Ithaca College Announces New President

The Ithaca College Board of Trustees has announced the unanimous selection of Thomas R. Rochon as the eighth president in the institution’s 116-year history. Rochon, who has served since 2003 as executive vice president and chief academic officer for the University of St. Thomas in Minnesota, will officially begin his duties in Ithaca on July 1, 2008. He succeeds Peggy R. Williams, who will be retiring after 11 years as Ithaca’s president.“Tom brings to Ithaca College exceptional academic and administrative leadership credentials,” said Bill Schwab, chairman of the Ithaca College board of Trustees. “His background in directing and developing large and complex institutions, in the classroom, and as a scholar will serve the college well. We eagerly anticipate working with him in furthering Ithaca College’s mission and goals.”“I appreciate the board’s confidence in giving me this extraordinary opportunity to serve the Ithaca College community,” said Rochon. “Ithaca has an intelligent and motivated student body, a dedicated and accomplished faculty and staff, and a committed board of trustees. I feel well-prepared by my experiences to take on the challenge of building upon the college’s illustrious history and helping lead it to even greater success.”“I congratulate the search committee and the board of trustees for their outstanding work in finding and selecting such a highly qualified leader,” said Williams, who has served as Ithaca College’s seventh president since 1997. “I look forward to working with Tom and with the entire campus community to ensure a smooth transition.”At the University of St. Thomas, Rochon has been responsible for providing academic leadership in policy, curriculum development, and administration of the institution’s undergraduate and graduate programs, including seven colleges and schools; management of the overall academic budget; and establishment and maintenance of collaborative relationships with university administrators, deans, faculty, staff and students as well as with external constituents. He is also a tenured professor in the political science department.Prior to joining St. Thomas, Rochon was executive director of the Graduate Records Examination Program at the Educational Testing Service (2000–3). Previously, he served in several administrative and faculty positions at Claremont Graduate University in California, including interim provost and vice president for academic affairs (1997–98) and dean of the School of Politics and Economics (1996–2000). His teaching experience includes seven years as an assistant professor in the Department of Politics at Princeton University. Rochon received a B.A. with high distinction in 1973, followed by an M.A. in 1976 and a Ph.D. in 1980—all in political science from the University of Michigan. He has an extensive record of scholarly research in the areas of contemporary European politics and social movements in Europe and the United States. His 1998 book, “Culture Moves: Ideas, Activism and Changing Values,” received a Distinguished Scholarship Prize from the American Sociological Association and was named an Outstanding Academic Book of 1998 by “Choice” magazine. He is also the author of “Mobilizing for Peace: The Antinuclear Movements in Western Europe” and coeditor of “Coalitions and Political Movements: The Lessons of the Nuclear Freeze.” He served as associate editor of the journal “World Politics” from 1983–87.The recipient of numerous grants and awards, Rochon has been honored with the Susan Louise Dyer Peace Fellowship at the Hoover Institution on War, Revolution and Peace at Stanford University and was a Fulbright Lecturer at Kobe University in Japan. He has served on the President’s Advisory Board of the Universidad Anáhuac del Sur, Mexico City; California International Studies Project Advisory Board; and Regional Advisory Board of the European Union Center of California.Rochon was born in Virginia and grew up in Michigan. His wife, Amber, is a native of Canada and works in a shelter for teenage girls who need temporary accommodation.Coeducational and nonsectarian, Ithaca College is a nationally recognized independent college of some 6,260 undergraduates and 400 graduate students. Located in Ithaca, New York, it combines the individual attention of a small institution with the resources and offerings of a large university. The college was founded in 1892 as a music conservatory and today continues that emphasis on performance and active learning—both inside and outside of the classroom—with over 100 degree programs offered through the Schools of Business, Communications, Health Sciences and Human Performance, Humanities and Sciences, and Music as well as the Division of Graduate and Professional Studies and Division of Interdisciplinary and International Studies.

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