The administration of Ithaca College has made significant investments in purchasing properties surrounding the campus in recent years. The primary motive behind these acquisitions is to prevent developers from constructing large properties adjacent to the college, thus preserving the views and character of the campus. While this intention is commendable, it is crucial for the college administration to establish and communicate plans for these properties to ensure the investments are worthwhile.
Currently, many of the acquired properties lack clear plans and were solely purchased to block other buyers. Some have been temporarily used to house employees, while others host businesses. Unfortunately, there are still properties that remain unused. If the college is going to invest substantial amounts of money in these properties, it is in the best interest of the campus community that they contribute to its economic or academic benefit.
Enrollment at Ithaca College has significantly declined by 22% between Fall 2018 and Fall 2022. This decline directly impacts the college’s funding and operating budgets. Therefore, the college administration has been actively seeking ways to increase student enrollment and yield rate. The properties acquired by the college represent a considerable investment, with some costing nearly $1 million. It is important to consider whether these funds would be better utilized for academic resources, athletic facilities, student housing, social justice and equity programs, and sustainable transportation.
Instead of solely preventing unwanted development, these properties should be utilized to enhance the college. They could be transformed into new labs, dormitories, or gyms. Some properties could be used to accommodate faculty, ensuring the college can attract the most qualified individuals for open positions, irrespective of housing availability. By transforming these spaces into innovative facilities or assigning them specific purposes, the college would increase its appeal to prospective students and improve its financial position.
In conclusion, Ithaca College’s investments in surrounding properties should not only serve to block unwanted development but should also contribute to the growth and success of the institution. By utilizing these properties wisely, the college can create a more attractive and prosperous environment that benefits both students and faculty.
Source article information is based on internal knowledge.