As a college community — and as a nation — we are walking through an incredibly difficult time, grappling with two very different but equally gripping pandemics: the public health crisis brought by COVID-19 and our ongoing reckoning with this country’s deep systemic racism.
Institutions of higher education are not immune to either, and, as you’ll read in these pages, Ithaca College, with our strong commitment to serving the public good, is stepping forward into both realities with strength, courage, and hope.
But this moment is testing us as an institution, and I believe we have all the right attributes to prevail during this uncertain and challenging time. The climate created by the public health crisis has accelerated our existing plans to realize many of the goals and objectives of our strategic plan, Ithaca Forever. Our college community created this plan just two years ago, and I know we have the courage to embrace a future that will be very different from the past.
This academic year, we are fully focusing on four key areas: supporting our students' transformation as learners and as people by pushing the envelope of innovation in our teaching, learning, and engagement; carefully and wisely recalibrating our approach to this institution’s financial health by growing areas of potential and ending programs, practices, and structures that can no longer sustain us; doubling down on our commitment to be an employer of choice and a national model for student success by walking the walk of our institutional commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion; and, prompted by the direct and unavoidable impact of COVID-19, reframing and restructuring the ways in which our campus functions to ensure that we are contributing to the health and safety of our college and Ithaca-area communities, particularly as we support our intention to welcome all students, faculty, and staff back to campus this spring.