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Chancellor Syverud, University Leaders Announce Changes and Updates to Key Administrative, Academic Units
As Syracuse University continues to advance its strategic priorities, Chancellor Kent Syverud and other University leaders today announced changes and updates to key academic and administrative units. They include University College, the Office of Academic Affairs, the Department of Athletics and the Division of Marketing and Communications.
“As a University, we must continue to think boldly and push ahead with our mission,” said Chancellor Syverud. “Although it has created great uncertainty, the COVID-19 pandemic reminds us how successful we can be when we work collaboratively and identify creative, innovative solutions to our most pressing issues. The changes we are announcing today allow us to better serve our communities.”
Rebranding University College for a Global Audience
Key to expanding and strengthening the University’s global offerings is the rebranding of University College to Syracuse University Global. For the past century, University College has helped thousands of adult students earn a Syracuse University degree. Now, Syracuse University Global will serve as a core academic college of the University that serves non-traditional learners seeking a Syracuse University educational experience from anywhere in the world through an evolving portfolio of graduate and undergraduate online degrees, alternative credentials, executive and professional education, pre-college programs, and place-based programming. Syracuse University Global will initially offer seven online undergraduate degree programs in fall 2020—with a focus on high-demand areas such as information technology—and more online undergraduate degree programs in development.
Vice Chancellor for Strategic Initiatives and Innovation J. Michael Haynie will continue to provide oversight of Syracuse University Global, and Michael Frasciello will continue to serve as dean, providing strategic and day-to-day leadership. Dean Frasciello will also continue to serve as an institutional lead responsible for achieving the University’s goals for digital and online program initiatives, expanding online education opportunities, growing enrollment nationally and internationally from a leadership position in online education, and collaborating with deans and academic leaders of the University’s schools and colleges to expand academic offerings via a global, digital platform.
“Now, more than ever, students from around the globe are demanding rigorous, interactive and engaging online academic programs that prepare them for career success and advanced degree opportunities,” said Frasciello. “Not only is Syracuse University meeting those demands, we’re also poised to transform our traditional residential programs into best-in-class online degree programs. We’re excited about what the future holds and look forward to launching Syracuse University Global beyond our borders and throughout the world.”
Provost Search to Launch in Fall 2020
Expansion of the University’s global academic and research portfolio is a key priority, especially for the Office of Academic Affairs. This fall, the University will launch a global search for the next provost to serve as the chief academic officer. John Liu will continue to serve as interim vice chancellor and provost for the duration of the search. The composition of the search committee will be announced early in the fall semester and will include deans, faculty, staff, students, administrators and trustees. The search will officially launch in November, with a final selection anticipated in summer 2021.
Added Role for Academic Affairs Leadership
Interim Provost Liu has asked Steve Bennett to assume the role of chief of staff in the Office of Academic Affairs. Bennett will support the Office of Academic Affairs to advance the University’s academic, research and scholarship goals working in partnership with deans and other academic leaders. Bennett currently serves as senior vice president for international programs and academic operations. Adding to his current portfolio of responsibilities—which includes Information Technology Services, budget, Syracuse Abroad and international partnerships—Bennett will support the provost’s agenda across all units and coordinate efforts and communication with the schools and colleges.
“Steve has been and continues to be a steadfast and thoughtful leader,” said Provost Liu. “His ability to bring people together in support of strategic priorities and common goals has proven to be invaluable. I appreciate his willingness to step up into this expanded role and remain grateful for his leadership and counsel.”
Salatha T. Willis Named Associate Athletic Director for Diversity, Culture and Climate
Director of Athletics John Wildhack has named Salatha T. Willis associate athletic director of diversity, culture and climate, a newly established position within the Department of Athletics. In this new capacity, Willis will be charged with developing and implementing new approaches to creating a highly engaged, inclusive and equitable culture for all of the University’s student athletes, administrators, coaches and staff in the athletics department. Willis will provide oversight and effective delivery of diversity educational and developmental programming, evaluate and measure the effectiveness of existing programs and services, and serve on and support Universitywide committees and community groups.
“In Salatha’s two decades of experience in higher education administration and college athletics, he has proven himself to be an extraordinary leader and communicator, earning the respect of his colleagues and the student-athletes under his charge,” Wildhack said. “He is the right person to take on this new role and challenge, focusing on the advancement of diversity, equity and inclusion that will effect real culture change for all of our student-athletes and the entire Department of Athletics.”
Willis has been serving as associate director of Syracuse University’s Office of Student-Athlete Academic Development, assisting in all aspects of academic support, including arranging tutors, academic monitoring and reporting, advising and orientations. He’s held student-facing roles in compliance, academic success, enrollment and athletics at several universities and colleges, including Colgate University, Indiana State University, Martin University and Western Michigan University. He earned a Ph.D. in educational leadership and foundations at Indiana State University and a master’s degree in educational leadership and a bachelor’s degree in computer information systems at Western Michigan University.
Willis’ new appointment is effective immediately.
New Areas of Focus in Marketing and Communications
The Division of Marketing and Communications—which supports the University’s academic, enrollment, fundraising and global reputation management goals—is refocusing the two divisional functions. The University’s marketing efforts will continue to be led by Dara Royer, senior vice president and chief marketing officer; Jeff Stoecker, vice president and chief communications officer, will oversee University communications. Royer and Stoecker will work in close collaboration to ensure the continued delivery of integrated marketing and communications strategies.
“As effective marketing and communications programs become more critical to advancing the strategic priorities of the University globally, these functions require focused leadership and skilled teams that work creatively and collaboratively,” said Chancellor Syverud. “Dara will continue to advance innovative initiatives on the marketing front, while Jeff builds upon a solid foundation to broaden our communications efforts.”
Stoecker joined the University earlier this year and provides day-to-day oversight of all communications functions, including executive and internal communications and media relations. He is leading the development of the University’s communications platform around issues facing Syracuse University and higher education as a whole. Stoecker’s appointment was approved by the Executive Committee of the Board of Trustees.
About Syracuse University
Syracuse University is a private research university that advances knowledge across disciplines to drive breakthrough discoveries and breakout leadership. Our collection of 13 schools and colleges with more than 200 customizable majors closes the gap between education and action so students can take on the world. In and beyond the classroom, we connect people, perspectives and practices to solve interconnected challenges with interdisciplinary approaches. Together, we’re a powerful community that moves ideas, individuals and impact beyond what’s possible.