Picket Line Protests Ithaca College’s Faculty and Department Cuts

Ithaca College is planning to make major cuts to its faculty and curriculum. 

Students, faculty, and community members have criticized the College’s process. On February 8th, they formed a picket line at the entrance of Ithaca College.

The cuts are a part of Ithaca Forever Strategic Plan, which was formed due to the shaky financial footing the college has had for the past few years. COVID-19 only made these problems worse. 

The plan has been in development since early 2020. It calls for cutting 116 non-tenured faculty positions at the college, as well as entire departments. The faculty and department cuts will reportedly save Ithaca College $8 million annually.

Protestors cited a lack of transparency and clarity on what exactly Ithaca College’s strategy is. Some students, faculty, and community members have formed the ‘Open the Books’ campaign to demand Ithaca College show where they intend to use the money these cuts will save.

One picketer explained, “We’re just saying for the admin to open the books. Be upfront, be honest with the money. Where it’s being allocated. Is it going to students? Is it going to faculty?

Professor Juan Arroyo is among the faculty being cut. He said, “I don’t know what the strategy is, other than just getting rid of people and reducing costs. In a time when the number of people in the U.S. is aging, why get rid of the gerontology department? When the president, the current new president, wants to spend billions of dollars in reviving the economy with green projects, why slash the environmental studies department? 

Students, faculty, and community members asked for more input on the way the college will change. Ithaca College’s provost and president are set to make a final decision on the cuts by March 1st.