Dear Ithaca College Community Members:
The Ithaca College Board of Trustees regularly conducts reviews of the performance of our President, as is customary practice in all employment settings. Since this is the fifth year of President Rochon’s tenure, we are undertaking a more expansive process called a Comprehensive Presidential Assessment which will involve inviting input from representatives of the different constituencies which comprise the Ithaca College community. The purpose of this process is to highlight areas of positive performance and to contribute suggestions to improve the effectiveness of the work of the President in advancing the goals and mission of the College.
We are adopting the recommended best practices of the Association of Governing Boards (AGB), the national higher education organization that works with college and university governing boards. This process entails retaining an experienced academic administrator to serve as our consultant who will then conduct group interviews with various members of the College community, including representatives of the faculty, staff, students, alumni, community leaders, senior officers, and the Board of Trustees. These small group interviews will be conversations about the effectiveness of the work of the President in various contexts of responsibility, as appropriate to the particular interview group. These interviews are not intended to include a review of the strategies or policies of the College. The Board will use the input from these interviews to share with the President the perspectives of the constituent interview groups, to enhance awareness, to provide opportunities for the President to strengthen leadership capabilities, and to revisit priorities and responsibilities as necessary, all with the purpose of meeting the evolving needs of the College. None of the comments from the interview groups will be reported in ways that could identify the individual source. The results of this process will not be made public, as this is a confidential personnel matter between the Board of Trustees and the President.
The work of our AGB consultant will be overseen by the Board’s Presidential Assessment Committee chaired by Board Vice Chair David Lebow. Mr. Lebow will be communicating with the campus community regarding the process that has been used to identify the individuals who will be interviewed. The Assessment Committee will develop a schedule of constituent group interviews to be conducted by our AGB consultant, Dr. Douglas Orr, who for 15 years served as president of Warren Wilson College in Ashville, North Carolina. Dr. Orr’s bio is attached. The group interviews, each lasting approximately an hour, will take place at a designated site on campus on March 26 – 28, 2013. Dr. Orr thereafter will present his report to the Board of Trustees in executive session at the May board meeting.
As you know, the Board of Trustees’ primary responsibility is to ensure the ongoing vitality of Ithaca College and, among its principal tasks is to oversee the performance of our President. This comprehensive presidential assessment is being undertaken with the full support of President Rochon as he gives leadership into the future of Ithaca College. I offer my deepest thanks to each of you for all that you do for the College and the students we serve.
Chair, Board of Trustees
Class of 1980