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Dear Faculty and Staff:

Over the past several weeks, we have engaged with the campus community in a variety of settings to share the budget and fiscal realities that Ithaca College is facing in the coming year.

While in part due to the COVID-19 crisis, these challenges before us have been clear for some time, and the Ithaca Forever strategic plan was developed in collaboration with campus constituents to address these issues, among others.

That being said, we have found it necessary to take immediate and significant action to address the budget shortfall for FY 21. Measures that have been implemented thus far include:

  • a retirement incentive plan that has resulted in approximately 100 faculty and staff indicating their intent to retire;
  • furloughs and position eliminations impacting over 180 employees;
  • voluntary salary reductions by the entire senior leadership team, many of their direct reports, and other generous faculty and staff across campus;
  • a significant reduction of non-salary operating expenses;
  • refinancing of college debt;
  • pausing of all non-essential capital projects; and
  • a hiring freeze, no salary increment, and eliminating 71 vacant positions, among numerous other efforts.

However, as Vice President Bill Guerrero shared at the All-Faculty-and-Staff Meeting on June 9, these actions have not yet resulted in a balanced budget for FY 21, and we must make additional hard choices. 

To that end, the senior leadership team, in consultation with the deans, the Institutional Effectiveness and Budget Committee (IEBC), and other stakeholders, including the executive committees of Staff Council and Faculty Council, has made the difficult decision to pause the 9% college contribution to employee retirement accounts for the upcoming fiscal year, from July 1, 2020, to June 30, 2021. We estimate that this will help reduce the budget gap by approximately $7.5 million.

We want to make clear that this has truly been a measure of last resort, as we understand the impact this will have on our employees. The IEBC has played a critical role in exploring realistic options for the FY 21 budget, and we waited to confirm our enrollment numbers following the June 1 deadline so that we would have the most accurate data upon which to base this decision. Ultimately, the senior leadership determined that this significant expense needed to be part of our strategy for one year. 

It is also important to note that Ithaca College is not alone in taking this action, as many other colleges and universities have communicated similar decisions to their employees during this incredibly challenging time in higher education.

Individuals who wish to make adjustments to their individual contributions due to this change may do so online at Otherwise, no action is necessary. As a reminder, virtual appointments with a TIAA representative can be scheduled at

While this has been a painful decision, and one that we would like to reverse as soon as feasible as we remain committed to being an Employer of Choice, the senior leadership team is also committed to ensuring that Ithaca College continues to provide a high-quality educational experience that is both accessible and affordable for students.

We deeply appreciate the hard work and the sacrifices that our employees have made in order to support the entire college community as we attempt to balance the many competing priorities for resources during this difficult time. If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to


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

Important Update on FY 21 Budget Decisions | 1 Comments |
The following comments are the opinions of the individuals who posted them. They do not necessarily represent the position of Intercom or Ithaca College, and the editors reserve the right to monitor and delete comments that violate College policies.
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Important Update on FY 21 Budget Decisions Comment from rosentha on 06/22/20
The effect of the college not making its contribution for a year to TIAA-CREF is a decrease of about 3 or 4% in EVERY year after one starts to draw funds from TIAA-CREF.