Dear Students, Faculty and Staff: I had hoped my first communication with the campus community would be to share positive news. Sadly though, I am writing with the most difficult news to share—the passing of one of our students. We…
Chancellor Syverud Addresses April 10 University Senate Meeting
In his report, Chancellor Kent Syverud recognized the loss of Dean Lorraine Branham, and touched on the Commencement speaker and the campus visit from Renée and Lester Crown. He discussed the chief diversity officer search, revisions to the faculty manual and background checks, the tentative timeline for stadium renovations and good news from students and faculty.
The text of his remarks follows:
I will be quick. I first want to apologize that I can’t be at the Senate next week, I am going to be in Atlanta. Provost will be here. Thank Ramesh for his leadership.
Thank you for the moment of silence for Lorraine. Her loss is a big one for the whole university. At my inauguration I gave this long speech. Afterward she came up to me and said, “It’s the S.I. Newhouse School of Communications. We care about facts at Syracuse.” She cared about facts and cared enough to tell you directly, and she was still your friend after she straightened you out. We need more of that.
At the Student Marshal event on Saturday, we announced that Mary C. Daly G’94, president and chief executive officer of the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, will deliver the 2019 Commencement address. Mary’s personal story will have an inspiring message for our graduates. Mary, a high school dropout, went on to earn her Ph.D. in economics here at Syracuse University. Her success in public service, and her research on economic inequality, wage and unemployment dynamics, workforce development and disability and retirement policy are truly a testament to the impact she’s had both personally and professionally.
Visit by Renée and Lester Crown
Yesterday, with help from Student Affairs and Arts and Sciences. Renée and Lester Crown were here on campus, and it was a great opportunity to showcase the Honors Program. They also embraced the concept for the Schine renovation.
Chief Diversity Officer Search
I met with the two finalists for the Chief Diversity Officer search and then the members of the search committee on Friday. I am currently in negotiations with the preferred candidate. I expect to conclude those negotiations and announce an appointment before the end of the month.
Faculty Manual Revisions and Background Checks
Tom will be giving the report, and thanks to the entire committee that has been working on this. Since April 2018, the Academic Freedom, Tenure, Promotion, and Ethics (“AFTPE”) Committee has been considering two issues, at my request:
(1) suggested revisions to the process for investigating and adjudicating complaints of misconduct filed against faculty (Section 4.11 of the Faculty Manual)
(2) background checks for newly hired faculty.
As a reminder, I made this request in the spring of 2018 when the AFTPE reported to the full Senate on a pending case, indicating that the case had been ongoing for more than one year. We felt it was important to consult broadly.
If the proposed changes to the faculty complaint process are endorsed by the full University Senate, I will urge the AFTPE to continue to work with the appropriate administrative offices with due speed to revise the text of Section 4.11 of the Faculty Manual, which will need to be approved by the Senate in the fall. It won’t be over today, no matter what happens today, it will have to come back with revisions to the full Senate.
After the discussion today, I will also ask that the appropriate offices move forward quickly with the background check implementation, taking into account the concerns we hear today.
It’s been in the news, but not on everyone’s radar. Our goal is to move construction on the stadium forward this summer with the goal of temporarily vacating the building—including all athletic competitions and events—by March 1, 2020. That means we need a group of people to work on a plan about what we will do for Commencement in Spring 2020, including the possibility of an outdoor commencement. Of course, as with all construction, timelines are constantly evolving. We will continue to keep the campus apprised of updates around this and other construction occurring
I am told that the national scholarship awards announcements will continue to come in this month. As you know, Dina Eldawy was awarded a Marshall Scholarship. We have 16 Fulbright semi-finalists. Finalists are being announced country-by-country over the next few weeks. So far, we have six recipients and one alternate.
We have two critical language scholarship recipients, one to Korea and one to Azerbaijan. One NCAA graduate study award winner—Santita Ebangwese—who will be pursuing and advanced degree in bioengineering.
Student Financial Aid
As we look to next fiscal years’ budget, we are prioritizing attracting and retaining promising students from across the socioeconomic spectrum. We are increasing the student financial aid budget by nearly 9 percent. The nearly $280 million allocated is the largest in University history.
Finally, I want to share some faculty news.
- Teng Zhang, professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering, has received a Faculty Early Career Development Award from the National Science Foundation.
- Theo Cateforis, associate professor of music history and cultures, has been elected president of the Popular Music Society.
- Johan Wiklund, the Al Berg Chair and professor of entrepreneurship at Syracuse University’s Martin J. Whitman School of Management, has been granted the inaugural RMIT Fulbright Distinguished Chair in Entrepreneurship and Innovation.
- School of Architecture assistant professor Joseph Godlewski has been awarded the 2018-19 New Faculty Teaching Award by the Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture.
A lot of faculty accolades at Syracuse. I want to remind everyone that other awards will be presented on Friday at 4 at the One University Awards. I will stay to take questions after the Provost’s remarks.