In addition to making decisions on the 2014–15 budget and on faculty tenure/promotion cases, the Ithaca College Board of Trustees had the opportunity to continue discussions on the academic direction of the college, to hear from current students, and to meet with alumni and friends of the college during its recent meeting on the West Coast.
Honorary trustee Bob Iger ’73, the chairman and CEO of the Walt Disney Company, gave a presentation to the board on leading transformative change in complex organizations. Bob provided valuable perspective based on his experience, and left us all with much to think about as we consider how best to move the college forward.
Trustees heard from students in two plenary sessions focusing on academic excellence and the vision for the IC 20/20 strategic initiative.
Stephen Tropiano, director of the Park School’s Los Angeles Program, was joined by a panel of students in the program who described their experience combining internships and coursework at a study center. This was particularly helpful since IC 20/20 calls for increasing the number of study centers from two (London and Los Angeles) to four (New York City and China).
Via Skype from Ithaca, a panel of first-year students gave trustees an early glimpse of how the new Integrative Core Curriculum is rolling out from their perspective, reflecting on their experience in the Ithaca Seminars that serve as the gateway to the themes of the ICC.
The board met with a group of highly successful and deeply involved alumni from Southern California, who offered thoughts on how to improve even more our effectiveness in preparing current students for success.
We concluded by discussing initiatives intended to increase engagement with the college by alumni, parents, and other friends of the college. This is especially critical as we prepare to launch our comprehensive fund-raising campaign.
I returned to Ithaca feeling that the Board’s understanding of IC 20/20 has never been greater, and its support for the direction of the college never more enthusiastic. Understanding and energy on the part of the Board is vital for the success of the campaign we are planning. I look forward to continuing that momentum as we move toward the conclusion of another successful academic year.