Derek Davis had not been on the Syracuse University campus more than a week in 2015 before being swept up in the excitement of a once-in-a-lifetime discovery that would thrill the astrophysics world and thrust the gravitational-wave research community onto…
Chancellor Syverud Addresses Dec. 12 University Senate Meeting
Chancellor Kent Syverud discussed diversity and inclusion, proposed changes to Title IX and faculty complaint procedures at the Dec. 12 University Senate meeting. He recognized Teresa Dahlberg’s new appointment as provost of Texas Christian University and Dina Eldaway’s selection as the second ever Syracuse Marshall Scholar. Chancellor Syverud also gave updates about the budget, fundraising, enrollment and improvements for graduate students. He also acknowledged the University Senate’s concerns regarding bursar holds and his support for an ad hoc committee to address federal changes to financial aid.
Good afternoon. There is a full agenda today so my comments will be brief.
Before I begin my remarks, I want to congratulate Teresa Dahlberg for her selection as provost at Texas Christian University. She has accomplished a great deal for the College of Engineering and Computer Science and for our University. I have no doubt that she will make a similar positive impact at TCU.
I also want to note that Provost Wheatly will address the two curriculum issues before this body: the path forward on SEM 100 and on Shared Competencies. In the interest of time, I will not duplicate her comments.
First, I will update you on two key diversity and inclusion initiatives. Second, I want to address our response to new proposed rules for Title IX. Third, I want to remind you of the needed revision to our policies on investigating complaints against faculty and background checks. Finally, I will share a few positive updates.
Diversity and Inclusion
First, two progress points on diversity and inclusion. One, the Disability External Review Committee has invited three firms to campus for interviews. After interviews with two of these firms, the committee has decided to provide feedback to them and ask them to respond. The final firm will be selected and announced by the end of January. Two, I have appointed the search committee for the position of chief diversity officer, co-chaired by LaVonda Reed and Dolan Evanovich. I want to thank them and everyone who has agreed to serve.
Second, the U.S. Department of Education has released revised proposed guidelines for how universities must comply with Title IX. I have asked the Task Force on Sexual and Relationship Violence, the University’s legal team and the Office of Equal Opportunity, Inclusion and Resolution Services to quickly review these changes and make recommendations to me on how we should move forward as an institution.
Faculty Complaint Procedures
Third, I want to remind this body that we need to continue our efforts improve the procedures in Section 4.11 of the Faculty Manual for responding to complaints of sexual assault and harassment against faculty. We also need to ensure that new faculty we hire have consistently undergone an appropriate background check. I am looking forward to the recommendation that the Committee on Academic Freedom, Tenure and Professional Ethics, in collaboration with the Office of the General Counsel and the Office of Equal Opportunity, Inclusion and Resolution Services, will bring forward to this body.
Before I share some good news to end the semester, I want to note that I applaud the concern put forward by the Senate via the resolution on bursar holds. As you are aware, there are some federal changes that have had an impact on the documentation burden for students and may affect the speed of their financial aid package being processed. I fully support the formation of an ad hoc committee to gather facts and make suggestions.
Now, the good news:
- Our budget performance is running about $5 million better than we anticipated for the current year.
- Our fundraising performance through November 30 has booked $41,438,747 with cash in the door of $25,411,449.
- It is still early in the enrollment cycle, but we are running about 4.2 percent for undergraduate applications ahead of last year.
- We reached the November 15th application deadline for our Early Decision I campaign with a 1.3 percent increase in applications. We expect to begin Early Decision notification in mid-December.
- The Graduate School has made key progress this semester by launching the Office of Professional and Career Development and the Research Excellence Graduate Funding Program, as well as working with GSO and others to double the child care subsidy for graduate students.
- Dina Eldaway ’19 has been selected as Syracuse University’s second Marshall Scholar. She is an international relations major in the College of Arts and Sciences and the Maxwell School and a citizenship and civic engagement (CCE) major in the Maxwell School. She will use the Marshall award to fund two master’s degrees in the U.K. For her first year, she will enroll in the migration and global development M.A. at the University of Sussex. In her second year, she plans to complete an M.Sc. in comparative and international education at the University of Oxford.
Thank you for all of your work this semester, and I hope that you have a restful holiday break. I will take questions after the provost’s report.