In the last issue of Syracuse University Magazine I outlined three key points we must address to close what I call our “resource/aspiration gap”—the need for wise budget decisions, a carefully designed academic space plan, and greatly increased fund-raising results. This gap is the disparity between our shared commitment to making Syracuse University a truly competitive institution and the resources we must have to make this happen.
I also spoke about recent budget decisions that target the improvement of our faculty through newly created alumni and trustee professorships.
The comprehensive academic space plan addresses our need to make this campus ready to take on the challenges of the 21st century. We know that, compared to peer institutions, we’re well below average in space allotted to academic pursuits—classrooms, library space, laboratories, seminar rooms, and the like.
Accordingly, I appointed a space planning advisory committee in fall 1999. The committee’s plan, which derived a great deal of input from the campus community, was approved by the Board of Trustees in May.
The plan calls for the addition of more than 350,000 square feet of new academic space. Among other things, it includes an expansion of Bird Library to accommodate our science and technology collection and upgrade its computer structure; a life sciences addition for the Center for Science and Technology; an addition for the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications; an addition or new building for the School of Management; housing for the new College of Human Services and Health Professions that draws together the School of Social Work, the College for Human Development, and the College of Nursing; and many new, upgraded classrooms.
In fact, this plan will influence for the better every program, unit, and school and college at the University.
Of course, this is a costly undertaking. We will finance part of the project through bonds and income from our endowment and investments. The rest will come from the generosity of our donors, alumni and friends who understand that we must make this beautiful campus more efficient and more able to meet the demands of teaching and learning for the future.
I look forward to sharing with you the progress of this impressive initiative, and I look forward to your visits to campusrto see for yourself what our vision to be the nation’s leading student-centered research university has inspired.
Kenneth A. Shaw
Chancellor and President