutgers’ Braven program. They met with leadership coaches/industry professionals who serve as facilitators in the program. They also met with former Braven Fellows and current students in a Learning Lab facilitated by a leadership coach, who utilized design thinking principles to engage students.

  • At the request of the provost, 46 student leaders met with 5 Academic Deans, the Senior Registrar, administrators from the Office of Campus Life, and the Executive in Charge of Student Affairs on November 20 to discuss the University Hour and related scheduling issues that impact students’ ability to effectively meet class obligations and participate in college governance activities. Following the discussions, the group agreed on a recommendation to establish/reconstitute the Lehman College Taskforce/ Committee to explore modifications to the course-scheduling grid/bell schedule. This taskforce/ committee existed the last time changes were made to the course scheduling grid/bell schedule. Students and deans believe the timing of the taskforce/committee is appropriate as Lehman College engages in its new strategic planning exercise.

  • The Lehman College Child Care Center was awarded approximately $12,500 from CCAMPIS to minimize the cost of child care for student parents and received approximately $21,000 from a NYS Allocation to further minimize the cost of child care for student parents. This fall semester approximately 66 PELL eligible student parents of Lehman College were supported by these grants.

  • On Nov. 20-22 the Office of Student Disability Services served as a host site for “Accessing Higher Ground,” the nationally acclaimed digital accessibility conference sponsored by the AHEAD (the Association on Higher Education and Disability). Lehman was the only CUNY site in the Bronx to host this conference focusing on media, web access and technology. Nineteen sessions were offered over three days providing examples of best practices in accessible course development, universal design, PDF, CMS accessibility, legal requirements, technical standards, adaptive technology, procurement, and stem accessibility. The event was free and open to the entire campus. Conference power points and audio files will be sent to all participants in January.
  • The President’s Cabinet approved the Indirect Cost (IDC) Recovery Plan for grants and contracts at the college at its November 20 meeting. The plan has involved engagement with multiple campus stakeholders and will be administered through the Office of Research and Sponsored Projects. The plan is informed by the low net recoveries on grants and contracts administered through the CUNY Research Foundation 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, which will be unveiled in spring 2020, is intended to address this gap and strengthen the environment for research and creative activities at the college.
  • On November 22, Kim Kendall, provided testimony to the NYS Assembly Public Hearing on Industrial Development Agencies (IDAs) and Local Development Corporations (LDCs) in her capacity as Lehman’s Director of Workforce Programs and a board member of CEANY (Continuing Education Association of New York).

  • Dr. Goher Murtaza, Director of Continuing Education, won the 2019 LERN International Award for his marketing plan, which focused on lifelong learning, at the LERN annual conference in San Diego. He also received the James C. Hall Jr. Exemplary Program Award from the Continuing Education Association of New York (CEANY), in recognition of innovative and effective programming and marketing activities that make a contribution to the field of adult and continuing education.

  • Dean Jane MacKillop was elected President of the Continuing Education Association of New York (CEANY) for a term of two years. CEANY serves as an advocacy group for the postsecondary adult learner and the professional development of its members.

  • Progress continued on the preparation of the Self Study Report (SSR) for the re-affirmation of accreditation of the School of Education by the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP). The Self Study Report (SSR) is due to CAEP around August 2020, while the site visit has been scheduled for April 25-27, 2021.

  • We received no objection from other CUNY colleges on our preliminary proposal to offer an interdisciplinary doctorate in education, with a focus on organizational leadership, development and change. Work on the development of the formal Ed.D. proposal has begun. Provost Nwosu held a meeting on November 18 with Interim Deans: Pam Mills (NSS), Elin Waring (HS2N), and Gaoyin Qian (SoE), as well as department chair Janet Desimone (Counseling, Leadership, Literacy, and Special Education), to begin discussions on potential collaboration across the three schools related to program development and implementation.
  • Participated in the CUNY Academic Council meeting of Chief Academic Officers on held on November 1 at the Central office.

  • Participated (via conference call) in the meeting of the CUNY Chief Academic Officers Sub-committee on Academic and Resource Planning meeting held on November 19 at the School of Labor and Urban Studies. The meeting continued previous committee discussions on creating seamless transfers for students across CUNY’s colleges.

  • Worked closely with the Lehman team of Vice President Rene Rotolo, Administration and Finance and Interim Dean Elin Waring, School of Health Sciences, Human Services, and Nursing to submit a joint CUNY 2020 conceptual proposal with Brooklyn College and Queens College to advance workforce entry through strengthened preparation in Speech-Language and Hearing Education. The colleges are seeking funding to renovate existing space and update technology for speech-language pathology and audiology programs that will help meet workforce development needs in the region.

