The commencement of Ithaca College’s Faculty Council meeting Dec. 3 began with just that: Commencement. At the meeting, the council also discussed the First-Year Reading Initiative, the possible reactivation of the Benefits Committee and a potential prohibition of presentations by student organizations at the meeting.
Senior Erin Smith, senior class president, brought to the attention of the Faculty Council the idea of having a faculty member carry the signage in front of the school banners in the procession at the college’s Commencement ceremony. John Rosenthal, professor of mathematics, suggested nominating the individual based on longevity of his or her employment at the college.
Other ideas in order to choose the leading faculty member included having the dean of each school select the individual or obtain a vote from the Senior Class. In the interest of time, Smith ended by asking anyone with opinions not vocalized to contact her as soon as possible.
In her report, Marisa Kelly, provost and vice president for educational affairs, said while more conversations will need to take place about the First-Year Reading Initiative before the college can reach a decision, feedback received from the Faculty Council and across campus determined it will continue next year.
The faculty continued by discussing reactivation of the Faculty and Staff Benefits Committee. This former committee included a single faculty member from each of the five schools, as well as one member at large, all of whom served as liaisons between the Faculty Council and the Office of Human Resources. Over the years, it was difficult to find people to join the committee, so it has been inactive as a result.
Peter Rothbart, professor of music theory, history, and composition and chair of the Faculty Council, said the committee, composed of all new members, would be an extension of the Faculty Council. It would primarily be used as a means to propose new benefits, suggest changes and poll faculties at large.
“It’s an advisory council to us, really,” he said.
Another concern arose at the meeting about how to handle requests from student organizations that want to present to the Faculty Council.
Rothbart said he recommends that student organizational issues should be relayed to faculty, Intercom or specific chair members. He also informed the members of the committee that students may complain because their requests for promoting their club at Faculty Council meetings have been denied. Presentation time at the meetings will be reserved for students requesting Faculty Council input on issues.
“I’ve sort of shut that down,” Rothbart said. “I’m making a judgement that this is an advertisement vehicle.”