Draft of Syracuse University’s Academic Plan released
Draft of Syracuse University’s Academic Plan releasedApril 17, 2001Kelly Homan Rodoskikahoman@syr.edu
A draft of Syracuse University’s Academic Plan, the blueprint that will chart the course of the University’s future academic direction, was released April 18 by Vice Chancellor and Provost Deborah A. Freund. The draft can be found on the Web at http://acadplan.syr.edu Freund was charged by Chancellor Kenneth A. Shaw and the University’s Board of Trustees in September with developing a multi-year academic plan for the University. Input from the University community was gathered in four ways: through a series of campus-wide meetings hosted by Freund; via an online survey; through meetings and events organized by the deans on the school, college and departmental levels; and by direct e-mail to Freund. “The Academic Plan is the beginning of a process of redefinition and revitalization,” Freund says. “It contains a set of goals and initiatives representing our best ideas about how to claim our place as the nation’s leading student-centered research university.” The draft includes a history of some of the University’s achievements and traditions. “While we celebrate our many firsts and other areas of distinction, it is time to look to the future–a future that builds on our traditions of excellence, one in which we set new standards for higher education,” the plan states. “We want to be the undisputed leading student-centered research university. Realizing this vision will require that we build on what we have accomplished, identify institutional strengths as well as challenges, and prioritize key areas of strategic investment for the future.” The plan identifies three institutional priorities: ? securing the institutional foundation in research and teaching excellence; ?building upon student-centered research excellence to provide distinctive, world-class “signature” academic experiences for students that are unparalleled by the University’s aspirational peers (Boston University, Northwestern University, Vanderbilt University, Duke University, Emory University, Georgetown University, Case Western Reserve University, Washington University, the University of Southern California, New York University, the University of Rochester and Tulane University); and ?increasing research excellence in selected areas and supporting focused strategic research partnerships that will lead to national and international acclaim.
Securing the foundation The plan calls for securing the foundation through four initiatives: ensure greater faculty success; ensure greater student success; refocus graduate education; and enhance the intellectual climate through diversity. Eighteen strategies for implementation of the initiatives are included in the plan. Crafting signature experiences for Syracuse students Four distinctive “signatures” are identified in the plan as hallmarks of SU as a student-centered research university. They are an emphasis on the integration of theory and practice; the “blending” of liberal arts and professional studies; internationalization and inclusion; and elegant writing. “At the most general level, these signatures embody our identity as the country’s leading student-centered research university,” the plan states. “We will ensure that all undergraduates have vibrant experiences in these areas of strength by the time they graduate. We want to distinguish the student experience at Syracuse University to such a degree that graduates benefit from our reputation of excellence and distinction in these areas.” Strategic research partnerships The plan calls for the facilitation of University-wide collaboration for research and teaching excellence in four areas–information management and technology; environmental systems and quality; collaborative design; and citizenship and social transformation–selected because of the University’s comparative strength and ability to compete as a world-class center of excellence. The plan also calls for more focused programs of graduate study, particularly at the Ph.D. level. In addition, fund raising and academic space needs are identified as two areas critical to implementation of the plan. A public comment period on the draft of the plan will be held from April 18 to May 2. Members of the University community may offer their feedback on the draft plan via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org Following the campus-wide public comment period, Freund will issue directives in follow-up strategic implementation meetings.