A Message from Chancellor Goldstein

October 30, 2012 | News from the Chancellor

Dear members of the University community:

We are in the process of assessing the physical and academic calendar consequences of Hurricane Sandy and its aftermath on CUNY campus facilities. At the same time we are very much focused on continuing to assist the City with emergency evacuation shelters at ten CUNY colleges. This preliminary update is intended to inform you of the overall situation at this point, as we stand with all New Yorkers in working cooperatively to help our City to recover from this unprecedented natural disaster. Executive Vice Chancellor and Chief Operating Officer Allan Dobrin is overseeing our overall collaborations with the City’s Office of Emergency Management, appropriate State government offices, and our campuses. The University will be closed tomorrow, consistent with the City’s closing of the New York City public schools and the shutdown of the transit system. Through the “CUNY Alert” system and the college and university websites, we are endeavoring to keep the University community—students, faculty, staff and alumni– advised of developments.

There are several CUNY campuses that are coping with significant challenges relating to the storm. Borough of Manhattan Community College suffered significant water damage at its main campus at 199 Chambers Street in lower Manhattan, including to its engineering plant, computer center, theaters. There is no power available at the current time. Thankfully, Fiterman Hall was spared. The University and the College administration are assessing the damages at our largest community college.

Kingsborough Community College in Manhattan Beach was very heavily impacted by flooding of its temporary buildings, academic center, cafeteria. As we all know, the campus is adjacent to the Atlantic Ocean. Further assessments will be made as we work to help the College “by the sea”.

Hunter College’s Brookdale campus, on East 25th Street and First Avenue, home of many of the College’s allied health programs, faced extensive water damage, including to its physical therapy facilities. The main Hunter campus at 68th Street and Park Avenue was unaffected by water damage.

Queens College’s roof was damaged by wind. We have received a number of reports of fallen trees on other campuses. Several campuses experienced power shortages and relied on emergency generators. We are working with campuses on a case-by-case basis on power shortage issues.

As of last night, CUNY was serving 1741 clients in need of temporary housing at ten CUNY colleges: Baruch College, City College; Hunter College; Queens College, Queensborough Community College, York College; Lehman College, Bronx Community College; New York City College of Technology; and John Jay College of Criminal Justice. We are also in the process of working with the City to provide shelter—primarily in our gyms and cafeterias—to additional “special needs” clients from the City’s health care and nursing home facilities. All of these efforts are being supervised by senior administrators at CUNY campuses.

In summary, we will continue to assess the damage, work with the City to assist people in need of temporary shelter, and seek to re-open the University when we can do so safely and securely. Thank you for your cooperation and support.

Chancellor
Matthew Goldstein