As you can imagine, planning for the next academic year is a tremendous challenge, and members of the senior leadership team continue to collaborate with deans, governance councils, and campus leaders to work through possible scenarios for 2020-21. Next year represents the second year of our strategic plan implementation, and all of our planning—regardless of the specifics — continues to support and align with the goals and objectives of Ithaca Forever.
We are being creative, thoughtful, and realistic as we work through options for next academic year, not only in formulating responsive strategies, but also in making sure the members of our community will have what they need to be successful in any scenario.
Again, we are intentionally approaching our decision-making process in an incremental, deliberate, and patient way, to allow us the opportunity to adjust our practices appropriately and effectively to the shifting realities around this pandemic, and to make major decisions that greatly impact this community with as much certainty as possible.
Keeping this in mind, I do want to announce that the college is suspending support for all college-sponsored international trips for faculty, staff, and students for the next academic year. This decision is driven by two factors: a prioritization of the safety of our college and local communities by mitigating the risk that comes with international travel during a pandemic, and cost savings to the institution.
This remains an incredibly difficult time for all of us, and on behalf of the senior leadership team, I want to thank all of you for walking through this as a community. I know this crisis is affecting all of us in very real and unexpected ways, and I want to end my message with a reminder about two key resources: our employee assistance program and our IC food pantry. Please don’t hesitate to access these resources to support your health and wellness — and please don’t hesitate to reach out to and lean on one another.
I look forward to seeing all of you again on South Hill. And, for our faculty and staff, I urge you to attend our virtual All-Faculty-and-Staff Gathering during the noon hour on Tuesday, and submit your questions in advance so we can make the best use of our time together. Tuesday will provide an opportunity to discuss key decision points and our approach to various scenarios.
Again, all of you have my deepest thanks for your incredible commitment to our beloved Ithaca College.
Shirley M. Collado