In meetings held the week of Feb. 8, the Ithaca College Board of Trustees met to discussed the selection of a new president, efforts to further the initiative of developing a new shared governance system at the college and measures to improve diversity and inclusion.
The search committee for the next president, to step in following President Tom Rochon’s early retirement July 1, 2017, is on track to be named by mid-March, according to an announcement about the February meetings posted on behalf of Tom Grape ’80, chairman of the board of trustees, and David Lissy ’87, vice chairman of the board of trustees. This committee, which will include students, staff and faculty, will select and evaluate candidates, and the board of trustees will then have the legal power to appoint a new president of the college. The SGA has released applications for students interested in being on the committee, and Faculty Council recently decided its criteria for nominating faculty representatives to the committee.
The message from Grape and Lissy also gave an update on the shared governance task force initiative, which began researching shared governance here and at other institutions, and has begun to seek input from the campus community. The task force is expected to hold sessions open to listening during Spring 2016. The board of trustees is in full support of the task force, according to the announcement.facco
“We believe, as the task force and so many in our community do, that improving our ability to collaborate will make a meaningful and lasting impact on our culture,” according to the announcement stated.
In regard to diversity and inclusion initiatives put in place in the wake of campus protests regarding racial issues, according to the announcement, Roger Richardson, interim chief diversity officer and associate provost for diversity, inclusion and engagement, had given the board of trustees an update on the progress of the college’s initiatives and the trustees were “impressed with the scope and progress made to date.” However, the announcement did not detail what exact progress had been made.
The trustees also participated in a “powerful and interactive” workshop to provide national context to the issues the campus is facing, led by Belisa Gonzalez, associate professor and director of the Center for the Study of Culture, Race and Ethnicity, and Sean Eversley Bradwell, assistant professor in the CSCRE.
“This was our first step in our journey as a board to our commitment to a more diverse and inclusive Ithaca College,” according to the announcement stated. “We are grateful to all of those individuals across campus who have brought greater focus to our work together.”