  • Participated in the Presidents’ Student Success Roundtable at CUNY central on November 6, with President Lemons. Included in the monthly meeting are the Presidents and Chief Academic Officers of City College, Queens College, and John Jay College of Criminal Justice.

  • Held conference call with University Executive Registrar Vivek Upadhyay on November 8, at the request of EVC Cruz, to discuss Super Senior Policy Formulation and Process at California State University, Fullerton.

  • Joined the special conference call for CUNY Academic Council held on November 26 to discuss FY2021 University Budget Request. EVC Cruz presented and responded to questions on the University Budget Request, which can be found on the following link: https://www.cuny.edu/wp-content/uploads/sites/4/page-assets/about/trustees/meetings-of-the-board/JointCFAandCFPMAgenda120519.pdf.

  • Held Breakfast meeting on November 11 with Dr. Claudia Schrader, President, Kingsborough Community College.

  • Joined President Lemons in a meeting at the President’s office with CUNY Graduate Center President James L. Muyskens and Interim Provost and Senior Vice President, Julia Wrigley on November 18.

  • Participated in the American Council on Education (ACE) Council of Fellows Professional Development Committee monthly meeting held on November 22 as a member. Also, held conference calls and worked with Dr. Claudia Nelson of Coppin State University, Baltimore, to develop the program for the 2020 Annual meeting of the Council of Fellows scheduled for San Diego, Ca, in March.

  • Participated in EDUCAUSE/ACE Digital Transformation Survey Review meeting on November 25. The meeting focused on improvements to the survey intended to ascertain perceptions of chief academic officers in the nation around digital transformation. A similar survey was administered to chief information/technology officers. Dr. Laura Abruna, Provost, York College of Pennsylvania and former president, national Association of Chief Academic Officers (ACAO), also joined the meeting, which was facilitated by Mark McCormack, Senior Director, Analytics and Research as EDUCAUSE.

  • Participated in the Board meeting and Membership and Communications Committee meeting of the national Association of Chief Academic Officers (ACAO) on November 4 and November 6 respectively.

