March 1, 2021
Ithaca, NY | 22°F

News

Board of Trustees discusses faculty and program cuts

The Ithaca College Board of Trustees provided feedback on the Academic Program Prioritization (APP) process and discussed the college’s financial health and enrollment strategy in its February meeting. 

In a Feb. 15 email to the college community, President Shirley M. Collado and Dave Lissy ’87, chair of the board of trustees, announced that the board met Feb. 11 and 12 over Zoom for its annual February meeting. The email stated that the board met with the executive councils of the Faculty Council, Student Governance Council (SGC) and the Staff Council, as well as with members of the administration, to discuss the return to campus. The board also held plenary sessions to discuss financial health, strategic pricing and the APP process.

Members of the Academic Program Prioritization Implementation Committee (APPIC) spoke about the recommendations for faculty, department, program and major cuts outlined in the draft “Shape of the College” document. 

Board members shared thoughts about the proposals in the document. The feedback period ended Feb. 15, and final recommendations will be provided to Collado and La Jerne Cornish, provost and senior vice president for academic affairs, to be approved by March 1.   

“Trustees were incredibly impressed by the work of the APPIC and grateful to the committee and the many campus stakeholders who have provided input throughout this process that is so very important to the future of the college,” the email stated.  

Many other members of the college community are resistant to the APP process. Faculty members, students and alumni have critiqued the draft “Shape of the College” document and voiced their opposition to the plan for the cuts.  

“There are major decisions and choices ahead, and we have full faith in the resiliency of the college and this community,” the email stated.

The executive committees of the Faculty Council, the SGC and the Staff Council met with Cornish and Jim Nolan ’77, vice chair of the board, to discuss the APP process, student-led initiatives, the campus climate and the significance of finishing the semester safely. 

Nolan and Wendy Kobler, vice president for philanthropy and engagement, also met with the Alumni Association Board of Directors to talk about the APP process. 

The Board of Trustees met with Bill Guerrero, vice president for finance and administration, to speak about the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the college’s finances and the endowment. Guererro provided updates on the fiscal year 2020–21 budget, and the fiscal year 2021–22 budget. 

The board will vote on the 2021–22 budget in its May meeting, an event it hopes to hold in person.

The board met with Laurie Koehler, vice president for marketing and enrollment strategy, and trustee Jeff Selingo ’95, co-chairs of the Marketing and Enrollment Strategy Committee, to discuss the college’s strategic pricing and value strategy. The board voted unanimously to adopt the blueprint for strategic pricing and value strategy. The blueprint is data-driven and aligns with the strategic plan, Ithaca Forever, according to the email. The email stated that this strategy will allow the college to better yield and retain students. 

The board met with Rosanna Ferro, vice president for student affairs and campus life; Christina Moylan, director of public health emergency preparedness; and Tim Carey, associate vice president for the Office of Facilities, to discuss the return to campus. 

“The amount of work, dedication and cooperation that so many members of the IC community have put into bringing students back for this spring semester is both astounding and impressive,” the email stated. “The board is incredibly grateful.” 

The email stated that the board met with Cynthia Henderson, professor in the Department of Theatre Arts; Chrissy Guest, associate professor in the Department of Media Arts, Sciences and Studies; Nicholas Walker, professor in the Department of Performance Studies; seniors August Bish and Emma Fruhling; junior Jessica Brock; and freshman Jasmine Rodriguez. They discussed how faculty members are conducting classes in a hybrid manner. 

The board also approved the tenure and promotion of nine faculty members, and it promoted five former professors to emeritus status. Julie Dorsey, professor in the Department of Occupational Therapy, was promoted from associate professor to professor and was awarded tenure. 

Risham Majeed, associate professor in the Department of Art History; Brooks Miner, associate professor in the Department of Biology; Megan Martinez, associate professor in the Department of Mathematics; Enrique González-Conty, associate professor in the Department of Modern Languages and Literatures; Carlos Figueroa, associate professor in the Department of Politics; Jessica Dunning-Lozano, associate professor in the Department of Sociology; Christine Kitano, associate professor in the Department of Writing; and Christin Schillinger, associate professor in the Department of Performance Studies, were promoted from assistant to associate professor and were awarded tenure. 

Fahri Unsal, retired professor in the Department of Marketing; Stephen Lahr, retired associate professor and chair of the Department of Physical Therapy; Asma Barlas, retired professor in the Department of Politics; Carla Golden, retired professor in the Department of Psychology; and Bruce Henderson, retired professor in the Department of Communication Studies, were granted emeritus status.      

Chris Palmieri ’96 was elected to the board for a four-year term, and the February meeting was his first meeting as a trustee. Palmieri is the president and CEO of the Commonwealth Care Alliance of Massachusetts, a not-for-profit health organization.

Alexis Manore can be reached at amanore@ithaca.edu or via Twitter: @AlexisManore