In June 2016 Charles Hack ’69 joined the Ithaca College Board of Trustees. A music education major, Hack taught music after graduating from Ithaca College, and later found success in the real estate and restaurant industries. He serves on the board of directors for the Talea Ensemble, an innovative, contemporary music ensemble.
Six months into his term as trustee, here's what he's thinking.
Why did you want to join the board?
Charles Hack: Ithaca College started as a music conservatory that evolved into offering the greatest music education program in the country. The School of Music is the girl who brought IC to the dance. I got my degree from the School of Music; I am the only School of Music alum on the board, thus providing a perspective that is needed. I think that the high quality of the music education program helped set the standards of quality and excellence for the other schools as they have developed. I am determined to do what I can to build on that tradition of quality and excellence for all the schools at Ithaca College.
What special skills, particular expertise, etc. do you offer the board and/or Ithaca College?
CH: I left teaching 45 years ago. I became and continue to be a New York City real estate developer, which is a rough-and-tumble business. I work with many different people, creating sophisticated business structures and negotiating complex agreements that have to benefit many different interests in a multifaceted community. To be good at my work, I must understand diverse points of view and navigate competing interests to build consensus. That's the expertise and skill I look forward to bringing to the board of trustees.
What are some of the best things about Ithaca College?
CH: The move toward greater diversity and inclusiveness is a positive aspect of what has happened at the college since I graduated. The challenging aspect is to find the right balance of addressing the issues raised in the name of diversity and inclusiveness while minimizing the negative characteristics that often accompany the process of societal evolution. Ithaca College needs to find the correct balance that protects the rights and addresses the expectations of the bulk of the student population, whose primary concern is to get an education in the field of their chosen pursiut while supporting positive changes in our society. Ithaca College is a place where all of that can happen.
What excites you about the college's future?
CH: The challenges at IC have their parallel in the challenges that existed when I was a student in the late '60s. When I look to the future of the college, I am excited about our potential and our ability, as a community, to find solutions to issues of current concern while providing a quality education and experience for all of our students.
What's something about you that people might be surprised to learn?
CH: The diversity of my interests: continuing my interest in music, I am on the board of Talea, a cutting-edge music ensemble that serves as a performing platform for new music and new compositions. A few years ago Talea performed at Ithaca College and held workshops for IC music students and faculty. I am found of remarking that we support performing music from composers who are currently composing, not decomposing. I also have assembled a sophisticated and diverse art collection, of which many objects have, and continue to be, exhibited in museums around the world. One of my more curious pursuits is my interest in philately (stamp collecting) — a hobby that has carried over from my early childhood.