The Ithaca College Board of Trustees is hosting a celebration to acknowledge the conclusion of the IC 20/20 strategic plan, which was terminated early, on March 2 in Emerson Suites.
The plan was approved by the Ithaca College Board of Trustees in 2011 and was originally slated to conclude in 2020. It was announced in Fall 2016 that the plan would conclude almost four years early, in Spring 2017, to allow the incoming president the opportunity to create their own strategic plan. Following protests and campus-wide votes of no confidence in Fall 2016, President Tom Rochon announced he would step down as president in July 2017, and he listed IC 20/20 as one of his successes during his tenure.
According to the invitation for the event, the party will have a cocktail reception “featuring programs that illustrate the many aspects of IC 20/20 and how the initiative enhanced the student experience,” along with a dinner where those who worked on the plan will be honored by the board of trustees and Rochon.
Tom Grape, chair of the board of trustees, wrote in an email statement that the reception will focus on recognizing three areas of the plan: integrative learning, the Center for Faculty Excellence and civic engagement.
“While obviously, this doesn’t cover the entirety of IC 20/20, the basic goal is to feature some of the programs and work that illustrate the plan’s initiatives,” Grape stated.
Several facets of the IC 20/20 have come under criticism. As The Ithacan has previously reported, the Honors Program has extended to an all-college program, but has dealt with issues of lack of administrative of support. The Office of Civic Engagement was established, but has also dealt with staffing and support issues. A global learning center was established in New York City with ICNYC; however, a China campus was never created.
The ICC is in its fourth year; however, concerns remain among students and faculty about the availability of courses and the effectiveness of the use of themes and e-portfolios, among others. Some students in the class of 2017 have expressed concerns about graduating on time because of ICC requirements. The First Year Residential Experience is taking place in on-campus housing, but has suffered from low attendance.
The Center for Faculty Excellence has been established. IC Mentor Connect website was piloted in 2015 to enhance mentoring, and the Academic Advising Center was established. Diversity initiatives have also been rolled out since the creation of IC 20/20, including a satellite office for the Office of Public Safety and diversity trainings for faculty, staff and alumni volunteers, but those only came after major campus protests.
Danette Johnson, vice provost for educational affairs, has helped with coordinating the event. She said contributors to IC 20/20 task forces, including faculty and staff, will be going to the celebration to speak about the initiatives they were a part of during the predinner portion.
Diane Gayeski, dean of the Roy H. Park School of Communications, said there will be a student and two degree program directors at the celebration to represent the interdisciplinary degrees — such as Emerging Media — that were created for the Park School as a part of the IC 20/20 plan. The celebration will mark the completion of the plan and offer an opportunity to thank the people who helped develop the plan, Gayeski said.
“I think it’s a nice way to kind of step back and recognize how much really was accomplished in a pretty ambitious plan,” she said. “Many colleges have a strategic plan that is very focused only on one thing; this had a lot of moving parts, and a lot of people did a lot of hard work to pull these things off.”
Robert Sullivan, associate professor in the Department of Communication Studies, will present on his contributions to the Center for Faculty Excellence.
Establishing the Center for Faculty Excellence, a full-time faculty development center, was one of the 10 major priorities of IC 20/20. Sullivan has been a resident of the center for the past two years and has focused his research on systems for fostering undergraduate research across the college.
He said the purpose of wrapping up IC 20/20 in 2017 was to be mindful of the need of the next president to have their own strategy; however, the celebration is more of an administrative affair.
“It’s their party,” Sullivan said. “I believe that what the position of the college is is that the new president is going to come in and probably very quickly engage in developing a new strategic plan.”