Dear Members of the Syracuse University Community: Over the last several months, hundreds of students, faculty, staff, administrators and trustees have engaged in constructive, collaborative and respectful dialogue. The Board of Trustees created a Special Committee on University Climate, Diversity…
One University Events Attended by 2,800 Faculty and Staff Members
One University, a series of receptions that brought together small groups from across campus, is about to come to a conclusion. As of the end of May, all current and benefits-eligible University faculty and staff members (over 5,700 people) have been invited to attend a One University event. It is believed that this represents the largest number of faculty and staff ever to be invited to the Chancellor’s house for a particular set of events.
The 28 One University events, which began last fall, brought together more than 2,800 employees in total. The informal receptions were hosted at the Chancellor’s House by Chancellor Kent Syverud and his wife, Dr. Ruth Chen, professor of practice in the College of Engineering and Computer Science.
The goal of the events was to bring together small groups of faculty and staff from across a range of academic and administrative units to meet, talk and get to know each other a little better. A recurring One University theme was that when all the academic and administrative parts of the University come together to get something done, Syracuse does it better than anywhere else. Those attending got a chance to meet other University colleagues with whom they might not ordinarily cross paths. Others, they got to know a little better.
The receptions also gave Chancellor Syverud and Dr. Chen a chance to personally meet thousands of faculty and staff. Many of those attending also had an opportunity to tour the Chancellor’s house with Dr. Chen.
Many members of the University community said they appreciated the chance to come together in an informal setting. Among the comments received:
• “I have worked at Syracuse University for over 30 years and have never been inside the Chancellor’s house. I am so pleased to have been invited to share this experience with my colleagues and to meet Chancellor Syverud and Dr. Chen.”
• “I have been with SU for several years, and this morning was my first chance to see the house.”
• “Thank you for opening your beautiful home to us, to have personal conversations with each of you, enjoy the view of the campus and Syracuse from the gorgeous windows, a peek into your lives with the photos and books in the library and an opportunity to meet colleagues from the community I enjoyed conversing with.”
• “The beauty of the home, the engaging conversations with colleagues there made for a wonderful afternoon.”
• “It was such a pleasure to meet you both. It was also a nice opportunity to meet individuals outside business and finance, and also to reconnect with individuals I had not seen in many years.”
• “I enjoyed my visit to the Chancellor’s house. As an alum, I found it very special to have a peek into the Chancellor’s house that sits on our campus. I also had a great time visiting with the people I work with daily, and people I communicate with occasionally but have never had the opportunity to meet.”
• “As a relative newcomer to Syracuse, it was wonderful to meet you, your wife and other SU employees in such a comfortable and warm setting.”
Erika Davis serves as the One University reception coordinator. Ellen Edgerton of Technical Systems and Services distributed invitations and reminders for the 28 One University receptions that were held during the 2014-15 academic year. Assistance was also provided by Kristen Otter of Human Resources and Linda Pitonzo of the Chancellor’s Office.
“I am honored to have the opportunity to work with so many incredible University employees and to have met so many more during the receptions,” says Davis. “I have witnessed the positive impact that these receptions have had on faculty and staff throughout our campus, which I believe will have a lasting effect on efforts to unite the University.”
“I would like to thank the University community for visiting ‘Their House,’” says Dr. Chen. “So many faculty and staff shared history and provided advice from woodworking to the orange tree that sits on the back porch.”
Since arriving at Syracuse, Chancellor Syverud and Dr. Chen have opened the University’s Chancellor’s house to the full campus community. They have hosted approximately 3,000 students, faculty, staff alumni and community members there for a wide range of events there since that time. Moving forward, One University receptions will be held in the fall and spring as needed to accommodate newly hired University employees and those who were not able to attend earlier events.