Chancellor Kent Syverud to Conclude Tenure on Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill Trust
Syracuse University Chancellor Kent Syverud’s six-year tenure as trustee of the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill Trust will come to a close later this month as the Trust concludes its work administering funds to those impacted by the 2010 oil spill. Chancellor Syverud was one of two trustees appointed by BP, in consultation with the White House, to oversee a $20 billion trust to pay individuals and businesses suffering losses arising from the disaster. BP, together with other companies, was responsible for the decisions on the drilling vessel that led to a blowout that killed 11 workers and discharged millions of barrels of oil into the Gulf of Mexico.
Since 2010, Chancellor Syverud, along with the Honorable John S. Martin, a retired U.S. District Judge for the Southern District of New York, have served as trustees of the oil spill trust, overseeing the funds used to compensate victims without the delays and costs associated with litigation. Hundreds of thousands of claims by individuals and businesses were resolved and paid in a timely manner.
“The spill has been a traumatic experience for so many,” says Chancellor Syverud. “To serve as a trustee has been an honor and a great public responsibility. Throughout the process, we have made sure that the trust has been appropriately administered for the benefit of those with legitimate claims.”
An expert in complex civil litigation, insurance and negotiation, Chancellor Syverud was appointed while he was serving as dean of the Washington University School of Law. He became Syracuse’s chancellor and president in January 2014, and continued to work closely with the trust.
The Deepwater Horizon oil spill is described as the worst environmental disaster in U.S. history. When a series of safety system failures triggered a massive explosion, the rig capsized and sank, releasing nearly 5 million barrels of crude oil into the gulf. The largest accidental marine oil spill in the history of the petroleum industry, the disaster affected an estimated 68,000 square miles of ocean and 125 miles of coastlines in Louisiana, Mississippi, Florida and Alabama. Coastal areas, critical habitats and the region’s economy were damaged.