The Ithaca College faculty board met with Tim Downs, vice president of finance and administration and chief financial officer, and discussed the past, present and future financial situation of the college at its November 9 meeting.
Downs spoke to the faculty board about the college’s current budget, as well as financial forecasting and strategies to improve the college’s finances. Acting Marshal Melanie Stein also provided a brief update on the Dean’s research in her report.
Aaron Witek, assistant professor in the Department of Musical Performance, asked Downs about the increase for both tuition fees and discount rate – how much the college earns in income after providing students with institutional financial aid. He asked if there was a way to advertise the lower cost of the college.
Downs said the college is giving each student a scholarship of $ 10,000 instead of lowering tuition fees for each student. He said if the college cuts tuition fees instead of providing the scholarship, it will experience financial gains at the start of the year, but still end up in the same place by the end of the year. Downs said the college’s discount rate has grown faster than tuition and room and board, but the return – the number of students entering the college out of the total number of students accepted – did not improve.
“We have increased the discounts and seen the yields fall or remain stable,” said Downs. “So this is again where we don’t see it as leverage and now we have to look at what the issues are and again there are many factors here and you know, from my point of view, the reputation in is part. “
Charis Dimaras, professor in the Department of Musical Performance, asked Downs how he felt about the role of Ithaca Forever – the five-year program strategic plan – which stipulates that 5,000 students would be the target number of enrollments for the college.
College enrollments have declined in recent years, reflecting national trends for colleges in the northeast. According to At the Office of Analytics and Institutional Research, there are a total of 5,239 students enrolled in fall 2021. As of fall 2020, 5,354 students were enrolled in college.
The “College form, Published as part of the college program prioritization process, says a key goal of the process was to align faculty size with student body size, which was based on a projected student population of 5,000.
“Projecting 5,000 enrollments for the foreseeable future is both realistic and ambitious, and reflects many factors including, but not limited to, recognition of a declining student population nationwide. , our anticipated attrition based on our historical models and a gradual loss of market share over the past decade, ”the document states.
low noted if the college targets 5,000 students as a desired number, it would live on a razor’s edge if it went down or below it. He said he thought 5,000 was too precise a number and that the college should aim to be above or below 5,000 students.
“What is the perfect number for college?Said Downs. “It’s going to depend on whether we have to target to be above 5,000, or we have to aim to be below 5,000. And each is going to come up with a different set of solutions and outcomes depending on what we’re doing, but that is what we are working on … Can we reach these enrollment numbers? Can we meet these retention numbers? Those are going to be big factors that, over the next year or so, we really need to look at to see if these are the right models and the right inputs that we are putting in place, and then go from there. “
In his report, Stein provided a brief update on the current research of deans at the college.
There are currently four interim deans out of the college’s five schools: Jack Powers at the Roy H. Park School of Communications, Alka Bramhandkar at the School of Business, and Ivy Walz at the School of Music. However, there will only be three searches. Stein is the dean of the Faculty of Humanities, but assumed the post of interim rector after La Jerne Cornish was appointed interim president for the 2021-2022 academic year. Claire Gleitman is the Acting Dean of the School of Humanities while Stein is the Acting Provost.
At the State of the College meeting on Oct. 5, Stein said the research committee chairs have all been appointed. Jack Bryant, associate professor and program director in the Department of Arts, Science and Media Studies, will chair the Dean’s Research of the School of Communications; Christine Bataille, Associate Professor and Chair of the Department of Management, will chair the Dean’s Research of the School of Business; and Chrystyna Dail, Associate Professor in the Department of Theater Arts, and James Mick, Associate Professor in the Department of Music Education, co-chair the Dean in Research of the New Combination of music and performing arts.
At the faculty council meeting, Stein said she hoped to release information about the deans’ search committees the week of November 8. Stein said the college would partner with WittKieffer, an executive search company. She said the college has in partnership with the cabinet for dean research in the past.
Courtney Young, assistant professor in the Department of Theater Arts, asked if the research agency would be open to faculty members submitting names for potential deans.
Stein said this is standard practice and she is sure it will be part of the process. She said this will be part of the active phase of the research, which will take place in the spring semester. She said the first part of the research, which will take place this semester, will feature more work from members of the campus community.
“It’s about writing the leadership profile, soliciting feedback from campus on what they’re looking for in the new dean, and doing all of that,” said Stein. “These are the kinds of preparations that are going to happen this semester.”