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Ithaca College President Shirley M. Corrado announced on Thursday that after four years in the position, she will step down early next year. The news of her resignation came amidst the drastic cuts in the budget of the private liberal arts college and the drastic reduction of faculty and staff.

Collado will leave Ithaca to become the president and CEO of College Track, an organization focused on helping low-income and first-generation students complete their college education.

“This move is not what I wanted,” Corrado said. “I have been very, very focused on Ithaca.”

The dean of the college, La Jerne Terry Cornish, will serve as interim principal from August 30, 2021. Collado will stay in Ithaca until January 10 and will serve as a senior advisor to the boards of Cornwall and Ithaca universities.

According to a statement from Chairman David Lissy and Vice Chairman Jim Nolan, the Board will determine within the next six months what qualities and experience it wants the next president to have and how to best handle the search process. board. They did not provide a timetable for the next presidential search.

Corrado’s presidency is celebrated Announce February 2017. She made history and became the first university president to attend a university through a program funded by the Posse Foundation, which sent disadvantaged student groups to different universities to register together.

She said it was bittersweet to leave the private liberal arts college in upstate New York four years after arriving.

“Timing is never a good thing,” she said. “It is difficult to transition from a place where you are truly committed and passionate to one that is equally extraordinary.”

Throughout his tenure, Corrado received broad support from the board of directors.

Lissy and Nolan wrote in the statement: “On behalf of the Board of Directors, we extend our sincerest congratulations to President Corrado for being appointed to College Track, and express our deepest gratitude to her for her service to Ithaca College over the past four years.” “Although we feel sad that she will leave the college, we are very happy that she has got this extraordinary opportunity to help support qualified students to enter the university-this is the personal and professional passion she brings to all of her work at IC “

The response of ordinary faculty members is more complicated. The governments of Corrado, Cornwall and Ithaca announced layoffs of more than 100 of the 547 faculty and staff last year. The layoffs were concentrated on part-time and non-tenured faculty members, and were criticized for this.

Rachel Fomalhaut, chairperson of the faculty union of the Ithaca College Task Force and a lecturer in writing, women’s and gender studies at the college, said that some faculty members were upset about Corrado’s announcement of her departure. Said that she immediately abandoned the college after causing serious damage to the faculty. Beiluo Shimen was one of the people who was fired. She is teaching summer courses, but will not return to Ithaca in the fall.

“Like many people, I have been predicting that this is what will happen,” Beiluo Shimen said. “Because what we have seen in higher education is that managers came in, they got huge salaries, they cancelled the plan, they fired a group of faculty and staff like President Corrado did, and then they left a bright future, they It left a mess.”

Corrado’s announcement caught other faculty and staff off guard.

“Most of the emails I received from faculty today expressed surprise,” Dan Brin, associate professor of English and chairman of the college’s American Association of University Professors branch, wrote in an email.

Brin said he hopes the Ithaca community will use the transition period to consider ways to include all campus districts in university decision-making.

“For the faculty and staff here, it is important to remember that many of the problems we encountered last year have a lot to do with the governance structure of Ithaca College,” Brin said. “This is a deeply entrenched matter. It has nothing to do with the tenure of any executive, but with the long-term transformation of American higher education culture.”

L. Jay Lemons, President and Senior Advisor of Academic Search, said that it is not uncommon for Corrado to leave the academic world.

“For most people, the president of a college or university is the pinnacle of their career,” he said. “However, there are many examples of people who have a second action bringing them into the world of neighboring organizations, such as foundations, think tanks, and organizations that may serve higher education more generally.”

Despite this, Corrado’s tenure is relatively short—according to a 2016 study by the American Board of Education, university presidents work in an institution for an average of 6.5 years.

Lemmons said he wouldn’t be surprised if the pressure of the pandemic causes the average term of the president to drop again.

He said: “I am very worried about the high cost of living in this pandemic, which is a kind of wear and tear for a president who already has a difficult and challenging job.”

Corrado said that she herself decided to leave Ithaca and was not pressured by anyone to step down.

“If you are loved by everyone and have no pressure on any decision, you can’t lead an organization in an extraordinary way,” she said. “Regardless of the views on campus, I really feel that I have done what I need to do and considered the long-term view of putting students first.”

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