CSI governance under attack, president retires – The Banner Newspaper


President insisted on plan despite widespread opposition

By: Angelina Salvador

William J. Fritz is no longer president of CSI. Under fire from professors for his governance plan, Fritz may have lost the support of the board. https://www.csi.cuny.edu/about-csi/president-leadership/office-president/biography

Staten Island College President William J. Fritz has announced his retirement effective today. He released a statement earlier today.

“I am writing to you today to announce my retirement at the end of this calendar year,” said former President Fritz. “A decision that I have repeatedly delayed over the past two years at the request of the Chancellor to work on issues which I believe are critical to the future and long term success of our institution.”

The governance plan had never had the support of the faculty, which had already been in place for some time.

On October 4, the referendum results fell. “In a recent referendum in which half of the teaching staff participated, 87% voted no. This is a resounding rejection of the governance plan proposed by the president. said Professor Lara Saguisag. “This should be the end of the story.”

A letter from New York State AAUP acknowledged the situation that occurs between the faculty and the president. “The college and university governance plan sets out the responsibilities of faculty and administration and, as such, should be drafted by both parties. It is not an acceptable practice for a quorum president to write this document without significant faculty input and approval. “

Face to face maintenance with President Fitz and David Pizzuto, the Acting Director of Communications, the President discussed the governance plan. President Fitz explained that he wants to listen to the concerns of the faculty.

But, the faculty of CSI was concerned about the plan he had called for and the explanations.

Prior to his resignation, they continued to voice their opinions against the governance plan, which affects not only faculty and college staff, but students as well.

President William J. Fritz has proposed a new governance plan that calls on the three groups to remain speechless when it comes to making decisions in the college.

“At first glance, this appears to be nothing more than a conflict between administration and faculty / staff,” said Professor Saguisag. “It may just seem like these two sides are fighting for power and arguing over how the college should be run. But this is really a question that directly affects students.

Professors Susan Smith-Peter, Professor Lara Sagusiag and many others support CSI students and faculty. Professors don’t just care about themselves, but also about the students and their well-being in college.

There are already many issues in college regarding students experiencing financial problems, mental health issues, and the COVID-19 pandemic that has taken a heavy toll on students in the CSI community.

“The president has misplaced priorities,” said Saguisag. “He has spent so many resources to move this plan forward as the college is in the midst of its Middle States accreditation process. We are also in the midst of the pandemic. ”

“These are the pressing issues that we need to focus on as a college. But President Fritz continues to push this plan forward instead of giving us the resources we need to support our students. Said Saguisag.

As President Fitz continues to push for the new governance plan, many remain very concerned about what this means for the college. With the drastic opposing votes against his new plan, many faculty and staff go unrecognized. This also includes students.

“The plan gets rid of the budget committee and the curriculum committee. Said Professor Smith-Peter. “It creates a new committee structure where there would be a student affairs committee and a student course evaluation committee.

“But it’s not clear what they are focusing on and how the topics of the old committees will be distributed.” She explained.

We contacted President Fitz and his office, but received no response.

As of October 27, 2021 at 1:17 p.m., which had been sent to the entire CSI campus by President Fritz himself. There has been no advance on who will assume his position and what will happen to the new governance plan proposed by the CSI.

Former Fritz College President concludes his retirement letter on the future of CSI.

“My final belief is that the College of Staten Island has a bright future. It cannot fail in its mission to provide access and quality. It is located in an overly strategic region, with such a unique campus that it will succeed and take its rightful place as one of the stars of American public higher education. I call on the entire campus community to work together to make this happen. ”

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