Dear Ithaca College Community:

We are very excited to share, below, the draft five-year goals and objectives that have resulted from the Ithaca College community’s collaboration on a comprehensive strategic plan!

Please plan to come to one of the two open forums, May 9 at 10:00 or May 10 at 2:00, to begin thinking with us about how and when we can begin to implement this ambitious set of efforts.

Anyone who participated in workshops, followed our updates, or contributed to the major source materials we consulted will likely recognize common ideas recurring throughout the goals and objectives. A strength of this process—and your engagement with it—was the manner in which we were able to identify strategically aligned opportunities not only in the truly new ideas, but also in those efforts that the community has already begun pursuing.
We also have revised the vision, mission, and values once more, following your feedback. You can find those refinements on the Imagining Ithaca website.

Goals and Objectives: An Overview

As a reminder, each goal and objective was designed to:

  • Move us toward our vision
  • Reflect our mission and values
  • Identify opportunities for growth, redesign, or innovation
  • Demonstrate the necessity of financial sustainability, through new or increased revenue, reduced costs, or expense management

Across the development of goals and objectives, the following concepts recurred and grew more pronounced with each iteration from work groups or community members:

  • The need to become a fully student-ready institution
  • The power of experiential learning
  • The importance of partnerships
  • The imperative to serve a public good
  • The importance of sustainability in all forms (financial, environmental, human, etc.)
  • The necessity of using data analytics to make informed decisions and manage change
  • The imperative to generate non-tuition revenue streams and develop a strong culture of philanthropy

We will be working to further refine these goals and objectives in the coming weeks, and also develop a more detailed five-year timeline. In addition, in some cases, the specific numerical value associated with an objective has been left blank, pending more specific analyses to come. We know, too, that our additional efforts to analyze feasibility, prioritize optimal timing, identify needed resources, etc., may result in a shorter list of objectives or some refinement to what they seek to accomplish.

GOAL 1: Become a year-round campus for living and learning opportunities


  • Expand into traditional campus down times (e.g., winter, spring break, summer, weekends, online)
  • Become a global destination for a multi-generational student body
  • Increase non-tuition revenue by ___% by 2024

GOAL 2: Structurally support and value collaboration, interdisciplinarity, curricular flexibility, and shared governance


  • Enable all IC students to explore wide-ranging subjects across the five schools, and to construct or choose from curricular paths that best match their goals and interests
  • Create systems and practices to support and foster cross-disciplinary collaboration and team teaching for faculty
  • Expand undergraduate and graduate education offerings (e.g., MBA entertainment management; physician assistant)
  • Establish a separate LLC incubator for research, testing, and business development available to the campus community
  • Evaluate and revise faculty, student, staff, alumni, and Board of Trustees systems and structures of shared governance to align with the college's vision, mission, and values

GOAL 3: Determine and maintain an appropriate and sustainable size for programs and structures, and their associated resources, at every level of the institution


  • Leverage the capacity of our existing analytics resources to develop a culture of data-informed decision making and assessment
  • Develop a comprehensive enrollment strategy that is inclusive, financially sustainable and transforms our student body (age, background, geography, community college, transfer, etc.)
  • Investigate opportunities for consolidation or reorganization of programs or schools for material savings and concentration of program strength
  • Develop a coordinated, college-level process of assessment and review of academic units
  • Develop a process of assessment and review for non-academic units that investigates opportunities for consolidation or reorganization, material savings, and concentration of program strength

GOAL 4: Become a model for student success, engagement, and well-being, helping students develop their unique potential


  • Lower the cost of attendance for our students and families by ___% by 2024 (e.g., meal plan, affordable housing on campus and in the community, instructional materials, and student health insurance)
  • Become a national model by 2024 for in-house dining plan services, bringing faculty, staff and students together for collaboration and experiential learning (e.g., nutrition program, business management, event services, etc.)
  • Establish IC as a leader in practice and performance by expanding experiential learning opportunities across the curriculum, college operations, and real-world problems in the community
  • Elevate student employment into an experiential learning, high-impact practice
  • Integrate a wellness model to support a transformative student experience
  • Become a student-ready campus through implementation of applicable elements of the Student Success Report

GOAL 5: Commit to being an employer of choice


  • Develop, in collaboration with community partners, a family care center (daycare/after-school/elder care) to support our employees and serve as a year-round experiential learning opportunity for students
  • Invest in IC’s employees
  • Increase support for faculty research, collaboration, and innovation
  • Improve and innovate internal communications

GOAL 6: Become a national model for colleges committed to the values of diversity, equity, and inclusion


  • Develop a campus climate marked by culturally competent faculty and staff and an inclusive living and learning experience for students
  • Diversify curriculum in departments, in measurable and quantifiable ways, to reflect the experience of students and a changing society
  • Establish benchmarks and action plans in academic and non-academic units for diversifying faculty, staff, and students

GOAL 7: Advance the Campus Master Plan and improve space utilization to enhance the student experience and promote teaching and learning


  • Implement the space utilization plan with current resources
  • Prioritize campus master plan initiatives that are most mission critical and student-centered

GOAL 8: Develop cross-sector and community partnerships that address challenging issues, optimize the use of resources, and serve the public good


  • Increase the number and depth of off-campus relationships
  • Create an environmental sustainability mindset that recognizes the impact of climate change

GOAL 9: Cultivate an "Ithaca Forever" community, inspired by the power of the Ithaca experience


  • Increase alumni engagement and leverage alumni expertise
  • Create opportunities for non-IC affiliates to develop an affinity to Ithaca Forever
  • Develop a comprehensive philanthropy strategy that supports and sustains the strategic plan
  • Increase the endowment to $___M by 2024

What’s Next?

We begin now to turn toward two parallel steps:

  1. Refining the precision, timing, budgetary estimates, and optimal sequence
  2. Determining implementation plans

Your first chance to help with this critically important work will be to participate on May 9 or 10 in an open forum.

We are submitting these same goals and objectives to the Board of Trustees this week, for discussion during their May 17-18 Board of Trustees meeting. Following that discussion, members of the steering committee and senior leadership team will polish the plan in preparation for formal endorsement at the Board’s June 2019 retreat.

Then, during the summer and into the fall semester, we will identify implementation teams and continue to develop the details necessary for successful execution of the plan. That will include a full financial analysis, five-year timeline, metrics for accountability, and mechanisms for continued oversight.

Even if you plan to be away from Ithaca in the summer, we encourage you to check your email for periodic updates! As the summer draws to a close, you will receive information about ways to be involved in the kickoff and implementation of this ambitious plan.

It’s been a very intense spring for the dozens of people in the Imagining Ithaca steering committee and work groups, as well as for all of you who lent your ideas or expertise to the groups as they worked hard to complete this last milestone of the spring. What our community has produced is truly inspiring. Thank you—on behalf of the steering committee and, more important, on behalf of the future students, faculty, and staff of Ithaca College. We look forward to seeing you later this week, and we wish you a very productive end of the semester.

La Jerne Terry Cornish
Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs

Jason Freitag
Associate Professor, History

Imagining Ithaca Co-Chairs