On April 25, 2018, La Jerne Terry Cornish, an education administrator with a strong record of helping students and faculty achieve success, was named provost and senior vice president for academic affairs at Ithaca College. Cornish has served since 2014 as associate provost for undergraduate studies at Goucher College in Baltimore.
In a message to the campus community, President Shirley M. Collado said: "La Jerne doesn’t shy away from asking the provocative questions and doing the necessary work to build important and powerful coalitions that create lasting change. She is skilled at finding ways to advance institutional priorities in lean-resource environments, and she will be a trusted, talented partner to me, to the senior leadership team, and to our deans and faculty as we continue to develop the quality of the Ithaca College academic experience.
"I have no doubt that La Jerne will be a critical architect in building a collective academic vision for Ithaca College."
When ascertaining the requirements for the ideal provost and senior vice president of academics affairs, three open forums were held for faculty, staff, and students in mid-November 2017. Search consultants from the firm Witt/Kieffer also met with department chairs and held an open forum with faculty.
The search consultants asked attendees to discuss the following five questions during the forums:
- How should the provost best serve the faculty to enhance their success and advance overarching institutional goals?
- In what ways can the provost and the vice president for student affairs collaborate to improve student success?
- What critical attributes and talents should the next provost possess to succeed at Ithaca College and move us forward?
- What are the advantages and disadvantages of an internal vs. external provost?
- Two years from now, what is one accomplishment we’ll be most proud of?