Dear Zainab and Nissim,
I am writing to follow up on the article in The Excelsior last week, “New Strategic Plan Outlining Crucial Campus Goals Is Underway.” First, let me thank you, Zainab, for covering the story. Second, thank you Nissim for your extensive comments at the Town Hall. If you have a copy of your comments, please send them to me so that I can be sure that we didn’t miss anything in our note taking.
I am writing specifically with regard to Nissim’s Facebook post that was reproduced in the article. I wanted to clear something up. Nissim correctly noted that faculty council chairs, department heads, and President Anderson did not attend the meeting and worried that “our concerns will fall upon deaf ears if faculty heads and administration have no interest in listening to our students.”
I facilitated this Town Hall at the request of the president. She specifically asked if she should attend this Town Hall and the Staff Town Hall. As her advisor on Strategic Initiatives, I advised her NOT to attend either one of the Town Halls (or any of the other scheduled meetings with stakeholder groups). I also advised the provost and the deans not to attend. My reason for this was to ensure that attendees felt free to participate in an open and honest fashion. Now I worry that the wrong message was sent. I want to assure you that I am listening to students’ suggestions, and I am passing them along to the president.
I am very impressed by our students’ seriousness of purpose and the good ideas that you are bringing to the table. Please know that you are being heard.
Tammy L. Lewis, Ph.D
Special Assistant to the President for Strategic Planning
CUNY – Brooklyn College