Dear Faculty and Staff Colleagues: Our community has been engaged in important conversations, particularly over the last several months, about how we can collectively foster and maintain a welcoming, inclusive and safe campus environment for all. This dialogue has been…
University Unveils Draft Campus Framework, Invites Campus Community to Provide Feedback, Input via New Interactive Website
Noting that a bold Campus Framework is an essential foundation for providing an unrivaled collegiate experience, Chancellor Kent Syverud today unveiled a draft document for review by the University community. He also announced an interactive website to encourage engagement and feedback.
“The draft Campus Framework represents the future of Syracuse University,” says Chancellor Syverud. “Innovation happens when the environment supports it. The Campus Framework creates that inspiring environment.”
Trustee Steven Einhorn ’67, chair of the Campus Framework Advisory Group, says the Campus Framework is not a plan, nor is it cast in stone. “It is a living, breathing document that aligns itself with the priorities of the University community,” says Einhorn. “I am proud of the work done by my colleagues on the Advisory Group, and extend my deep gratitude to the members of the campus community for taking time to attend an information session, respond to our survey and submit their feedback. We look forward to continued dialogue.”
Key near-term initiatives highlighted in the draft Campus Framework include:
- a state-of-the-art health and wellness complex;
- a first-of-its-kind academic and research building, dedicated to advancing the lives of veterans and their families;
- “smart teaching stations” and other technology driven classroom enhancements;
- a vibrant revitalization of the Schine Student Center and Bird Library with collaborative study spaces and increased physical connectivity; and
- relocation and expansion of undergraduate housing from South Campus to Main Campus.
Members of the campus community are encouraged to review the draft-document and provide feedback and input via the public comment section on http://CampusFramework.syr.edu, an interactive website aimed at creating continuous dialogue and fostering campus engagement. Additionally, multiple information sessions will be held in coming months. Look for times/dates/locations to be posted on the Campus Framework website.
“As we enhance our standing as a great, thriving, international research university, it is critical to align our vision and mission with our physical presence and infrastructure,” says Chancellor Syverud. “The interface between people, landscapes and structures impacts the way we learn, live, work and interact year round. Thanks to the commitment of the Campus Framework Advisory Group, the due-diligence of the Board of Trustees and input from more than 5,000 students, faculty, staff and alumni, this draft document positions us for tremendous growth in the future.”
The sharing of the draft Campus Framework comes after more than 18 months of campus outreach, in which students, faculty and staff participated in surveys and information sessions. It also follows the Advisory Group’s submission of a report last fall to the Chancellor, detailing recommendations that largely informed the creation of the Campus Framework made available today.
“I am pleased to see much of what we recommended reflected in the most up-to-date draft,” says Cathryn Newton, dean emerita of the College of Arts and Sciences, who is the University’s only professor of interdisciplinary sciences, a Provost’s Faculty Fellow and a member of the Advisory Group. “The Campus Framework we proposed seeks to create a more accessible and safe campus community for students, faculty, staff and visitors. As a researcher, educator and scholar, I especially look forward to seeing the revitalization of current academic spaces—and the creation of new ones. I also applaud the investments in student residential spaces and student activities. These will be pivotal steps in attaining the goals of the Academic Strategic Plan.”
The Advisory Group, comprised of students, faculty, staff and Trustees, identified three key goals that drove the conceptualization of the Campus Framework: supporting academic excellence, enriching all aspects of student life and creating a vibrant campus setting.
The Campus Framework emphasizes mobility improvements for pedestrian, bicycle and transit systems to encourage sustainable mobility practices campuswide. In particular, the Campus Framework adopts a universal design approach, and proposes initiatives meant to improve mobility in new projects and retrofit existing structures to provide enhanced accessibility.
Eddie Zaremba ’13, G’15, co-founder of the Disability Student Union and a student representative on the Advisory Group, says he looks forward to seeing the Campus Framework come to life. “This is an exciting time to be a student at Syracuse University. This approach recommends a number of important steps to improve the student experience, officially integrate accessibility and mobility into our design language and foster a more collaborative University through environment. I’m excited that current and future students will have opportunities to embrace and enjoy the benefits of the Campus Framework. As an alumnus and as an SU employee, I am eager to observe the progress first-hand.”
Julia Czerniak, professor and associate dean of architecture and a member of the Campus Framework Advisory Group, says the quality of the campus will be enhanced by the projects outlined in the Campus Framework. “We are fortunate to have so many diverse buildings on campus that serve as a foundation for our architectural landscape. The infrastructural initiatives identified in the Campus Framework will weave the campus together, strengthening its identity while creating many wonderful places for engagement and learning.”
While the draft Campus Framework is designed as a 20-year roadmap, many projects have been identified as near-term priorities, including: the Classroom Enhancements and Technology Upgrades Project; the National Veterans Resource Complex; the West Campus Project; and the University Place Promenade Project. Additional Campus Framework priorities include streetscape improvements on Waverly Avenue between Irving and University avenues; significant investment in the University’s Energy Plant Complex to provide greater sustainability and energy efficiency; the regeneration of Bird Library; the relocation of undergraduate housing from South Campus to Main Campus; and substantial renovations to the Schine Student Center.