Dear Campus Community,

In June, the Ithaca College Board of Trustees voted unanimously to approve the strategic plan that our community had worked so hard on throughout the past academic year. This signaled our transition from “Imagining Ithaca,” the process by which we created our plan, to “Ithaca Forever,” a concrete, actionable blueprint that defines the nine goals and multiple objectives that will guide our work over the next five years.

Our effort last year revolved around planning. This year, it’s about doing.

To help set the stage for the start of our work this fall, a small “implementation design team” has met weekly throughout the summer. The purpose of this team mirrors that of the strategic planning design team formed last summer: to create the framework, timeline, and expectations that will define the next phase of the college’s strategic work.

The implementation design team is comprised of Provost La Jerne Terry Cornish and Associate Professor Jason Freitag, co-chairs of the Imagining Ithaca steering committee; Bill Guerrero, vice president of the Division of Finance and Administration; Hayley Harris, vice president of the Division of Human and Organizational Development and Planning; Melissa Daly, Chief of Staff; Bonnie Prunty, Dean of Students; and Wendy Hankle, Senior Executive Communications Specialist.

This summer, the design team has identified specific objectives that will be tackled in our first year of implementation and identified the divisions, offices, and departments that will “own” each objective, understanding that many objectives provide opportunities for different areas of the college to work together.

Our strategic planning process last year was inclusive, collaborative, and always mindful that Ithaca College’s core purpose is to provide the best possible student experience. These same qualities also guide our thinking about our implementation efforts.

Specifically, our guiding principles for implementation are:

  • An acknowledgement that Ithaca College’s current and future students are at the center – they are our “why”
  • A commitment to moving intentionally and expeditiously to implement the goals and objectives outlined in the plan
  • A commitment that senior leadership will partner with campus governance and decision-making bodies to ensure that the strategic direction of the college is aligned with the strategic plan goals
  • A commitment to a process that is transparent, inclusive, and consultative
  • A commitment to clear and frequent communication

This is a pivotal moment in the history of the college. The next five years will call upon all of us to work together in new ways to ensure a future for IC that places our students at the core of all we do, values and supports our faculty and staff, and puts IC on a path to become a global destination for bold thinkers seeking to build thriving communities. Supporting and realizing the goals and objectives within “Ithaca Forever” is not additive to our day-to-day work—it will become our work.

Please stay tuned for opportunities to get involved. Once the year-one objectives are finalized, we’ll put out a call for volunteers for working groups that will be established around each objective. We need your help to make the points of our plan a reality.

There will also be a community forum on Tuesday, September 3, at 12:10 p.m. in Textor 102. This is an opportunity for you to ask questions about implementation, get a preview of what objectives will be tackled this academic year, and think about ways you want to be a part of this process. We look forward to seeing you there!


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

Jason Freitag
Associate Professor, Department of History

Hayley Harris
Vice President for Human and Organizational Development and Planning

Bill Guerrero
Vice President for Finance and Administration

Melissa Daly
Chief of Staff

Bonnie Prunty
Dean of Students

Wendy Hankle
Senior Executive Communications Specialist