Ithaca College President Tom Rochon to Resign Amid Unrest on CampusBy Russell Westerholm
Since the ouster of the University of Missouri's system president, other schools' student bodies have found their voices elevated by public interest in their case.
Whether the heightened visibility actually contributed or not, another college president is stepping down amid social unrest. Ithaca College President Tom Rochon announced his impending resignation following students' complaints he has been negligent toward issues of racism on campus, according to The Washington Post.
Some students at Ithaca have staged "die-ins" and other demonstrations to express frustration over Rochon's perceived indifference toward racial bias. Rochon's resignation will be effective July 1, 2017 in order to allow the school ample time to find a permanent successor.
"I am proud of the progress and accomplishments achieved by the college over what will be a nine-year tenure as president," he wrote in a statement posted on Itacha's website. "I look forward to working with the college community over the next 18 months in a constructive and collaborative way, making progress on issues of diversity and inclusion, shared governance, and decision making."
A student group known as POC at IC led a number of protests at the private school in Ithaca, New York. Both students and faculty took votes of confidence, The Ithacan reported, and both voted more than 70 percent for "no confidence." The school's staff council is currently taking the same vote.
Though the newspaper reported POC at IC had been demonstrating all semester, Rochon did not appoint a chief diversity officer until the day after Tim Wolfe resigned as the Missouri system's president in Nov.
While many students were pleased to see Rochon's decision, Dominick Recckio, Ithaca's student government association president, saw something that caused concern. First, that there will be "year and a half" between now and his resignation and, second, that the school's board will start its search for a new president over the summer.
"That is also a frustrating decision, you know? Starting the process that should be inclusive during the summer when students and faculty are not around," he told USA Today College. "I hope that they let students, faculty and staff be a part of the process - I imagine they will."