Accuracy • Independence • Integrity

October 22, 2016   |   Ithaca, NY


Letter to the Editor: Faculty criticizes civic engagement efforts

We are deeply distressed by the direction the college has taken with regard to civic engagement, which was ostensibly a cornerstone of IC 20/20. All of us have devoted much of our careers here at IC to promoting and nurturing community-based learning. The administration has publicly endorsed the idea of community-based learning but has never adequately supported programs. For example, they hired a director for the Office of Civic Engagement 2 years ago who has another full-time job, and they have not fully recognized the extensive efforts of the Faculty Director of Service-Learning, Patricia Spencer, who is prematurely resigning from the College at the end of this semester, because of the administration’s treatment of her during the contract negotiation process for the coming year. This is a tangible loss for our campus community. Nor have they done anything meaningful to change the institution’s profile on risk assessment, which means that there are a lot of community-based learning experiences that just can’t happen. Meaningful engagement with the diverse community that surrounds Ithaca College could be one way that the college enhances the education of its students. It is a pity that the leadership of the institution does not have the vision for making this happen.

Michael Smith, Associate Professor, History/Environmental Studies
Belisa Gonzalez, Director, Center for the Study of Culture, Race, and Ethnicity
Amy Frith, Associate Professor, Health Promotion and Physical Education
Anthony DiRenzo, Associate Professor, Writing
Elizabeth Simkin, Associate Professor, Performance Studies
Nicholas Walker, Associate Professor, Performance Studies
Tom Pfaff, Director, Honors Program
Alicia Swords, Associate Professor, Sociology