Dear Campus Community,
We are excited to share with you an update on our work over the past several weeks, which puts a finer point on the hows, whos, and whats of our implementation of Ithaca Forever, the college’s strategic plan.
We offered an overview of our work so far during our open forum earlier this month. (If you weren’t able to attend, please see the ICNews coverage of this event.) In the weeks since that forum, we’ve drilled down a bit and would now like to explain the structure of our implementation process.
Opportunities for Your Leadership and Participation
There are nine goals within our strategic plan, each with several associated objectives. A major part of the work of our design team has been to identify the specific objectives our community will bring to life this academic year. As we near the finalization of that list of objectives (which we will share in an email later this month), we have simultaneously been thinking about the ways in which our faculty, staff, and students will be asked to participate in the implementation of these objectives.
Each of the nine goals will have two co-chairs. These individuals will be members of the campus community and will be tasked with managing at a high level the objectives associated with their goals. This is an opportunity for faculty, staff, and students to step into a leadership role around a goal that inspires them.
Collectively, this group of goal co-chairs (18 total — two for each goal) will form an “implementation team,” similar to the strategic planning steering committee that guided last year’s planning process. This implementation team will work closely with college leadership and with one another, ensuring that synergies are identified and activated and that our year-one work continues to move forward to fruition.
Each set of co-chairs will work with a liaison from the senior leadership team, who will provide a direct link to college administration as well as a 30,000-foot view of how the work within each goal integrates with college-wide priorities and objectives.
“Action groups” will be formed to implement new, far-reaching, or cross-disciplinary objectives that require an array of voices around the table to achieve success. In our work to identify year-one objectives, the design team has also been identifying those objectives that need strong collaborative effort. For these objectives, groups of faculty, staff, and students will come together to form “action groups.”
To be clear: not every year-one objective will be assigned an action group. For example, some of the objectives in the strategic plan are already in process (such as our dining services revamp). Existing teams who’ve already been at work on these objectives will remain in place to see this work through.
Other objectives are very specific to an established group or unit, which houses the necessary expertise to fulfill the tasks at hand. An example of a “unit objective” would be, for instance, a comprehensive review of student health insurance to lower premiums. This is a very specific objective that requires the specialized knowledge of a small sector of our operations.
Each action group will have two co-chairs, who will facilitate progress and be in frequent communication with their goal co-chairs as our year-one work moves along.
To give you a ballpark estimate, right now, we have identified about 15 objectives that we’ll be looking for “action groups” of faculty, staff, and students to collectively move forward.
Finally, we want to reiterate that all of the work we do this year implementing our strategic plan will be done in consultation with existing governance groups: faculty council, staff council, and the student governance council. Our community created this plan, and our community will be involved in its implementation.
Our Guiding Principles
Before we close, we’d like to share with you once more the guiding principles that have been driving the work of the implementation design team and the principles of our Ithaca Forever implementation in general. They 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
We are looking forward to a truly exciting year as all of us join together to make sure that our college, our community, and our students thrive.
La Jerne Terry Cornish
Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs
Vice President for Human and Organizational Development and Planning
Chief of Staff
Associate Professor, Department of History
Vice President for Finance and Administration
Senior Executive Communications Specialist
Dean of Students