From Wednesday, October 20, through Friday, October 22, the Ithaca College Board of Trustees held its fall meetings on the college’s South Hill campus. For trustees, the meetings provided focused time to engage with one another and with campus constituents around important topics that impact our community and the future of the college as well as offer our welcome and support to Interim President Cornish as she leads IC this academic year.
Before we share a summary of the meetings, the board would like to offer sincere thanks to the members of the college and Ithaca-area communities who shared their perspectives with us through meetings, celebrations, and plenary sessions. Particularly, it brought trustees tremendous joy and pride to attend the ribbon-cutting ceremony for the college’s Physician Assistant Studies Program facility. The launch of this degree program, its diverse first cohort, and its focus on rural and community health powerfully illustrates the promise of the college’s transformative strategic plan, Ithaca Forever, and the ways in which that plan positions IC for a successful future.
As has been the practice for many years, the board chair and vice chair held an open conversation after the meetings with members of the IC community. This session was offered on Monday, October 25, as a Zoom meeting. Board chair Dave Lissy ’87 and vice chair Jim Nolan ’77 would like to thank the more than 100 students, faculty, and staff who joined this meeting. We appreciated your openness around some key topics, including the college’s enrollment and financial sustainability, student and employee mental health and well-being, and the presidential search.
Cost of Attendance for Academic Year 2022-23
For the past several years—excluding the anomaly of last fall, as the college grappled with the impact of COVID—the board has set parameters for the cost of attendance for the coming academic year at its October meetings. Last week, the board approved the following parameters for AY23.
Total Cost of Attendance
The total cost of attendance—a combination of tuition, room, and board—has been set for AY23 at $64,060, an increase of 2.68 percent over the previous academic year. This is the only increase in costs for the past two years, since the college did not raise tuition, room, and board at all in AY22 as a part of our response to the impact of COVID on our students and their families.
The 2.68 percent increase encompasses: a 3.25 percent rise in tuition (moving from $46,611 to $48,126); a 1 percent rise in room (from $8,976 to $9,066 for a standard double room); and a 1 percent rise in board (from $6,800 to $6,868).
Now and over the past several years, the board has focused on affordability, and these increases as well as those from recent years have been conservative within our comparative set of schools, while maintaining investments in the human and capital resources needed to ensure that our students are provided with the best possible learning environment.
The college will continue its commitment to institutional aid, to ensure that families with demonstrated financial need can access meaningful resources in order to attend Ithaca College. For the 2020-21 school year, more than 90 percent of our students received institutional aid totaling more than $122 million.
Plenary Sessions and Presentations
Each slate of board meetings includes plenary sessions, where trustees hear directly from members of the college community for a deep dive into critical topics. This year’s plenary sessions included updates on the strategic plan with Vice President for Human Resources and Planning Hayley Harris; the college’s strategic pricing and value strategy, delivered by Vice President for Marketing and Enrollment Strategy Laurie Koehler; financial sustainability with Vice President for Finance and Administration Tim Downs; and an in-depth session with Vice President for Student Affairs and Campus Life Rosanna Ferro and members of her team, which grounded the board in the critical topic of student mental health and well-being.
The board also spent focused time with members of the Office of the Provost leadership team during a lunch presentation, receiving updates from Interim Provost Melanie Stein and Associate Provosts Jeane Copenhaver-Johnson, Brad Hougham, and Christina Moylan about curricular revision efforts, work to achieve a sustainable student:faculty ratio, and the college’s graduate and professional programs.
Finally, last week’s meetings brought a formal recognition of Shirley M. Collado, whose tenure as president ended in August. As Shirley prepares for her departure from Ithaca College at the end of this calendar year, the board and members of the college and Ithaca-area communities gathered to express gratitude for her leadership during a tumultuous time for IC, for being the driving force behind the creation of the strategic plan, and for her incredible dedication to students.
The board meets again February 9 through February 11, 2022, when trustees look forward to another slate of opportunities to support and engage with this IC community. Our thanks to all who participated in last week’s meetings and yesterday’s open conversation.
David H. Lissy ’87
Chair, Board of Trustees
La Jerne Terry Cornish