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Accuracy • Independence • Integrity

December 15, 2017   |   Ithaca, NY

Opinion

Secret committee meetings could undermine openness

The board of trustees recently approved a new faculty committee to “informally and confidentially” advise President Rochon on various issues.

At the Administrative Assembly’s October meeting, Rochon said his meetings with the faculty committee might also remain confidential. Thus, we may not even know whether or not he has met with the committee.

Having served on the President’s Advisory Committee on Diversity, I know that Rochon also receives confidential advice from other committees. However, neither PAC-D’s membership nor its meetings are “confidential” — in the sense of being secret — and I hope this will also be true of the proposed faculty committee.

I can’t see the purpose of secrecy, and I strongly believe that it would undermine the culture of transparency and accountability that has existed at Ithaca College for years.

Asma Barlas, director of the Center for the Study of Culture, Race, and Ethnicity