ITHACA, NY – Ithaca College has taken the first steps toward searching for the successor to embattled college President Tom Rochon. After a semester of protests and no confidence votes, Rochon announced his plans to resign in 2017.

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In what is promised to be the “first of many” messages to the campus community, IC Board of Trustees Chair Tom Grape and Vice Chair David Lissy outlined their goals for the search.

“Our goal is to be as transparent as possible at each step along the way to identifying the next president of Ithaca college,” the statement reads. The college plans to launch a website that will serve as an information center for their efforts to find a new president, from start to finish.

“We plan to be very inclusive as we solicit input from all members of the campus community regarding the future of Ithaca College, and the desired qualities and competencies needed in the next president to lead us toward this future,” the board members said in the statement.

The board seems to have taken complaints of a lack of shared governance under Rochon to heart. Prior to their next meeting, they intend to meet with the executive committees of the Faculty Council, Staff Council and Student Government Association. These meetings will be focused on the engagement of the greater IC community in the search process.

The meetings will also seek to work out a process and timeline for the creation of a search committee. The statement indicates that they hope to have assembled a search committee by March, as they plan to use the months of March and April to solicit feedback from the IC community.

In the meantime, the board’s immediate goal is to choose an executive search consulting firm to help with the search. Perhaps as a preemptive respnse of concerns about involving a group from outside the community,  the statement includes the disclaimer: “As is customary at Ithaca College and elsewhere, it is advisable to use such a firm for senior administrative appointments.” The board hopes to have chosen a firm by the end of February.

So to recap, here’s the timeline:

  1. Immediate – Meet with executive committees from faculty, staff and student groups
  2. By end of February – Choose a consulting firm
  3. Sometime in March: Name a search committee
  4. Sometime in March – early April: Hold listening sessions to solicit feedback from the greater IC community

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Michael Smith

Michael Smith reports on politics and local news for the Ithaca Voice. He can be reached via email at, by cell at (607) 229-0885, or via Google Voice at (518) 650-3639.