CSI Drafts New Strategic Priorities & Goals for the Next 5 Years
By: Steven Aiello
Following a complex two year long process, and with input from students and faculty, CSI was able to construct a plan for its strategic priorities and goals for the future.
According to President Fritz, the proposed ideas for strategic planning reflect “how we want to frame our institution and frame the next five years.”
The process for drafting strategic priorities began in Fall 2015, when a new strategic plan was proposed at the Institutional Planning Committee.
Due to difficulties and budget conflicts, the planning process was delayed until Spring 2017, during which time, the existing strategic plan expired.
In February 2017, the IPC created six possible strategic priorities, and teams were formed to discuss potential goals for the campus. Discussions proceeded at the IPC for the following months with input from deans and College Council, culminating in a meeting to discuss the draft of the strategic priorities.
The meeting, held at the Green Dolphin Lounge at 1C on October 3, incorporated faculty members and students alike to discuss each strategic priority.
Ideas were deliberated at six individual tables, one for each respective priority.
The six priorities were student success, global engagement, borough stewardship, destination campus, scholarship-driven education and resource management, which are intended to ensure the best possible experience for students on campus and/or help make the most of students’ potential.
“When there’s that much opportunity, we need a plan to guide that [opportunity]”, remarked President Fritz.
Student success, which focuses on providing students with a better educational experience, proposed that CSI provide more opportunities to communicate on campus, such as a blog for students to voice opinions on.
Additional forms of registration were also suggested by members.
Global engagement, focused on familiarizing students with global affairs and incorporating global elements in CSI, and proposed a greater focus on embedding global engagement into the curriculum of CSI, in addition to encouraging international affairs on campus.
Further suggestions for investing in international studies and international students were also voiced. These ideas were proposed with the interest of keeping CSI a liberal arts and sciences college.
Borough stewardship focused on the relation and mutual benefit between CSI (faculty and students alike) and the borough, arguing in favor of improving relations.
Attendees attested that CSI had “great community engagement work”, but that it was “isolated.”
Catherine Lavender, a professor for the Department of History and meeting attendee, argued “the perception off of our campus is often not very accurate…a lot of people in the Staten Island community don’t know what happens on our campus and what students, staff and faculty do here.”
It was suggested that CSI enlist ambassadors, most likely through a new program, to visit high schools and discuss the benefits of CSI and what the institution holds.
It was also suggested that we change the name from CSI to “Richmond College,” the institution’s old name, as attendees claimed that CSI “lives in the shadow of CUNY.”
It was argued the name change would create a greater connection between campus and borough, giving CSI a stronger identity in the process, though the process would take an unknown amount of time.
Destination campus, refers to the overall look and feel of the campus to make a “destination” for students, which cited many pros and cons with the aforementioned looks and feelings of CSI.
Pros listed included the natural surroundings, general diversity and how CSI was more comprehensive than most campuses, while cons included student-faculty miscommunications, complex systems for completing tasks and poor transportation around campus.
More housing to increase engagement between student and faculty, and to improve campus pride through things such as alumni associations, were also considered to make CSI feel more desirable for incoming students.
Scholarship-driven education centered on providing students with more specific, higher forms of education and degrees or scholarships, was proposed to provide access to academic excellence through doctoral level degrees/classes, adding dedicated learning venues for higher level classes or doctoral level degrees and the potential introduction of associate’s programs.
It was also suggested that adjunct faculty be involved with these programs and that students on campus be engaged in these efforts.
Resource management, the final priority, focused on the control and allocation of campus budget and its resources.
Proposed ideas included using CUNY metrics for space allocation, reviewing previews against priorities to better align budget distribution, recruiting more interstate students through the offer of scholarships, improving partnerships with associate colleges, providing VIP and hourly parking, and being able to outsource resources, albeit only when necessary or appropriate.
Although the proposal to change the name “CSI” to “Richmond College” could take until 2018, all other strategic priorities and ideas are to be endorsed by the College Council this October or the following November.
A convocation is then scheduled for December, at which point CSI should officially have its Strategic Priorities for 2017 to 2022.