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Chancellor Syverud Addresses Jan. 30 University Senate Meeting
At the University Senate’s Jan. 30 meeting, Chancellor Kent Syverud reported on the University Ombuds office appointment and new proposed rules for Title IX, and honored a student who died recently in an accident.
Below are the Chancellor’s remarks as prepared for the University Senate meeting:
Good afternoon. Two weeks back I delivered my Winter Message to the campus, I will keep my remarks today brief. In case you missed it, I highlighted some of the reasons we should be proud of our University and laid out four key areas that we want to focus on this semester that will advance our Orange values overall success. The text and video can be found on our web site, if you click on SU News for Jan. 14.
Today I want to update you on two priorities. First, the transition underway in the University Ombuds office and, second, of our response to new proposed rules for Title IX.
Last week we announced that Neal Powless has been appointed University Ombuds. I am very pleased that he is joining the SU leadership team. He has served Syracuse University in positions in career counseling and as assistant director of the Native Student Program in the Office of Multicultural Affairs. He is a Ph.D. candidate in the Newhouse School, having previously earned a master’s in counseling here at SU and a bachelor’s degree at Nazareth College. He is also a Nationally Certified Counselor. He has demonstrated the leadership, practical skills and competence to help ensure that Syracuse University lives up to our standards for a respectful, responsive and ethical campus community. Please join me in welcoming him to this important role. Neal’s appointment was effective on Jan. 22—meaning that he has been in the position for exactly seven days.
Sam Clemence has served as the interim Ombuds since the office was created and has been instrumental in managing a smooth transition. I am very grateful to Professor Clemence for his role in getting the office set up and beginning outreach to the campus community. Thanks to the search committee.
As I noted last month in this meeting, the U.S. Department of Education has released revised proposed guidelines for how universities must comply with Title IX. Comments were open on these guidelines until this past Monday. We submitted comments on behalf of Syracuse University and a link to those comments was provided in the first campuswide update of the semester that went out yesterday.
Our comments were based on input provided by campus stakeholders. I am grateful to members of the Chancellor’s Task Force on Sexual and Relationship Violence, along with the Office of Equal Opportunity, Inclusion and Resolution Services and the Office of the University Counsel. In short, our comments focus on the definition of “sexual harassment” in the proposed rules and the proposed disciplinary procedures set forth by the Department of Education.
You can find the link to that letter in SU News for yesterday and on the Diversity and Inclusion web site. This will likely be an ongoing conversation, and I appreciate those who have given their time.
Finally, I’d ask for a moment of silence to honor a member of the Orange family who died in an accident over the weekend while traveling home to visit family. Brianna Herrera was a senior in the School of Information Studies, majoring in information management and technology with a minor in public communications in Newhouse School. She was a member of Sigma Delta Tau sorority.
Please join me in a moment of silence.
Thank you. I remind the Senate that, in March each year in Hendricks Chapel, we as a university have a service of remembrance for all our Orange colleagues—faculty, staff, students, emeriti and retirees—who we lost in the course of the year. Their names are spoken, and they are remembered. Many family members and staff and faculty and students come. This year’s service will be on March 20. I will take questions after the Provost’s presentation.