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Accuracy • Independence • Integrity

November 25, 2020   |   Ithaca, NY

News

Dean searches postponed for 2020–21 academic year

Ithaca College will not conduct dean searches for the School of Music, School of Business and the Roy H. Park School of Communications in the 2020–21 academic year because of the ongoing academic program review. 

Initial dean searches for the School of Music, School of Business and the School of Communications began in October 2019. Karl Paulnack, former dean of the School of Music, and Diane Gayeski, former dean of the School of Communications, stepped down at the end of the 2019–20 academic year. Sean Reid, former dean of the School of Business, left the college over the summer to become the provost and senior vice president for academic affairs at Providence College in Providence, Rhode Island. 

La Jerne Cornish, Ithaca College provost and senior vice president for academic affairs, announced at the Faculty Council meeting April 7 that the searches will be postponed until October because of the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on the college’s finances.

Dave Maley, director of public relations, said the decision to delay the searches for the rest of the academic year was announced at an all-faculty meeting Nov. 2. Cornish will be meeting with current and interim deans to determine how the administrative structures of every school can be reorganized or reduced in light of the faculty cuts, Maley said. 

Keith Kaiser, Dana professor in the Department of Music Education, is the interim dean for the School of Music; Alka Bramhandkar, professor and chair of the Department of Finance and International Business, is the interim dean for the School of Business; and Jack Powers, professor and department chair of the Department of Media Arts, Sciences and Studies, is the interim dean for the School of Communications. These interim dean appointments were slated only for the current academic year. 

Cornish announced at the Faculty Council meeting Oct. 6 that approximately 130 full-time equivalent faculty positions need to be cut. Because of low enrollment, the college is reducing faculty positions to maintain the 12-1 student-to-faculty ratio. President Shirley M. Collado said at an all-student gathering Oct. 15 that departments will be reorganized and possibly discontinued as a part of the college’s Ithaca Forever strategic plan. The resizing of the college has been accelerated because of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

No decisions have been publicly announced as to what programs will face cuts. Cornish said the Academic Prioritization Process Implementation Committee and the Academic Prioritization Process Advisory Committee will be recommending which departments and programs should be discontinued or reduced by Dec. 31. Deans, faculty, program directors and department chairs will review the recommendations, and decisions about programs will be made by the end of February 2021.

Alyshia Korba can be reached at akorba@ithaca.edu