Important Updates on Campus Leadership Transitions

By Reed Pollard, October 5, 2022

Dear Campus Community,

I am hopeful that you have been as energized by the first few weeks of the fall semester as I have. It has been my personal pleasure to attend and participate in so many events for and by our students, faculty, and staff. I particularly want to thank everyone in our community who took part in the activities surrounding my inauguration this past weekend, especially the wonderful showcase put on by our School of Music, Theatre, and Dance.

The start of a new academic year often brings changes in our administrative structures and organizations, and I wanted to take this opportunity to provide the IC community with an update on recent and upcoming developments.

First, I want to share the news that Vice President for Marketing and Enrollment Strategy Laurie Koehler has informed me of her intent to depart Ithaca College at the end of the 2022-23 fiscal year. As many of you know, Laurie and her wife Carla’s family, including Laurie’s elderly mom and their two grandchildren, reside in Northern Virginia. Their desire to be closer to family became clearer throughout the pandemic, and so they will be returning to that region.

Laurie has provided tremendous leadership since joining IC in 2019, helping to build critical infrastructure, strengthen collaboration across areas, and navigate through the pandemic. The important work done by Laurie and her team resulted in the college exceeding its targets for new student enrollment this fall. I am thankful that we have a significant amount of time to prepare for her departure by conducting a national search and smoothly transitioning to new leadership for our enrollment and student success efforts by summer 2023.

Speaking of searches, I will also be moving forward immediately to identify two key members of the President’s Cabinet: Vice President for Philanthropy and Engagement, and a newly created position of Vice President for Marketing and Communications. Ithaca College has secured the services of the highly regarded national search firm Isaacson Miller to recruit an exceptional pool of high-quality candidates for each position. I will provide more information to the campus community about next steps soon.

With the recent departure of Vice President for Human Resources and Planning Hayley Harris, I am pleased to announce that Kirra Franzese will now serve as Associate VP and Chief Human Resources Officer. In the interest of aligning resources most strategically and efficiently, our highly valued Human Resources team will now report to Vice President for Finance and Administration and CFO Tim Downs. Kirra has served IC exceptionally well for more than two decades, and I am confident she will continue to lead us toward our goal of becoming an employer of choice in the region.

 In addition, as you heard at the All-College Welcome, Emily Rockett has been promoted to General Counsel and will serve on the Cabinet in that capacity. Emily has done exceptional work as our College Counsel, and we are thrilled she is embracing the additional responsibilities that come with the General Counsel position.

Finally, I am pleased to announce that the Chief of Staff to the President, Odalys Diaz Piñeiro, has agreed to take on a critical additional role as Secretary to the Board of Trustees beginning October 15. Her strategic leadership skills will serve IC well as she provides executive-level support to the Board and ensures effective coordination and facilitation of the activities of the Board and its various committees. I want to thank and share my appreciation for Nancy Pringle, who returned from retirement in the spring of 2021 to serve as Secretary to the Board and most recently, along with Odalys, cochaired the Presidential Transition Team.

The year ahead holds tremendous promise for our beloved Ithaca College community. We have set clear institutional priorities and are already working hard to realize them. I look forward to doing so, as Ithaca Together.


La Jerne Terry Cornish