Update on Important Steps in Re-Imagining the Student Experience at IC

Submitted on behalf of Dr. Rosanna Ferro:

In my message on March 27, I shared with you some of the initial changes that were taking place within the Division of Student Affairs and Campus Life.

In the ensuing weeks, many individuals within the division have been engaging students around the next steps to ensure that we are being thoughtful about the re-imagination of the student experience at IC. At this time, I would like to update you on where we are in this collaborative process. Again, I want to emphasize that the vision for the work that we are doing will 1) continue to be student-centered, and 2) be innovative and intentional in supporting our students and helping them thrive during their time at Ithaca College and beyond.

Dean of Students

Bonnie Prunty will assume her new role as Dean of Students on June 1. Her portfolio will include the following: Residential Life and Judicial Affairs, Case Management, and the newly created Office of New Student and Transition Programs. More information regarding the new office is included in the message below. Due to some of the changes within Residential Life and Judicial Affairs, we will have some individuals in interim leadership roles for the next academic year. We are happy to announce that Ron Trunzo has agreed to serve as interim Director of Residential Life and Judicial Affairs and Beth O’Neill will serve as interim Associate Director of Residential Life and Judicial Affairs. There will be some remaining vacancies in the department, and we will be in touch in the near future with further updates.

Campus Center

In her new leadership role, Sybil Conrad, Director of the Campus Center, has already started thinking about the changes that will positively impact our Campus Center. The search for the new position of Assistant Director of the Campus Center has launched. The search committee is being chaired by Mary Holland-Bavis, Assistant Director for Student Involvement. The committee is reviewing a rich applicant pool and is planning to have finalists on campus within the next couple of weeks.

OSEMA

As I shared in my previous message, the Office of Student Engagement and Multicultural Affairs will become three distinct offices that will concentrate on critical aspects of our student experience and keenly focus on our students’ sense of belonging. These changes will all be effective in the fall of 2018.

o The Office of Student Leadership and Involvement will now be called the Office of Student Engagement. While the name of the office is changing, the focus on leadership development, supporting student organizations, and community service will remain the same. The leadership team for this office will continue to be Michele Lenhart, Samantha Stafford, Mary Holland-Bavis, Don Austin, Patti Banfield, and Brittany Watros.

o The Office of Multicultural Affairs and Programs and Outreach will now become the Center for Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, And Social Change (IDEAS). The new center will promote inclusive programming and social justice practices while preparing students to thrive in an interconnected world. The center will also seek to enhance the Ithaca College community through transformative educational, social, and leadership experiences. Ultimately, the goals of the Center are to Engage, Empower, Innovate, and Educate.

Through the process of actively engaging many students around their needs, there was a strong call for the new center to also focus on intersectionality—particularly services for LGBTQ+ students. We are excited to share that the Center for LGBT Education, Outreach, and Services will organizationally be part of the new center. Luca Maurer will continue to lead this very important work but will now be part of a center that both holistically celebrates our students and also supports the need for affinity spaces. The physical space of the Center for LGBT Education, Outreach, and Services and resource center will remain on the lower level of the Hammond Health Center. Malinda Smith, who is the current Director of Multicultural Affairs, will retire on May 4. We thank Malinda for her years of dedicated service to the IC community and wish her the best in her retirement. The leadership team for this new center will be comprised of Dr. Sean Eversley Bradwell, Luca Maurer, RahK Lash, and an assistant director, for which a search will be launching soon.

o The Office of First-Year Experience will be part of the newly reconfigured Office of New Student and Transition Programs under the Dean of Students. It will focus on various transitional phases of the student experience as they navigate into and through IC. The office will specifically coordinate programs and services such as the First-Year Experience (FYE), the Sophomore-Year Experience (SYE), First Generation Program (Ithaca Firsts), and family engagement initiatives. More details about other programs are still being developed and will be shared in the near future. Erica Shockley, currently the Director of the Office of First-Year Experience, has announced she is leaving IC; her last day will be May 31. We thank Erica for her service to the college and wish her the best in her next chapter. Leading this office will be Dr. Jacqueline Winslow along with Kevin Perry and an assistant director, for which a search will be launching soon. Kevin Perry will be leading summer orientation. Please reach out to Kevin for all orientation inquiries.

Religious Communities and Muller Chapel

The search for the position of Director of Religious and Spiritual Life is under way and is being led by Dr. Sean Eversley Bradwell. The committee will be meeting soon to begin reviewing applicant materials and determine the timeline for the search. We will be sharing more information around this search in the coming weeks.

Comprehensive External Review of Counseling, Health and Wellness

As mentioned in the previous announcement, it is imperative that we dedicate the time and resources to properly assess our current counseling, health, and wellness services. I am in conversations with a firm that specializes in this field and will be receiving a proposal shortly. In the meantime, I have been meeting with the staff that works within the Center for Counseling, Health and Wellness to share with them our plan to review the operation and the critical role they will play. I will be sharing more details around this process in the near future. In the coming weeks, we will have some leadership changes within the center as Dr. Deborah Harper will be retiring on May 31 and Vivian Lorenzo, M.D., will be moving on to a new role outside of Ithaca College in late August. We would like to thank them both for their many years of service and leadership to the IC community. We are working to develop a thoughtful transition plan that prioritizes the continuation of the critical services to our students. I will be sharing some of these interim plans in upcoming updates.

Collective Leadership

I know that there is a great deal of information packed into this message, but I want to be open and transparent regarding the many changes taking place within the Division of Student Affairs and Campus Life that will affect the entire IC community. I also want to emphasize that this is a collective effort, and I encourage you to reach out to me with any questions or concerns as this process continues to move forward. Students, I invite you to stop in at the Senior Leadership Open Hour being held in the lobby of the Campus Center from 1:00 to 2:00 p.m. on Wednesday, May 2, if you have any questions or feedback.