Kathleen Rountree, provost and vice president of academic affairs, has resigned from her position as provost effective May 31, according to a statement released by Ithaca College on Monday.
Rountree plans to take up a tenured position as a professor in the School of Music. Rountree will “fulfill the other duties of a faculty member on a 50 percent schedule for 2010-2011,” but she will assume a full-time job in performance studies after next year, according to her statement to members of the Deans’ Council.
President Tom Rochon said he was not surprised by Rountree’s decision to resign.
“The provost has been talking about this for a little while,” Rochon said. “This wasn’t born as a fully formed plan in her mind, but relatively recently it took the form of her desire to return to the faculty.”
Rochon said while Rountree had discussed her plans with him to leave, he said she did not give him many reasons in her statement last week.
Stan Seltzer, associate professor of mathematics and chair of Faculty Council, said he never saw signs that Rountree was planning to resign.
“The news was a surprise,” he said. “It was just not something that I was expecting.”
Greg Woodward, dean of the School of Music, was unavailable for comment.
Rountree’s tenure as provost was not without controversy. In November the Faculty Council asked Rochon to review her job performance, expressing concerns that she was not sufficiently engaged with faculty. She was a finalist for the provost position at Southeast Missouri State University in December but was not hired.
Rochon said before Commencement he will identify an interim provost who will serve in the office over the summer and the fall semester at minimum. The administration will form a search committee that will lead a national search for a new provost by January.
He said the provost has made a great impact on the college.
“When you realize that four of the five school deans, beginning next fall, were hired by her, that’s an enormous impact,” Rochon said.