Posted on behalf of President Thomas Rochon
As you know, last summer IC retained Huron Education Consulting services in an Effectiveness and Affordability Review to identify ways of reducing administrative cost, finding opportunities for additional revenue, improving service, and promoting efficiencies across the college. Huron is now in the final stages of examining our organization in light of best practices and benchmark information against other institutions of our relative size and composition. In early January we will receive a final report from Huron detailing their recommendations.
We have developed a process by which campus feedback will be solicited regarding the recommendations. An abbreviated visual timeline can be viewed on the EAReview site.
As a first step, we will divide Huron’s recommendations and the anticipated cost savings or revenue additions associated with each recommendation into sections that can be forwarded to the head of each unit associated with that recommendation. We will ask that they review and provide any comments they wish, offering thoughts on the pros and cons of the recommendations or perhaps formulating alternative recommendations by Friday, January 11.
All College Meeting
I will offer a summary of the Huron recommendations at the All College Meeting on Thursday, January 17. Beginning that day, the recommendations and any commentary written by the corresponding administrative units will be posted on the Effectiveness and Affordability Review website. This website will remain open for faculty, staff and students to review the recommendations and post any comments they wish from Thursday, January 17, until Monday, February 11.
In addition, meetings of the Faculty Council (on January 22), Staff Council (on January 24) and Student Government Association (on February 3) will be in part or in whole devoted to discussion of the recommendations and administrative unit responses. Members of the campus community are invited to give feedback to representatives of those bodies.
Open House Feedback Session
In addition, we will hold an Open House in Emerson Suites in the Campus Center on Wednesday, February 6, from 3-6 p.m., during which faculty, staff and students may rotate among stations in 30-minute segments to give their feedback on the recommendations. Each station will feature the opportunity to give feedback directly to members of the IEBC, and/or to drop off written comments in boxes that will be available at each station. All members of the campus community are invited to this Open House for any portion of the time period they wish in order to give their feedback and hear feedback from others. We will also meet with the Second and Third Shift staff to hear feedback in a meeting to be held at 10 p.m. on February 6.
The objective of this assembly of campus-wide feedback will be to thoroughly examine each recommendation in terms of pros and cons. We want to understand the implications of each recommendation as thoroughly as possible in order to identify the most promising recommendations for action.
IEBC Review and Prioritization
Once the feedback has been assembled from the units, the EAReview website, the Open House sessions, Faculty Council, Staff Council and the SGA, the IEBC will review each recommendation and its associated feedback in terms of its consistency with our mission and key strategic goals, its implications for the quality of our educational programs and services, its budgetary benefit, and the difficulty and time frame needed for implementation. For the duration of the IEBC’s review, the members of the IEBC (which includes members of the faculty, administrative staff and senior leadership) will be joined by two students and two staff members.
Based on their review, the IEBC will submit a set of recommendations to me that comprises a potential plan for increasing effectiveness and affordability at Ithaca College in future years. I will in turn prepare an effectiveness and affordability recommendation to be made to the Board of Trustees for action at their May 2013 meeting.
Upon board approval I will share with the campus community what will surely be a multi-year program of increasing effectiveness, realizing new sources of revenue, and reducing costs so as to enhance affordability for our students. As I mentioned earlier this week, the core challenge before us requires us to increase the value of an IC education. We must increase our quality and at the same time substantially rein in the growth of cost in the years ahead. Our ability to arrive at difficult but intelligent decisions based on the Huron recommendations is an important part of our commitment to increased value.