Tom Rochon to retire in 2017 from Ithaca College

Tom Rochon, the President of Ithaca College announced through a letter, which was posted on Thursday morning that 18-months from now, he will retire. According to the letter, the decision came after a period of reflection, which he did not directly attribute to protests last semester on the campus. Rochon said in his letter that the timing would allow for the board of trustees to make the proper arrangements to ensure that the transition is run as smoothly as possible. He said of his time that, “I am proud of the progress and accomplishments achieved by the college over what will be a nine-year tenure as president. Together we have created and implemented the key elements of an ambitious strategic plan.”His resignation comes after multiple protests on campus were given the national spotlight, alleging systemic racism on campus, a lack of leadership, as well as a lack of diversity on campus. While some argued that the racism was perceived, the lack of confidence was definitely not a perceived issue. Both the student and faculty bodies voted ‘no confidence’ in Rochon, which many believe started the momentum swing toward his planned exit. Ithaca College was one of many colleges this past fall, which saw the national spotlight as students protested to demand equal treatment on campus. Both the University of Missouri and Yale both had similar protests take place, which has become a national movement. Rochon’s letter continued, “I recognize that colleges evolve through eras defined by new opportunities and challenges. I believe it is best for IC to be led in the future by a president chosen by the board specifically to make a fresh start on these challenges, including those that became so apparent to us all last semester.”Rochon’s full letter can be read here.Stay tuned to FingerLakes1.com for the latest updates on this story and much more, as Ithaca College begins their search for a new college president.

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