Dear Students and Families: The first day of classes is now less than 40 days away. We are all excited by the prospect of a return to an academic and student experience that resembles our pre-pandemic campus environment. A critical…
Board of Trustees Endorses Award-Winning Campus Framework—Vision for Excellence; Full Report Now Available for Community Feedback
20-year visioning document identifies opportunities to align the Academic Strategic Plan with the physical campus environment
Ensuring that Syracuse University’s physical landscape, buildings and infrastructure align with and support the priorities of the Academic Strategic Plan and its institutional mission and vision is the chief objective of the newly released Campus Framework—Vision for Excellence.
The full report, which remains in draft form to allow the University to shift and adapt to evolving needs and priorities, received the endorsement of the Board of Trustees over the weekend. The Campus Framework, which recently won a 2017 Society for College and University Planning Excellence Award in Planning for an Existing Campus, can now be viewed at CampusFramework.syr.edu. There, campus community members can read the report, provide feedback, and have their questions answered in real time. The University will also host multiple information sessions in the coming months, the first of which is scheduled for Thursday, June 15, at 4 p.m. in the Joyce Hergenhan Auditorium in Newhouse 3. Look for the times, dates and locations of additional information sessions on the Campus Framework website.
Noting that a lot of time, energy and effort were committed to developing the Campus Framework, Chancellor Kent Syverud says he is grateful to the students, faculty, staff and alumni who participated in this important initiative.
“We could not have done this work without the time, talent and dedication of so many in the Syracuse University community,” says Chancellor Syverud. “This is an exciting time for the University. That so many people are part of this effort is a testament to our collective commitment to making Syracuse University an even better place to live, learn, work and flourish. I look forward to the continued involvement of our students, faculty, staff and alumni as we implement this ambitious plan.”
The Campus Framework Advisory Group, created in May 2014, consisted of students, faculty, staff and alumni. It prioritized the following goals throughout the development of the Campus Framework:
- support academic excellence;
- enrich all aspects of student life; and
- create a diverse and vibrant campus setting.
University Trustee Steven Einhorn ’64, G’67, chair of the Campus Framework Advisory Group, emphasizes the Campus Framework is a 20-year visioning document that may evolve over time.
“The Campus Framework is a conceptual planning strategy of what steps the University might take to further develop identified facility and open space opportunities on campus,” says Einhorn. “The Campus Framework contains opportunities, many of which are extremely ambitious. We may not realize all of the things in this report, and there may be new ideas that come to light that are not reflected as well. That’s the beauty of this process—it’s designed to allow Syracuse University to be nimble and to shift focus as new opportunities or priorities arise.”
One priority that won’t shift is the focus on creating a campus environment that fully supports the goals of the Academic Strategic Plan. Though there are numerous points of intersection between the Academic Plan and the Campus Framework, key areas include:
- providing an unparalleled student experience;
- fostering a culture of discovery and research;
- sustaining an inclusive and accessible campus; and
- ensuring distinguished veterans’ programs and services.
Considerable enhancements to classroom space; upgrades to learning technology; updates to residence halls; a new health, wellness and recreation center; the new Innovation and Discovery Complex; and the National Veterans Resource Complex are just some of the projects and opportunities that will support the implementation of the Academic Strategic Plan.
“The Campus Framework provides a draft vision of the academic and student-life evolution of our campus,” says Cathryn Newton, special advisor to the Chancellor and Provost for faculty engagement, dean emerita of the College of Arts and Sciences and professor of Earth sciences and interdisciplinary sciences. “This is exciting. Our 2017 Framework supports the further development of spaces and facilities critical to the success of the Academic Plan across the diverse disciplines.”
As the University moves forward with executing the various projects contained within the Campus Framework, it will continue to seek the endorsement of the Board of Trustees prior to initiating construction. Additionally, the Office of Campus Planning, Design and Construction, in partnership with the University’s Campus Facilities Advisory Board, will consider the following factors during the campus construction decision-making process:
- alignment of physical presence with academic priorities;
- Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) compliance;
- campus community input;
- identification of funding; and
- urgency of infrastructure improvements.
David Lemon, a Ph.D. student in the College of Arts and Sciences and a member of the Campus Framework Advisory Group, says not only does he appreciate the due diligence that has been committed to this process, but he’s thankful to the community for their candid input along the way.
“All feedback is important—positive, constructive or otherwise,” says Lemon. “That feedback truly drove the development of the Campus Framework and created a strong foundation for continued collaboration moving forward. I am proud of the work of the advisory group and look forward to seeing some of our bold ideas realized.”