Ithaca College Faculty Schedule Referendum on President’s Leadership


Ithaca College president Tom Rochon stands overlooking a protest Wednesday where hundreds of students demanded his resignation.

Ithaca College faculty will start voting Nov. 30 on a “no confidence” resolution for college president Tom Rochon. The voting lasts through Dec. 11. Results will be reported to the Board of Trustees, Faculty Council, all faculty and President Rochon by Dec. 14.

The vote comes as faculty frustrations with Rochon’s leadership reach a high point. The Faculty Council decided Tuesday to hold the confidence vote. Earlier this fall three of the college’s schools passed resolutions in support of holding a vote, according to college newspaper The Ithacan. One school voted against the proposal, and one did not hold a vote. Faculty have criticized Rochon for being out of touch with the campus community.

The faculty vote begins the same day students announce results from their own confidence vote. Rochon’s handling of recent racial incidents has touched off a series of campus protests among students. The campus activist group People of Color at Ithaca College organized a walkout Wednesday to call for Rochon’s resignation. The student opinion will be handed down at a Nov. 30 student government meeting.

In response to the furor, Rochon announced a new Chief Diversity Officer position on Nov. 10. Associate Provost for diversity, inclusion and engagement Roger Richardson will serve as an interim officer while the college conducts a national search. The college has also created several other initiatives, including mandatory training for faculty in “cross-cultural awareness” beginning this winter.