As we wrap up the semester, I wanted to say thank you for the hard work you have undertaken on behalf of the university and our students. I am grateful that I had the opportunity this semester to meet with the leadership teams in each school and all divisions. What struck me most at those meetings was the hard work and dedication of teams of individuals. The results of the work you do remain astonishing, and I am grateful.
I wanted to share with you a short video that was produced by our talented videographer, Zach Lyman, and our new multimedia producer, Sophia Timba, which focuses on our Fannie Barrier Williams scholars. As you may remember, ESL Federal Credit Union offered SUNY Brockport a $1.17 million grant to support up to 30 students with any unmet financial need. These students not only have the funds to live on campus and not worry about how to pay for their education, but they also get additional support through a dedicated Academic Success Coordinator, Jianna Howard, a 2017 graduate of SUNY Brockport. But don’t take my word for it. Hear from the students themselves:
VP Mike Andriatch and I are travelling extensively to visit donors and alumni this year, so that we can build on the foundation laid by this amazing program and continue to meet the needs of our students. A truism of fundraising is that donors don’t give to institutions that have needs; they give to institutions that meet needs. We meet needs. And I am confident that our fundraising efforts will offer a secure footing to a number of new programs that support our students and our community.
Our goal to be a sustainable and thriving university for the 21st century means that we need to invest as well as review expenses. For example, we have allocated $500k for classroom upgrades, including both technology and furniture, which the JPBC Instructional Technology and Classroom Renovation subcommittee will advise on. We have also established an asset replacement plan so that we are budgeting for larger expenses.
In the New Year, Cabinet and JPBC will be announcing a new call for Institutional Priorities funding, so if you have an idea that supports our strategic plan – to a be great university at which to learn, a university engaged with our community, a sustainable and thriving institution for the 21st century, or a great university at which to work – please do look out for the call. We invest in our university because we are a steward of place, and we will continue to be so over the next several decades and beyond.
Next week, we will have a finalist come to campus to interview for the VP for Administration and Finance position, and I hope you can come along to the open forum to hear more about this individual’s thoughts regarding our budget and plans for the future.
One other important event next week is our campus-wide Holiday Open House, from 3-5pm in the New York Room on Wednesday December 14, where we can gather to celebrate the end of the semester.
As a reminder, over the next few weeks, colleagues will have the opportunity to work with their supervisors on more extended telecommuting options, so do please talk with your supervisor if you are eligible for the telecommuting.
As we close out 2022 and look to 2023, may you experience rest, rejuvenation, good cheer, and the warmth of friends and family.