ITHACA, NY – In a message sent out to Ithaca College alumni, parents and other members of the campus community, the college announced that its search for its ninth president is now underway.

The announcement comes roughly six months after IC’s current president, Tom Rochon, announced his retirement.

Mass protests at IC during the last fall semester made national news after students and faculty members called for Rochon’s resignation The protests came after several incidents that were said were to be racially and culturally insensitive, among other complaints involving governance and diversity.

Ithaca College officials said in a news release that when choosing the institution’s ninth president, the board of trustees would conduct, “an inclusive search process that will solicit input from faculty, students, staff and alumni.”

They spent several months establishing the search committee and finding a search firm to aid in the search. This announcement marks the official beginning of that search:

[su_box title=”Ithaca College President Search Announcement”]To the Campus Community:

I am pleased to inform you that the search for the next president of Ithaca College is now live. As I described to you in my last update, the search committee and search firm collaborated with great focus and intentionality during the month of May to finalize the position’s prospectus (also known as the opportunity statement) that will be shared with the public and all prospective candidates.

The opportunity statement is now complete, and I encourage you all to view it on the presidential search website and share it with your colleagues at IC and elsewhere. I also encourage you to nominate individuals you feel would be strong candidates for consideration. Nominations can be submitted

We have worked hard to ensure that the opportunity statement synthesizes the recurring themes that we heard from our whole community — our students, faculty, staff, administrators, and alumni — about the college’s biggest strengths and challenges, and about the skills and attributes you most want to see in our next president.

A great many people attended listening sessions with our search consultants, emailed us written feedback, and shared their thoughts personally. The resulting opportunity statement is our first step, and an important step, in marketing our institution to the potential candidate pool. It has been crafted collaboratively and thoughtfully, and I thank you for your input.

Other Status Updates

As I shared with you last month, the committee has undertaken the complex task of shaping a search process that will ensure an appropriate degree of interaction between the campus community and our finalists, while also being mindful of maintaining an appropriate degree of personal privacy for candidates. I asked for the community’s input on the best ways to approach this balance, and you were forthright in providing it. Thank you.

The committee has heard clearly that our campus community strongly desires the opportunity to interact with the finalists, and we are working through a process to do just that. Now that we have finalized and released the position prospectus, the committee is focusing on two primary charges: mapping out the process for how the campus will be able to engage with finalists, and beginning to review profiles of candidates as we move through the early stages of the search.

Finally, I have a brief update to share about the membership of our search committee. As many of you know, Christy Agnese ’06, the staff trustee serving on our search committee, has recently relocated to the Philadelphia area and has left Ithaca College.

During our last Board of Trustees meeting, the board approved the appointment of Sybil Conrad as Christy’s replacement as staff trustee, effective June 1. Sybil also will replace Christy on the search committee. I am grateful for Christy’s contributions and am pleased to welcome Sybil to the committee.

I look forward to sharing more updates with you in the next few weeks. In the meantime, I hope that you will continue to send input and suggestions, and I hope that your summer provides an opportunity for a more relaxing pace as you continue with your research, classes, projects, and the summer responsibilities of the college.


Jim Nolan ’77, Parent ’01
Chair, Presidential Search Committee[/su_box]

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.