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 April 19 Meeting
Syracuse University Chancellor Kent Syverud addressed the University Senate for the last time this academic semester on Wednesday, April 19. During Wednesday’s meeting, Chancellor Syverud provided a number of updates with regard to upcoming events and University initiatives. He encouraged participation at the inaugural One University Awards, scheduled for Tuesday, April 25, at 5 p.m. in Hendricks Chapel; announced this year’s honorary degrees recipients; and provided a brief update on the Hendricks Chapel dean search, among other items.
Below are the Chancellor’s remarks as prepared for the University Senate meeting:
Good afternoon. In light of today’s full agenda, I will keep my remarks brief.
Additional April Senate Meeting
First, I want to remind you that I will be unable to attend the Senate meeting that was recently added to the calendar for next Wednesday. I had shared with the Agenda Committee that I could make a meeting in May, but that I have a long-standing advancement travel commitment on April 26th. Provost Wheatly will be present and will speak at next week’s final Senate meeting.
One University Awards
This Tuesday, April 25, at 5 p.m. in Hendricks Chapel, the University will host the inaugural One University Awards Ceremony. The awards ceremony will bestow various University awards. They include:
- 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.
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.
Later today, the University will announce that five individuals will be awarded honorary degrees at Commencement on May 14th. The recipients include:
- Frank Bisignano, Chairman and CEO of First Data, a supporter of the University, and father of a 2011 alumna;
- Vernon Jordan Jr., a national civil rights activist and a senior managing director of Lazard Frères & Co. in New York;
- Vincent Poor, a scholar, researcher, and teacher who is the Michael Henry Strater University Professor of Electrical Engineering at Princeton University;
- Thomas Porter (Sakokwenionkwas, “the one who wins”), the founder, spokesperson and spiritual leader of the Mohawk Community of Kanatsiohareke; and
- Carrie Mae Weems, an internationally renowned photographer and video installation artist, and Syracuse resident for more than two decades.
The Senate approved the nomination of each of these candidates. I thank all those who worked on these nominations and helped create an outstanding 2017 class of honorary degree recipients.
Also recognized at Commencement by name will be our emeriti faculty. This continues a tradition we established two years ago. This is another opportunity to honor our emeriti faculty, particularly on such an important day. Many—indeed almost all—of our emeriti faculty continue to teach, to write, or to serve across our community. And they continue to care a lot about this place and the people here.
I want to provide a very quick update on the University budget. The current fiscal year 2017 budget is projected to be balanced at year-end. The year-end results are expected to modestly exceed the planned $1.5 million net addition to carryover.
For the coming fiscal year 2018 budget, prudent financial management continues to positively impact University financial results. For the second consecutive year, a balanced budget plan for the fiscal year 2018 has been formulated without any planned net use of carryover funds. Schools and colleges, and administrative units are currently working on detailed budget plan submissions that are to be completed by early May.
That said, I know the Budget Committee has worked hard this year and has an important presentation today.
All I will add now to that presentation is this: In order for our University to achieve its ambitions in improving academics, research, faculty and the student experience, we will need very substantial additional resources beyond what is reflected in the FY18 Budget. Those resources will have to come from additional fundraising, careful examination of tuition, and administration cost efficiencies.
Update on Free Speech Policies
As the Senate will recall, last semester, after lots of campus discussion and feedback, the University updated three policies related to free speech. These three policies were the Anti-Harassment Policy, the IT Resources Acceptable Use Policy, and the Campus Posting Policy. The first two policies were implemented and are in effect as of January 1.
In early January, the Campus Posting Policy, which received the most feedback, was sent to the Senate Committees on Student Life and Administrative Operations for further input. As a result of that input, the Campus Posting Policy has been shortened and simplified, and made less restrictive. An updated draft is being sent back to the two Senate committees for final feedback. In addition, Dolan Evanovich, Senior Vice President for Enrollment and the Student Experience and his team are reviewing a request from the Senate Student Life Committee for more physical posting locations on campus.
Communications and Marketing Search
The search for the Senior Vice President of Communications and Marketing is making good progress. The search committee is led by John Wildhack and Rochelle Ford, and Opus Partners is the search firm. The committee plans to hold first round interviews next week and bring finalists to campus before Commencement.
Hendricks Chapel Dean Search
The Hendricks Chapel Dean Search is in its final stages. We expect to have a formal announcement by this Friday, April 21st.
Thank you. That is my report today. I’ll take questions after the Provost’s Presentation.