February is a busy month as we hit the mid-point of winter and get into our stride with the Spring semester. Over the next two weeks, five provost candidates will be on campus, and I hope you will take the opportunity to participate in the virtual open forums and offer your feedback to the search committee so that they have as much input as possible in their deliberations regarding the candidates.
Later this month, Building a Better Brockport 2022-27 will be finalized. Updates have been presented to JPBC and will shortly be presented to Senate. Over the next few months, the final version of the plan will go before College Senate, College Council, BSG, the Brockport Foundation and the Alumni Association. I want to thank everyone for their thoughtful feedback on the draft document. You can follow the progress of our work on the Strategic Planning website.
Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion
The College’s CDO, Damita Davis, has charged the EDI Strategic Planning Committee with reviewing our current EDI plan and suggesting revisions to it. Their work will be completed by the end of the Fall semester and colleagues will get a chance to contribute their thoughts through the process.
A number of important EDI events will take place next month. The annual MLK Memorial Lecture will be held in the McCue Auditorium on March 7, at 7 pm. Dr. Yolanda Pierce, Dean of Howard University Divinity School, will be the guest speaker. The next EDI Brown Bag Lunch and Learn program will be held on March 25. Planning is also well underway for the Diversity Conference, taking place March 28-April 1.
I’m also pleased to announce that SUNY Brockport will be hosting Dr. Tia Brown McNair on March 3 and 4. She is the lead author of Becoming a Student-Ready College: A New Culture of Leadership for Student Success and From Equity Talk to Equity Walk: Expanding Practitioner Knowledge for Racial Justice in Higher Education. Dr. Brown McNair will discuss best practices related to inclusive excellence, equity-minded data analysis and student success outcomes. Our time with Dr. McNair will be structured like an AAC&U institute, providing an opportunity for chairs, directors, key committees and campus leadership to engage in training, analysis, and action planning related to advancing equity, diversity and inclusion efforts on our campus.
Our REOC High School Equivalency (HSE) students and faculty ended 2021 with some wonderful news: Fifteen out of 16 students who took the TASC Test in December passed. Kudos to the REOC faculty and staff for continuing to transform lives!
Campus Project Updates
There are a number of different projects on campus, some of which are more visible than others, and I wanted to take the opportunity to update you regarding progress.
NORTH CAMPUS INFRASTRUCTURE
The contractor to date has completed all underground utility replacements and 95% of new walks and planting beds. As weather permits, the contractor will continue work at the east side of Harrison. Work is expected to continue on the new granite amphitheater seating and shade structure and the remaining sidewalk installations and grading in early spring. Catenary lighting will be installed in the gathering area between Perry, Bramley and Briggs. Closely related to this project is an upcoming project to reconstruct Residence Drive. This includes replacing all underground utilities and moving Residence Dr. to along the railroad tracks and in turn relocating parking closer to the buildings. Work is scheduled to begin following 2021-22 Commencement ceremonies.
NEW CAMPUS DR. RECONSTRUCTION
The New Campus Drive reconstruction project, from Redman Road to Commencement Drive, is complete and is open for use. Despite the weather, the contractor is continuing with utility and road construction from Commencement Drive to the eastern most entrance of Parking Lot T. Using the usually dormant part of the construction season means that the project is significantly ahead of schedule. The contractor expects to have a large portion of the current work area complete and ready for paving this spring. Following Commencement ceremonies, they will resume the work toward Cooper Hall with completion scheduled prior to the 2022 Fall semester. In addition to New Campus Drive reconstruction, the Allen Loop parking area will be under construction. This project includes improvements in accessibility, increased parking, hardscape and landscape improvements, and utility upgrades. Work is scheduled to begin following 2021-22 Commencement ceremonies.
ATHLETIC TURF FIELD
Even though the field construction is delayed due to inclement weather, construction on the new ticket booth and restroom facility is continuing. The steel for the new Press Box is scheduled to come in late winter with the Press Box in the spring. When the project is complete, there should be opportunities for the campus to host additional external activities that both connect us to our community and offer opportunities for external revenue generation.
This project includes new restrooms, a new servery, structural repairs, HVAC upgrades and new finishes and windows. The Ballroom at Seymour Student Union went offline starting January 24. The project is expected to take approximately one year.
All of these projects focus on Building a Better Brockport, and are part of ongoing renovations that focus on accessibility and community building. Thank you for your patience during periods of disruption.
Faculty and Staff Campaign
As mentioned in the January newsletter, the Faculty and Staff Campaign: Celebrating Community is well underway. For more information, please take a look at the latest video featuring the three leaders of the campaign. If you choose to give a gift, it will directly impact the programs you’re closest to and the students who need our support most. You can sign up for payroll deduction or give online today. If you have any questions about the campaign, please contact Nicole Dumbleton in the Division of Advancement.
Did you know?
When inclement weather is predicted, a number of our facilities colleagues stay overnight on campus in order to be able to start plowing the snow by 4 am. Keeping up with the snow this winter has certainly been a challenge, and I want to thank them for their hard work in keeping the campus safe.
Whether you keep the snow clear, advise students, ensure payroll is accurate and complete, order supplies, organize events, or teach our students, you play an important role in Building a Better Brockport, and I thank you for your dedication to our campus and our community.