The Ithaca College Board of Trustees held its annual May meeting May 14–15 to discuss the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on the 2020–21 fiscal budget and the upcoming academic year.
Ithaca College President Shirley M. Collado and Dave Lissy ’87, chair of the board, updated the college community via email May 19 about the discussions that took place at the meeting. The board met with members of the senior leadership team for its first virtual meeting because of the college canceling on-campus events in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The board expressed its support for the decision to reopen the college in person Oct. 5.
“Trustees feel that this decision by the president and senior leadership team is student-centered, responsible, respectful and supportive of the needs of IC students, faculty, staff and families as we welcome a new class of students to South Hill during an evolving pandemic crisis,” the email stated.
The board and senior leadership team decided to delay approving the 2020–21 fiscal budget until late June, the email stated. This will allow the board to have information about the number of students who will be enrolled at the college. The college moved its admissions deadline to June 1, the email stated. Last year, the board approved the 2019–20 fiscal budget at its May meeting.
Bill Guerrero, vice president for finance and administration, discussed the college’s operational and capital budgets and reviewed the different financial scenarios for the 2020–21 academic year. Collado has previously acknowledged that the pandemic will have an impact on the budget. Before the COVID-19 pandemic, the college was facing a financial crisis as a tuition-dependent college because of issues including lower enrollment and stagnant donations. Laurie Kohler, vice president for marketing and enrollment strategy, discussed her division’s work in admissions and retention at the college, specifically yield, demographics and recruitment.
La Jerne Cornish, provost and senior vice president for academic affairs, and Hayley Harris, vice president of the Office of Human and Organizational Development and Planning, discussed implementations of Ithaca Forever, the college’s strategic plan, and how the plan has been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Jeane Copenhaver-Johnson, associate provost for academic programs, discussed her work in contingency planning. Dave Weil, associate vice president of Information Technology, talked about his work in technology support. Dean of Students Bonnie Prunty explained her student affairs initiatives, the email stated.
At the meeting, the board expressed its condolences to those who knew Sue-Je Gage, associate professor in the Department of Anthropology, who died May 10.
“Many trustees knew Sue-Je through her exceptional work as a President’s Fellow, and we share your grief in her loss,” the email stated.
The board elected Baruch Whitehead, associate professor in the Department of Music Education, as faculty trustee; Casey Kendall, executive director of applications and infrastructure, as staff trustee; and rising sophomore Kalena Yearwood as student trustee, the email stated.
The board reelected David Fleisher ’91, Mary Opperman and Peter Taffae ’82 for three-year terms. Board members Michael Battle ’77 and Ellen Staurowsky ’78 ended their terms, the email stated.
The board also promoted 11 associate professors to professors. They are Arhlene Flowers, professor in the Department of Strategic Communication; Jack Powers, professor in the Department of Media Arts, Sciences and Studies; James Rada, professor in the Department of Journalism; Jonathan Ablard, professor in the Department of History; Elizabeth Bleicher, professor in the Department of Education; Cory Brown, professor in the Department of Writing; Cynthia Henderson, professor in the Department of Theatre Arts; Paula Ioanide, professor in the Center for the Study of Culture, Race and Ethnicity; Judith Pena-Shaff, professor in the Department of Psychology; Pearl Ponce, professor in the Department of History; and Brad Hougham, professor in the Department of Performance Studies.
Todd Lazenby, clinical professor in the Department of Exercise Science and Athletic Training, was promoted from clinical associate professor to clinical professor. Kathryn Caldwell, associate professor in the Department of Psychology, was promoted from assistant professor to associate professor.