Marisa Kelly, provost and vice president for educational affairs, unexpectedly announced her departure from Ithaca College on April 16. The move by Kelly, who was pivotal in planning IC 20/20, the college’s strategic plan, raises questions about the college’s future.
Kelly took over the duties of Brian McAree, former vice president of student affairs and campus life, after he retired in August 2012. Since then, Kelly has supervised 11 administrators and has overseen the operation of about 150 student clubs and 25 sports teams as well as the employment of more than 1,000 student workers. Kelly managed to respond positively to this change and developed close connections with both faculty and student organizations while implementing IC 20/20.
The college plans to hire only one person to replace Kelly. But a new provost will have to form new relationships with students and faculty, all while adapting to the implementation of a strategic vision in which he or she has played no part.
The college should offload some of McAree’s former responsibilities from the provost position to facilitate enhanced collaboration between academics and student affairs.