Dear Faculty and Staff:
Recent events such as the killing of George Floyd and ensuing nationwide protests have once again raised issues of structural anti-Black racism to our national consciousness.
As a community, we must all be dedicated to eradicating racism and other forms of inequality at Ithaca College, as well as in our larger society. Efforts in this regard have been a critical part of our Ithaca Forever strategic plan and we anticipate a full report from the Diversity and Inclusion action group regarding next steps that our campus can take in the coming months.
We also had an impactful meeting yesterday with upwards of 200 faculty and staff, facilitated by our capable faculty members Drs. Paula Ioanide and Ellie Fulmer, which resulted in rich discussion and a shared commitment to further action. These are among many actions our campus is taking to address the major institutional issues that continue to impact our students, faculty and staff of color.
Tomorrow marks the commemoration of the Juneteenth holiday. Celebrated annually on June 19, Juneteenth commemorates the end of slavery in the United States. The date represents the arrival of Union soldiers in Galveston, Texas in 1865 with news of the end of the Civil War and freedom for all who had been in bondage. Governor Cuomo recently announced that New York state employees will have the day off tomorrow and there are efforts to make this day an official state holiday next year. As you know, we are examining the entire academic calendar for the coming year, including holidays such as Martin Luther King Day, Juneteenth, and other observances, and will provide further information once decisions have been made for 2020-2021.
In the meantime, while not an official campus holiday, we invite everyone to commemorate this day in some fashion as an act of solidarity, dedication, and mourning. If you supervise faculty, staff, or students, we ask that you provide them with the opportunity to participate in Juneteenth events on Friday if possible. Please encourage them to have a voice, contribute to the community, and learn more about addressing anti-Black structural racism. These shared experiences will contribute to the important and ongoing discourse on campus on how we as a community can embrace the diversity of our experiences and work to make our climate more equitable and inclusive.
Shirley M. Collado, President
La Jerne Terry Cornish, Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs
Guilherme Costa, Vice President for Legal Affairs
Odalys Diaz Piñeiro, Chief of Staff, Office of the President
Rosanna Ferro, Vice President for Student Affairs and Campus Life
William Guerrero, Vice President for Finance and Administration
Hayley Harris, Vice President for Human Resources and Planning
Wendy Kobler, Vice President for Philanthropy and Engagement
Laurie Koehler, Vice President for Marketing and Enrollment Strategy