Cavanagh stepping down as undergraduate studies VP
Cavanagh stepping down as undergraduate studies VPAugust 29, 2005Patrick Farrellpmfarrel@syr.edu
Ronald R. Cavanagh, vice president for undergraduate studies at Syracuse University, has announced that he is stepping down as part of Vice Chancellor and Provost Deborah A. Freund’s reorganization of the Office of Academic Affairs.
Cavanagh has served as the University’s first and only vice president for undergraduate studies since the office was created in 1986. Charged with supporting the University’s commitment to undergraduate education, the Office of the Vice President for Undergraduate Studies has focused on enhancing and coordinating undergraduate education. Under Cavanagh, Undergraduate Studies has engaged with University personnel at all levels to promote increased retention and strengthen undergraduate curricula, instruction and advising. The office also has encouraged collaboration and cooperation among the schools and colleges in the development of innovative interdisciplinary, inter-college and all-University programs.
As head of Undergraduate Studies, Cavanagh has overseen the development of some the University’s most visible and successful student-focused initiatives, including the Division of International Programs Abroad, the Center for Support of Teaching and Learning, Project Advance, the Division for Student Support and Retention, and the Syracuse University Internship Program, as well as Air Force and Army ROTC programs. The Office of the Registrar, the University’s various learning communities, the Syracuse University Assessment Program, the School and University Partnership for Educational Responsibility and the Central New York Educational Consortium have also been under Cavanagh’s supervision.
“The programs that have come out of Ron’s office have dramatically transformed the culture of the University, making it much more dynamic, diverse and globally aware-that’s quite a legacy,” says Vice Chancellor and Provost Deborah A. Freund. “Ron will be greatly missed.”
Says Cavanagh, “I have been very privileged in my career to have had the opportunity to serve a great University, supported by so many talented and committed professionals. To have facilitated the success of students and faculty over the years has been a source of deep personal satisfaction.”
Under Cavanagh’s leadership, the Office of the Vice President for Undergraduate Studies launched or enhanced a number of programs that have effectively transformed the University. Among the more prominent programs:
- The Learning Communities Program, begun as a pilot jointly supported by Undergraduate Studies and Student Affairs, expanded from an initial two communities enrolling less than 50 students in 1998, to its current 27 residential and non-residential learning communities, which together enroll more than 1,200 students. The program has been nationally recognized, most recently by U.S. News & World Report as a “program to look for.”
- The Division of International Programs Abroad, referred to in U.S. News & World Report as the “Cadillac of American study abroad programs,” has five centers around the world with a sixth to open in 2006. The program has doubled the annual enrollment since the fall of 1986 to an average of nearly 2,000 undergraduate and graduate students per year. The centers in London, Madrid, Strasbourg, Florence and Hong Kong are now functioning as bases for the University’s international admissions activity.
- The Syracuse University Internship Program has quadrupled in size, enrolling an average of almost 900 students each year. Internships are now offered from coast to coast and in a number of foreign countries.
- The Syracuse University Honors Program quadrupled in size andembraced students from across the University under Cavanagh’s leadership from 1986-2002.
- Syracuse University’s three-year-old new student welcome program, designed to help first-year students’ transition to SU life, is a yearlong compilation of orientation, intellectual and social activities. It has been recognized by U.S. News & World Report as a “program to look for.”
In addition, over the last 19 years, Cavanagh has provided leadership for a broad range of student- and faculty-focused projects, including the Teaching Assistant Program, the New Student Orientation Program, the New Faculty Orientation Program, the Gateway Program and the new class-scheduling paradigm.
Cavanagh arrived at SU in 1967 after earning a doctorate in theology at the Graduate Theological Union, Berkeley, Calif. Prior to joining the Office of the Vice President for Undergraduate Studies, Cavanagh served as both a faculty member and chair of the Department of Religion, and as associate dean and interim dean of The College of Arts and Sciences. After a one-year leave he will return to teaching in the Department of Religion.