After three years as faculty council chair, Gossa Tsegaye, assistant professor of television-radio at Ithaca College, announced Tuesday he will not run for the chairperson position next year.
“This has been nothing short of a great experience,” Tsegaye said. “But, I think three years are plenty. It is very important for new, fresh ideas [and] a new, fresh face.”
The faculty council includes 31 members from across the college who meet monthly to discuss issues such as faculty benefits and grade submission deadlines. When necessary, the council initiates amendments to the Faculty Handbook.
Faculty council chairs are elected every year in May and serve as a liaison between the faculty and the administration. Tsegaye,
who has been on the council for six years, said the council chairperson is also responsible for keeping members on track during meetings.
Tsegaye is the first non-tenured professor and first black professor to be chairperson. He said he hopes fellow non-tenured faculty will be encouraged to run for the position.
“I just want to make sure that you have this information as early as possible so you can begin campaigning at the earliest time,” he said at Tuesday’s meeting.
Tsegaye said he informed the Faculty Council Executive Committee of his decision before he told all council members Tuesday night.
Stan Seltzer, chair of the mathematics department and former faculty council chair, said Tsegaye’s announcement did not come as a surprise.
“I used to be chair, so I know that it is a hard job,” Seltzer, member of the executive committee, said. “These past three years have definitely been challenging.”
Donald Lifton, council member and associate professor of management, said council chairs have historically stepped aside after three years for “new blood.”
“I’m not sure if new blood is needed,” he said. “Professor Tsegaye has been a veteran member of the council, and I honor his respect of tradition. I hope that his successor can rise to the same level of contribution that he has given us.”
Tsegaye said his experience as chairperson has been positive, and he plans to continue participating as a member of the council.
“I’ve been blessed with the trust from this council as a non-tenured faculty,” he said. “It has been a privilege and an honor to work with a group of people who are very dedicated and to have a common theme, regardless of difference of discipline.”