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Housing Review Expands to Encompass Graduate, Post-Traditional Students, Faculty and Staff
In July, Syracuse University announced the beginning of a comprehensive review of its student housing to better understand residential options and determine future needs in support of enriching the student experience.
A committee was formed, with representatives from the Division of Business, Finance and Administrative Services (BFAS), the Office of the Provost and the Division of Enrollment and the Student Experience (ESE) for the purpose of assessing the University’s existing housing portfolio to gauge how its residential spaces aligned with the University’s vision, mission and priorities.
The committee met several times over the summer months. Through its engagement with an expansive group of stakeholders— including University leaders, deans and other staff members— the committee’s scope has evolved to include the residential needs of graduate students, post-traditional students and students enrolled in online programs.
In addition, through its work with representative members from the Provost’s Office, the committee has expanded its scope to include faculty and staff housing. With an eye towards assessing faculty and staff demand for short- and long-term housing, the committee is focused on Main and South Campus as well as the surrounding neighborhoods.
“Expanding the scope of our housing review to include all facets of our student population, faculty and staff truly embodies our One University principles and further supports the goals in the Academic Strategic Plan,” says Senior Vice President for Business, Finance and Administrative Services and Chief Financial Officer Amir Rahnamay-Azar. “By understanding the housing needs of all our campus community members, we can develop recommendations that enrich the entirety of the living and learning environment on campus, in the surrounding area and beyond.”
The University strives to attract and retain staff and faculty members, and some have preferences for living in proximity to the amenities offered by the University and other establishments in the surrounding area. Therefore, the committee is also taking into account the vitality of the neighborhoods adjacent to the Syracuse University campus. Further faculty engagement to gather feedback will occur over the next few months through meetings with academic deans and associate deans.
To ensure that all perspectives are taken into account as part of the committee’s review, an online survey was recently distributed to all current undergraduate students. In the coming weeks, additional surveys will be sent to faculty and staff members, as well as to graduate, online and post-traditional students. According to Rahnamay-Azar, the committee anticipates completing this phase of data collection by the end of the calendar year, with hopes of being in a position to begin preliminary analysis and assessment in early 2020.
As before, the analysis will allow for a well-rounded understanding of how a variety of housing-related options will enhance the student experience. Specifically, the committee will be evaluating current and expanded residency requirements, as well as new construction and/or further renovation to existing facilities. Assessing the potential of these options, individually and in concert, will allow the committee to better understand the impacts on residential neighborhoods and privately-developed housing projects immediately adjacent to Main Campus. To that end, the University will consider creative programs that promote housing opportunities in the eastern residential neighborhoods for University community members.
Throughout the process, BFAS and ESE leaders will continue to update the campus community on their findings, which will include recommendations for future actions.