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…
Chancellor Syverud Addresses University Senate at March 22 Meeting
During his remarks at the March 22 University Senate meeting, Chancellor Kent Syverud spoke on the announcement of the 2017 Commencement speaker, the University’s first Service of Commemoration and administrative reorganization.
He also updated the Senate on the upcoming One University Awards ceremony and “It’s On Us” National Week of Action, and the University’s academic partnership with Le Moyne College.
Below are the Chancellor’s remarks as prepared for the University Senate meeting:
Good afternoon. I will very briefly report to the Senate on half a dozen matters.
First, the Senior Class Marshals announced at lunch today that Vernon Jordan, Jr. will deliver this year’s commencement address on Sunday, May 14.
Vernon Jordan, Jr. is an attorney, business executive and civil rights activist. He has enjoyed a long and distinguished career. He served as chairman of the William Jefferson Clinton Presidential Transition Team. He has also held several presidential appointments, including the President’s Advisory Committee for the Points of Light Initiative Foundation and the Advisory Council on Social Security.
Mr. Jordan was at the forefront of the Civil Rights Movement in the 1960s. He served as Georgia field director for the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) and director of the Voter Education Project of the Southern Regional Council. He later served as president and CEO of the National Urban League and executive director of the United Negro College Fund.
The Senate has previously approved Mr. Jordan for an honorary degree, a Doctor of Laws, which will be awarded at Commencement.
Yesterday afternoon, Hendricks Chapel oversaw the University’s first-ever Service of Commemoration. The event honored all faculty, staff and students who passed away in 2016.
The names of faculty, staff, and students who have passed were read and candles were lit in their memory. The service will be held annually and is inspired by the Remembrance Scholars’ motto of “Look Back, Act Forward,” a call to action to remember those we have lost and act forward in their memory.
It was a well-attended and beautiful event. I thank the many people who made yesterday’s service happen, including Sam Clemence, interim dean of Hendricks Chapel. I hope there will be Senate representation in the years to come.
Dean Clemence, professor emeritus in the College of Engineering and Computer Science, has done a wonderful job leading Hendricks Chapel as interim dean. He is currently serving as co-chair, along with Senior Vice President Candace Campbell Jackson, of the Hendricks Chapel Dean Search Committee. Finalists are now being interviewed and we expect an announcement by Commencement.
I know the Senate Budget Committee presentation has been deferred to next week’s meeting by the Agenda Committee. I think the Budget Committee has been working hard and admirably with Gwenn Judge and with our new CFO to educate folks about the budget and about strategic budget choices ahead. The questions I have heard fairly constantly are always variants of (1) what are you going to do about cutting the growth of administration and administration costs; and (2) how are you going to fund key academic and student life priorities, including faculty and financial aid.
I just want you to know I have heard that and we are working cooperatively on that. Right now, you should understand that we are in the midst of reorganizing in three areas that are relevant: We are combining the divisions of enrollment management and student life; we are getting ready to combine the areas of communications and marketing under new leadership; and our CFO is assessing all the units in the Division of Business, Finance, and Administrative Services. Our goal in this is to assure that all units in the University are well-supervised, efficient, and aligned with the academic priorities of the University.
One University Awards
Next month, Syracuse University will hold the One University Awards Ceremony on April 25 in Hendricks Chapel. The awards ceremony will bestow various University awards.
• The Chancellor’s Medal for Outstanding Achievement: this recognition is awarded to individuals in honor of their trailblazing and extraordinary contributions to society and/or the University.
• Also awarded is the Chancellor’s Citation for Excellence: this recognition will be awarded to members of the University community for outstanding achievement in teaching, scholarship and creative work. Over time, the focus of the awards changed to reflect new priorities and institutional directions.
The One University Awards Ceremony will also confer the following recognitions:
• The Tolley Medal, for leadership in lifelong learning;
• The Chancellor’s Award for Public Engagement and Scholarship;
• The Meredith Professorship for Teaching Excellence; and
• The United Methodist Scholar-Teacher Award.
The ceremony will also recognize the University Scholars; Senior Class and School and College Marshals; Remembrance and Lockerbie Scholars; and emeriti faculty.
I ask Senate leadership and senators to join the University for what I expect to be a terrific event.
“It’s On Us” National Week of Action
In just over two weeks, Syracuse University will participate in the spring “It’s On Us” National Week of Action. I encourage you to participate and get involved with this important effort. Between April 3 and April 7, the “It’s On Us” national campaign encourages every community member to take part in ending sexual assault.
A great team at Syracuse is responsible for coordinating our campus’ events, including:
• Peer Educators Encouraging Healthy Relationships and Sexuality;
• Several student organizations; and
• The Office of Health Promotion.
I am proud of our community’s collective work to prevent and end sexual and relationship violence.
Le Moyne Partnership
For the past several months, Provost Michele Wheatly, Associate Provost Jeff Stanton, and many deans have been working with their counterparts at Le Moyne College to identify new academic partnerships between our two institutions that are beneficial to both schools.
These new partnerships will focus on those academic areas that match our strengths and will provide new opportunities for both Syracuse and Le Moyne students.