Recent editorials in The Ithacan have encouraged the Ithaca College campus to become more involved in campus decision making, noting that “the campus community desperately needs to transition to a mindset of participatory democracy, an institution that requires the full participation of every constituency” (February 3) and calling our campus to “take the chances that are offered to move the campus forward, and beyond that, create new ones to build a better campus climate” (February 10).
The Shared Governance Task Force agrees wholeheartedly with these calls to engagement and hopes that everyone in the campus community will get involved in our efforts this semester.
When working at its best, shared governance aligns all decisions with the strategic priorities defined by the campus community, empowers all members of the community to take an active role in creation and consultation, improves the decision-making process by engaging the diversity of the community, and creates a transparent flow of decision making. Effective shared governance processes are proven to help bolster community morale; strengthen communication; enhance the ability to recruit and retain students, faculty and staff; and improve the quality of our decisions as they will have been informed by a wide variety of perspective and experiences.
In October of 2015, the Board of Trustees passed a resolution asking the provost to convene a task force consisting of faculty, staff, and students to review shared governance at Ithaca College and make recommendations for improvement. Our group began meeting early this semester and, in February, we added representatives from administrative assembly to our membership.
We know that our work can only be truly effective if we get input from all of Ithaca College’s communities. To that end, we are actively seeking everyone’s input and involvement as we work to understand what works and what needs fixing in the current governance structure and system; analyze alternative models and approaches; and, ultimately, recommend changes that we hope will lay the foundation for lasting improvements in how Ithaca College’s constituents work together and make decisions.
The task force looks forward to engaging the entire Ithaca College community in this critical endeavor. We hope that our work together as a community will help Ithaca College find its vision regarding shared governance, and that the next system of shared governance we create together for IC is truly the best possible representation and reflection of the needs, values, potential, and aspirations of this incredible community.
Shared Governance Task Force Members
Christy Agnese (staff trustee)
Michael Buck (faculty trustee)
Jennifer Campbell (administration)
Charis Dimaras (faculty)
Doreen Hettich-Atkins (staff)
Kyle James (student)
Mary Knapp (staff)
Ciara Lucas (student trustee)
Chris McNamara (faculty)
Dave Prunty (administration)
Dominick Recckio (student)
Benjamin Rifkin (administration)