At the State of the College Meeting Oct. 5, members of the Ithaca College Senior Leadership Team (SLT) shared important information regarding the college’s enrollment numbers and its financial health. These topics, specifically the college’s finances, the 2022 Cortaca Jug game and the Fall 2021 enrollment numbers and demographics have been at the forefront of the college community’s worries, which makes it very disappointing that only a small portion of the college community attended the event.
About 60 people — primarily faculty and staff — attended the gathering in person at the Emerson Suites, and the peak number of livestream viewers was 445. Considering that there are 1,473 staff and faculty employed at the college and 5,239 students enrolled at the college, it is disheartening that only about 500 people actually watched, or were present at the meeting.
Some of the information shared at the meeting was lacking and vague. While Tim Downs, vice president for Finance and Administration and chief financial officer, explained the logistics of how the 2022 Cortaca Jug Game at Yankee Stadium will be funded, he did not disclose how much money the college will be spending or how much money the college could make. There is a chance that the game will be costly for the college, but it is comforting to know that the Yankees and the promoter 5167 Sports Media will help the college earn money in return. The college community’s concerns cannot be fully put to rest until the college’s finances become truly transparent.
Much of the information that was shown on slides was glossed over or summarized poorly, leaving some reeling with more questions than they already had. The meeting ran for only an hour, and a lot of information needed to be shared, but true transparency and clear explanations of confusing financial, enrollment and academic concepts and numbers are necessary for the community to truly understand the state of the college.
Nonetheless, Downs provided a peek into the college’s books, and Laurie Koehler, vice president for Marketing and Enrollment Strategy, shared the Fall 2021 enrollment numbers and pointed out areas of enrollment that she is looking to grow.
However, the college only advertised this event on Intercom and via email. Not every member of the college community checks Intercom every day, or even their emails, especially students. If the college had promoted this event on social media and made it more clear that the SLT would be addressing areas like finances and enrollment, perhaps more students would have attended the gathering.