This semester at the first All-College Gathering, La Jerne Cornish, interim President of Ithaca College, left many questions unanswered and barely informed the college community of the Senior Leadership Team’s (SLT) plans for the academic year. She welcomed back students, faculty and staff to the new year. While it was beneficial to hear from Cornish, it left some dissatisfied with what they heard. She discussed the strategic plan without actually discussing the next steps. How does the college plan to search for the next president? What actions will it take to further the strategic plan?
That being said, Cornish did let the community know more updates will be given Oct. 5 at the State of the College Address.
Cornish repeatedly expressed her plans to put students first and make sure that as a community, we continue to take precautions and stay safe. She seemed to have a positive outlook on the state of the college at the moment.
Why has the college chosen not to have students take COVID-19 tests on campus? There seem to be no strict quarantining precautions in place. Is there a plan in place if there is a severe increase in positive cases on campus? If Cornish and the SLT want the students to remain safe, why are faculty and staff not required to be vaccinated? Why does there seem to be a cutback on sanitization and cleaning of all facilities?
The hiring of Shadayvia Wallace as the new director of the Martin Luther King Scholar Program and the First Generation Program was an important and significant point to celebrate at this meeting. The previous president promised more inclusivity and diversity for the entire Ithaca College community, but this goal was not achieved in the short time the previous president remained at the college. What plan does Cornish have to continue diversifying Ithaca College? How will Cornish work to expand the community and educate all its members on the importance of diversity and being self-aware?
The meeting was a lot of fluff and a lot of promises with little to no actual action words. There was no plan outlined for any of the concerns the college community has expressed. Cornish inherited a lot of concerns, along with a very agitated campus community. As long as there is clear communication and honesty at the State of the College Address Oct. 5, the relationship between students and the administration could improve.