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July 23, 2019   |   Ithaca, NY

News

Faculty Council elects 2019 board

La Jerne Cornish, provost and senior vice president for academic affairs, announced at the May 7 Faculty Council meeting that Ithaca College did not hit its target enrollment numbers for the Class of 2023.

Cornish said the college projected to enroll between 1,619 and 1,630 students for the Class of 2023, but as of May 1, which is the day incoming freshmen need to submit their deposits, only 1,560 students enrolled in the college. Cornish said the college is projecting between 1,430 and 1,450 students for the coming year.

“There is no need for me to tell you that that will have an impact,” Cornish said. “And it will be a four-year impact. So, it’s a good thing we have a strategic plan and that the plan really was created to respond to such an event like this. We will be ready, but we will have to get things in motion quickly.”

During the meeting, the council also voted on a new executive leadership team for the 2019–20 academic year.

The council voted in favor of appointing Chris McNamara, clinical associate professor and clinic director in the Department of Physical Therapy, as chair of the Faculty Council. She was the only member nominated for the position.

Jana Waller, clinical assistant professor, fieldwork coordinator and chair of the Department of SpeechLanguage Pathology and Audiology, was the only member nominated for the vice chair position. The council voted to elect her for the position.

Stanley Seltzer, associate professor in the Department of Mathematics and current secretary for Faculty Council, was nominated to continue in the secretary position. The council voted to elect him as secretary for the 2019–20 academic year.

Members of the council nominated Lisa Farman, assistant professor in the Department of Strategic Communications; Chrissy Guest, assistant professor in the Department of Media Arts, Sciences and Studies; and Claire Gleitman, professor in the Department of English and Women’s and Gender Studies program coordinator, to be senators-at-large. Farman and Gleitman served in these roles for the 2018–19 academic year. Only two individuals can fill these positions, so the Faculty Council members elected Farman and Gleitman to serve in the positions.

Jason Freitag, presidential fellow in the Department of Provost and Academic Affairs, was the only member nominated for the senator-at-large position, which has the requirement of attending Academic Policy Committee meetings This position was voted on separately rom the other senator-at-large positions. The council voted to elect him for the position.

KellyAnn Robinson, manager in Student Accessibility Services, also spoke at the Faculty Council meeting to answer faculty questions about SAS.

Robinson said the office is changing the language of the flexible attendance policy and flexible assignments policy to encourage more conversation among students and professors about required accommodations. The policies will now be called the “modification in attendance policy” and “modification in assignment deadline policy.”

She said she is also working to add more detail to the accommodation letters that are sent out to students and faculty when a student needs accommodation with links to the policy.

“I think it’s an undue burden for [faculty] sometimes to try to interpret that,” Robinson said.

For practicums, clinicals and student teaching, New York State requires students to be present a certain number of days to meet the requirement to become a licensed professional in their fields. Robinson said students who cannot attend the required number of days to fulfill these requirements will be unable to obtain their licenses and, in turn, graduate. Robinson said she will be meeting with the Teacher Education Committee on May 13 to discuss an alternative that may require speaking to New York State regarding its licensing requirements.

“It doesn’t seem right to me that if you have a disability you would be excluded from something, and your disability is prohibiting you from whatever your goal is,” Robinson said.

Rebecca Plante, associate professor in the Department of Sociology and chair of the Faculty Handbook Amendment Committee, discussed planned revisions to the Faculty Handbook. Plante said she will be sending the policy on the process for promotion from associate professor to professor back to the Faculty Council for revision in Fall 2019.

She said the final section of the handbook, 4.17, which is about the process of amending the handbook and was updated last year, has not yet been added to the full handbook online. Plante also said she will be working with two colleagues over the summer to eliminate implicit and explicit bias in the handbook, and the group will report back on this in Fall 2019.

Jason Harrington, associate professor in the Department of Media Arts, Sciences and Studies, said it is important to identify policies being approved and getting put into practice to prevent another situation like losing the approved Intellectual Property Rights from 2015. He said it is more likely that other approved policies will be forgotten if someone is not responsible for updating the policies.

Tom Swensen, professor and chair of the Department of Exercise and Sport Sciences and chair of the Faculty Council, said the Faculty Council will use the approved Intellectual Property Rights policy that was endorsed by the council in 2015 to start discussion in Fall 2019 about re-examining the policy.

Nancy Pringle, executive vice president in the Division of Human and Legal Resources and general counsel, introduced her successor, Hayley Harris, at the meeting. Harris said that historically the faculty has not worked closely with human resources but that she plans to change that in her new role.

Ashley Stalnecker can be reached at astalnecker@ithaca.edu or via Twitter: @Ashley_Stal