The Ithaca College Faculty Council went into executive session twice while discussing issues pertaining to the campus community at its Feb. 4 meeting.
The topics the meeting focused on included a follow-up discussion about an all-college faculty meeting that took place Jan. 30, as well as a discussion about honorary degree candidates and updates regarding the Integrative Core Curriculum task force and the faculty handbook, according to the Faculty Council agenda for its Feb. 4 meeting.
The council did not discuss anything during the open session. Chris McNamara, clinical associate professor and clinical director in the Department of Physical Therapy and chair of the Faculty Council, requested a motion for the council to go into executive session for a discussion about the all-college faculty meeting.
The Faculty Council passed the motion to go into executive session, which restricted the meeting to only Faculty Council members and lasted for approximately an hour and a half.
After the executive session concluded, the council briefly returned to an open meeting. During this, McNamara spoke about the value of having transparent dialogues within their executive sessions.
“For the minutes, I’d just like to report that Faculty Council started a dialogue on an open, honest, respectful dialogue on a broad range of topics, including communication with each other and with our leadership about race, and about budget and the future of the college,” McNamara said. “We’re going to continue to have these types of dialogues and there will be more information to follow.”
Following this, the council went into executive session again until the meeting ended. This executive session took place due to the council considering a recommendation from the Honorary Degrees Advisory Committee, McNamara said via email.
Jason Harrington, associate professor in the Department of Media Arts, Sciences and Studies, said via email that he could not comment on what happened during the executive session. He said via email that he is glad the Faculty Council decided to go into executive session and that he thought the Faculty Council had a good discussion while in executive session.
McNamara provided an explanation via email for why the executive sessions took place.
“Faculty Council goes into executive session when discussing strategy, personnel matters and other issues that must remain confidential,” McNamara said. “Faculty Council is committed to openness in decision-making, and we do not take lightly a request to go into executive session.”