President's Office

Speeches & Communications

Dear Marist faculty,

As I noted at the recent plenary, I want to offer my thanks to you once again for your extraordinary work during the pandemic, from its arrival in March 2020 through the present day.  As I’ve gotten to know more of you, it has only become clearer that you share a deep and universal commitment to our students through your teaching, advising, and mentoring; your research; and your service in all its forms to this amazing College.  Thank you.

Last year, as you know, the College froze a number of open, budgeted tenure-track and term faculty positions in order to carefully assess the potential depth and duration of the pandemic and its impact on the College’s financial health.  Underscoring the need for caution was the fact that the pandemic arrived at a time when higher ed institutions like Marist were already facing long-term challenges and uncertainties.

To be clear, the pandemic remains a threat, and structural challenges and long-term risks of various kinds remain.  We must stay vigilant about the impact of these challenges on the College’s resources.  As we emerge from the pandemic, it is crucial that we engage in a collaborative and inclusive strategic planning process to address risks and take advantage of opportunities to position Marist to thrive for decades to come.  These will be conversations for future days.

That said, it is clear to me that we must address some important needs now, in advance of this longer-range exercise, so that Marist can continue to provide the very best education and support for its students.  These include refilling a number of budgeted vacant tenure-track and term faculty positions.  I am happy to report that VP for Academic Affairs Thom Wermuth and I have agreed to authorize 22 new searches in schools and departments across the institution, with target hire dates of July 1, 2022.  This will help us make significant progress toward restoring the 36 positions that are currently vacant or in step-down.  It is our hope that conditions will allow further progress in filling additional vacancies in the subsequent annual hiring cycle. 

The recruitment of so many new positions at one time also presents a once-in-a-generation opportunity to recruit, hire, and retain faculty with a diverse range of perspectives, experiences, and identities, especially faculty of color.  I look forward to active and focused efforts in every search to assemble diverse and broadly-inclusive candidate pools through exhaustive nationwide recruitment.  The recruitment of so many positions at one time also means that we must accelerate our work to retain faculty by continuing to make Marist a more equitable and inclusive place where all faculty feel a deep sense of belonging and appreciation.  In part, this will only occur if the goal of creating a more diverse, equitable, and inclusive institution is everyone’s work across the institution, and doesn’t fall disproportionately on faculty of color and other underrepresented faculty, as it too often does at institutions of higher education. 

Thom will be working with the academic deans to allocate these positions and to launch these searches as soon as possible.  Filling these openings will support your efforts to serve Marist’s students and community well into the future, give our students a wider range of courses to choose from, and alleviate, at least to some degree, the heavy service and advising workload you have been experiencing. 

I am pleased to announce this significant step, which will enhance the first-class educational experience we provide to our students.  Thank you again for all you do for Marist, and best regards,

Kevin

Kevin C. Weinman
President
Marist College
Poughkeepsie, NY 12601
(845) 575-3600
President@marist.edu