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Message from Chancellor Syverud
Dear Students, Faculty and Staff:
As students and faculty finish with final exams, and we head into our commencement activities, I am reminded of how much we accomplished this year, and will continue to accomplish by doing what this community does incredibly well: coming together.
It has been an extraordinary year, marked by a divisive presidential campaign and polarizing election. There were days when it would have been easy to fracture as a community. There were times when things were rough here. But when we were at our best, we came together surrounding those in need with understanding, compassion and support.
It has also been a year in which faculty came together to build on Syracuse’s strengths and commitment to research—often with our remarkable students and alumni—to change the world.
Peter R. Saulson, the Martin A. Pomerantz ’37 Professor of Physics, was named a co-recipient of the National Academy of Sciences Award for Scientific Discovery. Saulson shares the award with Gabriela González G’95 (his first Ph.D. student at Syracuse) and David Howard Reitze, in recognition of their leadership of the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO) Scientific Collaboration.
In the College of Law, collaboration between our students and faculty resulted in a presidential pardon. Under the leadership of Criminal Defense Clinic Director Todd Berger and Practitioner-in-Residence Jason Hoge, and with the assistance of students Rachel Campbell L’14 and Jaclyn Morgese L’14, the team submitted a pardon application on behalf of Lisa Jandro in 2014. On January 17, 2017, Jandro was one of 64 individuals to receive a presidential pardon from President Barack Obama.
Assistant Professor Michelle Blum was honored as the College Educator of the Year by the Technology Alliance of Central New York. Blum joined the College of Engineering and Computer Science in 2012 and has consistently worked to find new ways to actively engage her students. The result? Student-centered group-learning that those in her classes say improved the effectiveness of their learning.
There are countless other examples of coming together in pursuit of excellence and of community. I reported to the University Senate last month that the time has come to do more to support these remarkable efforts, and to make Syracuse University even stronger. We must build on our momentum while increasing our commitment to access, inclusion and opportunity.
As noted throughout the year, many have worked hard to put Syracuse on a healthy fiscal path. The University is well positioned for the future with a balanced budget, modest growth of our endowment and plans for creating new facilities and rehabilitating older buildings.
Yet challenges remain, and more must be done if we are to compete in the future, deliver a world-class experience for our students and prepare them for personal and professional success in a fast-changing, globalized world. We must move forward with a long-term resource plan that is bold and balanced and that converts the big ideas of our Academic Strategic Plan into significant innovations and accomplishments.
In the coming months, we will explore options for generating additional resources, in roughly equal proportions from three sources: new gifts to support scholarships; reallocation of funds from administrative unit budgets; and new tuition revenue.
This infusion of resources will allow us to invest in the future: the future leaders we are educating at Syracuse, the future research and discoveries of our faculty, and the future of our institution, our campus and the priorities set forth through our Academic Strategic Plan:
Reimagining our students’ experience during their time at Syracuse, beyond Syracuse and after Syracuse. We will do this by investing in academic advising and the whole student experience, inside and outside the classroom; by creating new opportunities for international experiences and internships; and by providing robust career planning and network support upon graduation.
Investing in our faculty and research competitiveness by providing the resources needed to deliver innovative teaching and conduct groundbreaking studies. This means making sure we are providing the tools for modern research and the resources for outstanding teaching, all while continuing to grow and diversify our faculty commensurate with changes and expansions in the map of knowledge.
Renewing and expanding our campus, aided by the comprehensive Campus Framework, to meet the constantly evolving needs of our students, the demands of a modern research enterprise and the expectations of a community focused on excellence.
Increasing scholarship opportunities to keep the doors of Syracuse open as wide as possible for students of talent and promise from across the economic spectrum through financial aid. This is especially important, as the cost of college continues to rise and as students and their families assess their return on investment.
We will have more opportunities to discuss this effort when we return in August, and continuing into the fall semester. Critical to the success of this effort is a strong partnership among faculty, staff, students and University leadership, including the Board of Trustees, the University Senate and student leaders.
I look forward to working with you in this effort, and to building a stronger Syracuse together.
Chancellor Kent Syverud