This is undoubtedly a time of challenge and change for Ithaca College, and the board is committed to being accessible and responsive to the IC community, specifically by maintaining open dialogue with our college’s governance councils. This is even more critical when trustees cannot be on campus to host our usual open conversation with the chair and vice chair at the end of our board meetings.
At the end of the day on Thursday, the executive committees of the Faculty Council, Staff Council, and Student Governance Council joined in conversation with board Vice Chair Jim Nolan, Provost La Jerne Terry Cornish, and the two of us for an honest and productive dialogue. We focused on the academic program prioritization process, campus climate, student initiatives, and the importance of completing a successful and safe spring semester on South Hill.
Outside of the regular board meeting agenda, we also scheduled focused time on Wednesday with members of the Alumni Association Board of Directors to discuss the academic program prioritization process. Vice Chair Nolan and Vice President for Philanthropy and Engagement Wendy Kobler joined us for this conversation with our alumni leaders.
Both of these meetings addressed some difficult topics for our community, and we want to offer our gratitude for the respectful, honest dialogue and for the depth of feeling that these leaders have for the college and for their colleagues.
Understanding that this academic year has presented a unique set of challenges to teaching and learning at IC, trustees spent time Thursday afternoon in an immersion experience with Cynthia Henderson, Professor, Theatre Arts; Chrissy Guest, Associate Professor, Media Arts, Sciences and Studies; Nicholas Walker, Professor, Music Performance; and students August Bish ’21, Jessica Brock ’22, Emma Fruhling ’21, and Jasmine Rodriguez ’24. This session provided trustees with an opportunity to learn how our faculty are leveraging their talents and creatively collaborating this year to deliver an excellent experience for our students.
Trustees were impressed by the innovative and interdisciplinary work and appreciated this session to connect with campus stakeholders to get a real-time understanding of what it takes to offer a high-quality learning experience amid a pandemic. Our thanks to the professors and students who shared their time with us.
Return to Campus
Trustees also met with Vice President for Student Affairs and Campus Life Rosanna Ferro; Christina Moylan, the college’s director of Public Health Emergency Preparedness; and Tim Carey, associate vice president for facilities; for an update on the Return to Campus process and progress. The amount of work, dedication, and cooperation that so many members of the IC community have put into bringing students back for this spring semester is both astounding and impressive. The board is incredibly grateful.