People and Progress

By Grace Collins '22, August 26, 2022
All-College Welcome outlines priorities and provides updates on capital improvements.

On Thursday, August 25, President La Jerne Terry Cornish led the Ithaca College community in an All-College Welcome in the Emerson Suites, where she and other campus leaders  shared their goals for the upcoming academic year.  

Cornish thanked the countless members of the campus community who came together to welcome the incoming Class of 2026 and returning IC students to campus. She then detailed the college’s strategic priorities for 2022-23, as well as her own personal goals for the year.  

Institution-Wide Priorities

The institution-wide priorities, established in collaboration with other campus leaders, include: 

  • Continuing to develop a five-year financial sustainability model; 
  • Increasing student retention, which will in turn increase graduation rates; 
  • Providing a transformative learning experience with meaningful connection of theory, practice, and performance; 
  • Increasing alumni engagement; 
  • Demonstrating capacity and commitment to improving diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging for all members of the campus community; 
  • Continuing progress on the college’s Master Plan (capital projects); and 
  • Working to become an employer of choice for members of the greater Ithaca community and beyond. 

Le Jerne Terry Cornish

President La Jerne Terry Cornish. (Photo Credit Danica Fisher '05)

Cornish’s personal goals for the college, developed in concert with the Board of Trustees, include becoming a model for student success and engagement, determining and maintaining an appropriate and sustainable size for programs campus-wide, cultivating an Ithaca Forever community, and, most importantly, becoming a national model of a college committed to diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging efforts.  

“I’m committed to developing an organizational structure to support our institution’s commitment to diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging,” said Cornish. “If we say we value it, then we need to have the structure to support it, and we need to work on that.”  

Cornish, along with Provost Melanie Stein, introduced the members of the President’s Cabinet, formerly known as the Senior Leadership Team. The Cabinet will meet weekly to discuss institution-wide goals and priorities, bringing other campus leaders into their conversations as needed.  

The members of the President’s Cabinet are: Odalys Diaz Piñeiro, chief of staff; Tim Downs, vice president for finance and administration and chief financial officer; Laurie Koehler, vice president for marketing and enrollment strategy; Dave Weil, chief information officer; Bonnie Prunty, vice president for student affairs and campus life; Hayley Harris, vice president for human resources and planning; Quincy Davidson, interim vice president for philanthropy and engagement; Emily Rockett, general counsel; Melanie Stein, provost and senior vice president for academic affairs; Linda Petrosino, dean of the School of Health Sciences and Human Performance; Claire Gleitman, dean of the School of Humanities and Sciences; Michael Johnson-Cramer, dean of the School of Business; Amy Falkner, dean of the Roy H. Park School of Communications; and Anne Hogan, dean of the School of Music, Theater, and Dance. 

Next, leaders of the campus governing councils next each shared a few words about their goals for the year and excitement to reconnect with the campus community.  

Ellen Staurowsky, chair of Faculty Council and professor of media arts, studies, and sciences, spoke to the importance of the institutional priorities that Cornish had shared, as well as her mission to support faculty and students while the college achieves those goals.  

“I think what we are about in this critical year, and in these critical years that we have had, is a quest to find ways that we can collaborate together, that we can work together, that we can find transparency in order to make decisions together,” Staurowsky said. “We look so forward to finding ways that we can support our faculty so that they can bring to bear all of the gifts that they have in service to this institution and in service to our students.” 

Clint McCartney, facilities supervisor and chair of the Staff Council, outlined the objectives of the council and reminded students that all faculty and staff on campus are there to serve as a resource for them.  

“We all have one goal in common, and that is to ensure student success. To our students — If you ever have any concerns, questions, or just want to talk to somebody, feel free to approach any of us. After all, we are here for you.” 

Clint McCartney, facilities supervisor and chair of the Staff Council

“Staff Council serves as a conduit for information, concerns, and ideas between the staff in general and the newly formed President's Cabinet,” McCartney said. “We all have one goal in common, and that is to ensure student success. To our students — If you ever have any concerns, questions, or just want to talk to somebody, feel free to approach any of us. After all, we are here for you.” 

Lastly, Grace Madeya ’22, president of the Student Governance Council, shared her excitement to be back on campus and hopes for the student body throughout the upcoming year.  

“IC is a very special place, and Student Governance Council wants to make IC an even stronger community,” she said. “My executive board and I are dedicated to finding ways to make the school more academically accessible and connect the IC community with the greater Ithaca community.” 

Vice President for Finance and Administration Tim Downs concluded the presentations by detailing the capital improvements to the campus begun over the summer. These improvements, many of which remain in progress due to supply-chain issues, include re-developing the campus entryway, paving roads, renovating the Dillingham Center and north tennis courts — which will include the addition of basketball and pickleball courts — and restoring several stairways around the campus.  

“We are focused on building that pride and community as we look across this campus,” Downs said. “I also want to highlight all the incredible capital work that happens behind the scenes. When we do the work on infrastructure, boilers, roofs — that is really important work that happens. The college has done a great job on those investments and keeping our campus running and current.” 

Cornish closed the meeting by expressing her gratitude to all in attendance and encouraging them to take part in a new campus-wide tradition — School Spirit Fridays. Throughout the semester, students, faculty, and staff are invited to wear blue and gold on Fridays to demonstrate their IC pride.  

All-College Welcome

Watch the All-College Welcome from Thursday, August 25.