  • Presented an invited paper as part of a three-person panel of chief academic officers at the annual meeting of the Online Learning Consortium (OLC) held in Orlando, Florida, from November 20-22. The panel titled: “Do We Need the Provost to Lead Digital Transformation?” focused on leadership and institutional strategies for driving change at a college or university and drew lessons from the successful ACAO Digital Fellows Project (DFP) funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. The Digital Fellows Project involved 32 chief academic officers (which included me), 84 courses, 103 faculty members and 7,500 students across the country where courses were redesigned using adaptive digital courseware. Results of the pilot showed modest to significant improvements in student outcomes across the institutions as measured by student retention, reduced DWIF rates, and other metrics.
  • I was very pleased to join the following academic departments in informal meetings with faculty, staff, and students: Nursing (November 4); and Early Childhood and Childhood Education (November 20). The meetings provided opportunities for me to meet with faculty in informal settings and to engage and respond to questions on a number of strategic initiatives at the college.
  • Held Provost’s Team Strategy meeting with staff in the Office of the Provost on November 25.
  • Met with the Provost’s Committee on Re-entry on November 26 to receive and discuss the report of the committee established during the semester to recommend strategies for a well-coordinated system of college care and support services to assist previously incarcerated men, women and youth to successfully participate in college at Lehman. The group’s work is consistent with Lehman’s mission of social justice and expanding access and opportunity in our region. The committee was co-chaired by Dr. Penny Prince (Music) and Dr. Jane MacKillop (SCPS). Other committee members include Carl Mazza, Anne Rice, Peggy Conner, David Fletcher, Stanley Bazile, Dugeidy Ortiz, Jaye Jones, Bascillia Toussaint, and Gregory Harvey, who is an alum of the college. The committee’s work expands on ongoing faculty-led efforts at the college to support students impacted by the justice system in their academic endeavors.  The Provost will announce initial steps in early spring 2020 to advance the recommendations submitted by the committee.
  • Held several meetings with Interim Vice Provost Prohaska and Interim Assessment Manager Donald Sutherland to discuss MSCHE Supplemental Report and review initial draft of the College’s Institutional Effectiveness Plan (IEP).
  • Visited the new Library renovated facility on the first floor of the Library on November 26 with Chief Librarian, Kenneth Schlesinger.
  • The department of Nursing held the inaugural of Dr. Catherine Alicia Georges Nursing Research Conference on November 22. The annual research conference honors Dr. Georges, who is the recipient of the 2019 Living Legend Award of the American Academy of Nursing, the academy’s highest award, presented to individuals who have made superb contributions to the field of nursing.
  • Met with Lehman Alumnus Darian Worrell on November 6 (with Dr. Diana Battipaglia, chair, department of Music, Multi-media, Theater, and Dance). Darian is one of the most sought-after young baritones in the New England region and a recent winner of the Harlem Opera Competition.
  • Held meeting with Professor Laura Oliveira (Chemistry) on November 11 to discuss progress regarding the fall semester implementation of the NYC Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation (LSAMP), an initiative to increase minority participation in STEM.  Lehman is the lead institution of the 12 participating CUNY colleges on the $4.2million multi-year NSF grant. The other colleges are: Guttman Community College, City College, Hunter College, Baruch College, Brooklyn College, College of Staten Island, Medgar Evers College, New York City College of Technology, Queens College, Bronx Community College, and Hostos Community College. More than 130 students from across the partner institutions were involved during the first year of the grant’s implementation. Provost Nwosu serves as Principal Investigator on the grant (replacing former President Cruz), while Professor Laura Oliveira serves as project director.
  • Delighted to join President Lemons on November 12 for a reception for Ms. Rene Rotolo on her appointment as the college’s new Vice President for Administration and Finance. Former President Ricardo Fernandez attended the reception held in the President’s suite.
  • Participated in the Senior Staff Active Shooter Tabletop workshop held on November 13 at the college for members of the President’s Advisory Board. The workshop was hosted by Public Safety, with attendance by staff from a number of CUNY colleges.
  • Participated in the Auxiliary Board of Directors’ meeting held on November 18 chaired by VP Rotolo. Provost Nwosu serves as Vice Chair of the Board.
  • Met with Graduate Studies Director Richard Finger and Undergraduate Studies Director Laurie Austin on November 19 to discuss proposed changes to freshman admission standards, graduate programs’ outreach, and related enrollment matters.
  • Met with President Lemons, Vice President Susan Ebersole and Michael Kaiser on November 19 to discuss preliminary findings regarding the Lehman Performing Arts Center. Michael Kaiser is serving as consultant on ways to re-imagine and strengthen the center to further advance the mission of the college.
  • Continued 1:1 meetings with President Lemons. 
  • Participated in the November 20 President’s Cabinet meeting.
  • Participated in the November 26 President’s Advisory Board (PAB) meeting.
  • Participated in the November 6 meeting of the College Senate presided over by President Lemons as well as the November 14 meeting of the Governance Committee chaired by Dr. Joseph Fera, Chair, Governance Committee.  Earlier on November 6, the College Senate Governance Committee hosted an Information Session for the Chairs of the Standing Committees of the College Senate.  The meeting was facilitated by the Dr. Joe Fera.
  • Participated in the November 20 meeting of the General Faculty presided over by Dr. Anne Rice, Chair, General Faculty, and provided the Provost’s Report.
  • Held 1:1 meeting on November 18 with Dr. Anne Rice, Chair, General Faculty.
  • 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 November 5 and 19 and provided the Provost’s Report at both meetings.
  • 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, and IRB coordinator Leslie Unger.
  • Held Provost/Deans’ Council (PDC) weekly meetings on November 7 and 14 to discuss strategic and operational matters. 
  • Participated in the HEO Screening Committee meetings held on November 8 and 11  (with General Counsel Bridget Barbera, HR director Eric Washington, VP Rene Rotolo, and Chief Diversity and Compliance Officer Dawn Ewing-Morgan, who chairs the meeting).
  • Held Academic Budget and Resource Planning meeting on November 11 with School deans, associate deans, and Administration and Finance Vice President Rene Rotolo, HR Director Eric Washington, and General Counsel Bridget Barbera.
  • Met with Dr. Haiping Cheng, Chair, Budget Committee and VP Rotolo, and ORSP director Brandon Begarly on November 14 to discuss draft proposal for indirect cost recovery regarding grants and contracts.
  • Participated in the Joint Budget Committee meeting of the College Senate held on November 20 and presented the Provost’s Report.
  • Ms. Melissa Kirk, Chief of Staff, Office of the Provost, was appointed Assistant Vice Chancellor for Student Success at Antioch University, Kean, New Hampshire, effective spring 2020.
  • Provost Nwosu interviewed finalist candidates for full-time faculty positions in the following departments: Middle and High School Education and Economics and Business
  • Met with co-chairs Melissa Kirk and Serigne Gningwe on November 25 to discuss progress on the search for the Associate Vice President for Academic Programs and Educational Effectiveness. Semi-finalists’ interviews of 13 candidates were concluded during the month by the search committee.
  • Held several meetings with Chief Diversity and Compliance Officer Ms. Dawn Ewing-Morgan, to discuss ECP searches and transition issues in Academic Affairs. On November 18, met with the search committees for the permanent dean positions in Education, NSS, and HS2N to discuss and clarify expectations, process, and timelines.
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.