Campus Community Receives Updates on Strategic Plan

By IC News staff, September 6, 2019
Next steps for implementation outlined at forum.

More than 100 people attended a community forum about the strategic plan implementation on Tuesday, September 3, to learn how the college will transition from Imagining Ithaca to Ithaca Forever.  

La Jerne Terry Cornish, IC provost and cochair of the Implementation Design Team, and Jason Freitag, associate professor of history and cochair of the strategic plan steering committee, provided background information and a progress update and went over a timeline for implementation design. They also reaffirmed the college’s revised vision, mission and value statements, which will guide the work of the college over the next five years.

“If the work does not align with our vision, if the work does not align with our mission, if the work does not align with our values, we won't do the work,” said Cornish.

“We want to keep the students as our focus; they are our ‘why,’ So that always has to be the first thing we think about in the implementation process.”

Hayley Harris, vice president of the Division of Human and Organizational Development and Planning

They introduced the members of the Implementation Design Team — including cochair Hayley Harris, vice president of the Division of Human and Organizational Development and Planning. Harris outlined the guiding principles for implementation, chief among them, keeping students at the center of everything the college does.

“We want to keep the students as our focus; they are our ‘why,’” she said. “So that always has to be the first thing we think about in the implementation process.”

Guiding Principles for Implementation

  • 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

Next Steps

Now that the strategic plan has been unanimously approved by the IC Board of Trustees, the college will shift toward the implementation phase and turning goals into reality. A detailed, year-one implementation plan will be presented at the October Board of Trustees meeting, and the college will officially launch Ithaca Forever — putting the plan into action.

The implementation plan will identify strategic priorities that can be realized in the first year, determine their feasibility, and establish metrics to track progress and measure success. Pilot projects may include an Ithaca Institute, a Family Care Center, and Campus Center improvements. Implementation action groups will then be assembled to address the different initiatives, and members of the senior leadership team will be assigned responsibility.

Some priorities will naturally align with the work of established college units, such as data governance. Others will draw expertise from across campus, such as the insourcing of Dining Services. A cross-functional group collaborated on the initiative before the launch of IC Dining Services on June 1, and this group’s work will continue to realize the objective of becoming a national model for in-house dining services by 2024.

Opportunities for Involvement

There are still ample opportunities for faculty, staff, and students to get involved in the process. There will be a call for volunteers to participate in implementation action groups later this month. Each action group will include representation from faculty, staff, and students.

“We want to continue that dialogue with the campus and make sure that we're hearing the voices that need to be heard and allow folks opportunity for input,” said Harris.

Learn more

For more information, or to download the plan, visit Ithaca.edu/imagining-ithaca.