The promise of Ithaca College is central to our academic mission and to the success of the people who live, learn, and work here. Last year, I engaged in conversations with our community about our college. Major areas of focus emerged, namely: our ability to provide a transformative student experience; financial innovation and sustainability for our people, our environment, and our resources; our identity as one college; and our dedication to innovative, collaborative teaching and learning. The strategic planning steering committee’s work will build upon these areas of focus, and seek to ask thoughtful and challenging questions such as:
- How does Ithaca College establish a unified culture of personal and intellectual transformation for students, staff, and faculty, one that is rooted in academic excellence and the relentless expectation of full participation, collaboration, and equity for all?
- How can Ithaca College create an expansive vision of what it means to be an innovative and sustainable institution—financially, environmentally, academically, and culturally—while investing ourselves fully as a private college that serves the public good?
With these questions in mind and informed by the deep conversations our community has already engaged in, I charge the Ithaca College Strategic Planning Steering Committee with the following:
Embrace bold realism
This group is guiding one of the most important processes in the history of Ithaca College. Do this work from a place of passionate and daring vision deeply grounded in a heartfelt dedication to honoring the intention and expectation of our revised mission, vision, and values. Yours is a courageous, difficult enterprise. It will call upon you, as an individual and as a collective, to realistically prioritize the college’s goals and make far-reaching, bold decisions that affect every aspect of our institution. Ensure that you do this within the context of data-rich evidence, applicable best practices, and an acknowledgement of our community’s hopes and dreams. At the same time, you must demonstrate an unshakable commitment to forward-thinking innovation that honors our history, our present, and the promise of our future.
Acknowledge the urgency and profundity of this moment
Continuing the status quo is simply not an option if Ithaca College is to remain relevant as an institution of higher education and thrive in a national landscape that is increasingly challenging and ever-changing. Historically, our evolution as a viable and vibrant academic hub has been due to the magnetism of our college community—our intellectual capital, our creative vision, our willingness to take significant chances and our courage in asking for support around those risks. These factors have driven our growth from a music conservatory with an inaugural student enrollment of 125 to a nationally ranked institution that encompasses a campus community of nearly 6,500 students, 750 faculty, and 900 staff. In this moment, it is urgent for you to channel the spirit and the example found within our history to craft our future. I urge you to envision our strength as one college, unified by our shared investment in a transformative learning experience for all our students. Likewise, realize your responsibility to craft a visionary, nimble, and sustainable future for the institution.
Activate an uncompromisingly excellent Ithaca College student experience
At the heart of your work lies an unwavering commitment to the excellence of the Ithaca College student experience. Establish and sustain a steady focus on the quality of this experience. Constantly bear in mind the importance of the personal transformation and self-actualization that our students find on this campus. Honor this journey by prizing our academic enterprise; by strengthening our commitment to a learning community that values full participation, wellness, wholeness, and inclusion; by encouraging all on our campus to collectively invest in our students as today’s learners and tomorrow’s leaders.
Ithaca College is at a pivotal point in our 126-year history. Your work will open a new chapter for the college, one that raises the curtain on our future by defining our values, realizing our promise, and enabling our continued trajectory of distinction as an innovative, enterprising institution of higher education within a changing world.