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Chancellor Syverud Provides Updates to Campus Community on Free Speech, Diversity Reports
Syracuse University Chancellor Kent Syverud updated the University Senate on feedback regarding the free speech report and the diversity and inclusion report on Wednesday, April 13, in Maxwell Auditorium. Chancellor Syverud also spoke about the status of several executive leadership searches during his address at the monthly Senate meeting.
Below are the Chancellor’s remarks as prepared for the University Senate meeting:
Good afternoon. I will keep my remarks brief today. I want to update you on the Free Speech Report, Diversity and Inclusion, and Professor of Practice discussions. And give an update on our ongoing searches. I understand that there was a productive senate meeting on the 30th.
Free Speech/ Rubin Report
In regards to the Free Speech Report issued in November 2015, I have asked the following groups to provide their response and recommendations to the report: the Student Association, the Graduate Student Organization, the Student Bar Association, and the University Senate Agenda Committee. Those responses are due this Friday. I appreciate the time and energy the University Senate Agenda Committee has spent in reviewing and generating a response.
In March, the Graduate Student Organization, with participation from the Student Bar Association and SA, held a forum on the working group’s report. The forum allowed students to give feedback on the set of recommendations outlined in the report.
I look forward to hearing from each of the groups tasked with reporting on free speech. Based on that feedback, which I expect will be complete this month, I will determine next steps.
Diversity and Inclusion Report
I received the Workgroup on Diversity and Inclusion’s report on March 12. Since then I have been seeking feedback from the Senior Leadership Team and Board of Trustee members. I have also heard from many in the University community. Responses and feedback have been positive, with the only concern being the one the Senate discussed last month regarding reconciliation with the Free Speech Report. There has been no objection to the bulk of short-term recommendations, which are to occur before December of 2016. With that in mind, I am moving forward with the intention to begin implementation of the short-term recommendations. I appreciate the important work of the members of the Diversity and Inclusion Workgroup and all those who supported this process.
Professor of Practice
I was briefed on the Senate discussions and resolution related to Professors of Practice. The Senate has completed a very thoughtful and well-researched process. I appreciate both the time and energy spent on this important issue.
I know there were tough issues and occasional disagreements. But this process was a good model of University governance. I intend to work with Vice Chancellor and Provost-Designate Wheatly to understand and implement the resolution.
Executive Leadership Searches
The College of Law Dean search committee has put forth three final candidates for this position. We hope to make a decision in the coming week.
Interviews for the College of Visual and Performing Arts Dean finalists began this week on campus.
The Dean of Maxwell School finalist interviews begin the week of April 25 and run through the week of May 2.
Senior Vice President for Student Affairs: finalists were selected and interviewed the week of March 21. After hearing from the committee, we expect to announce an appointment by the end of April.
The Hendricks Chapel review committee has begun its work and the national search for a new Dean of Hendrick’s Chapel will follow in the fall.