I have been part of higher education for the past 35 years. Thus I have the advantage of having seen the natural ebb and flow of life on campuses large and small. I know that good times are to be embraced and that hard times will come. I have been fortunate in that the former outnumber the latter by at least three to one.
      Mary Ann and I came to Syracuse in 1991 during some hard times. The nation was in an economic downturn, making families think twice about taking on the financial burden of a college education. And higher education was simultaneously experiencing a demographic dip in the number of college-bound high school graduates.
      I knew that shepherding the University through this period would take the determination, talent, experience, and goodwill of the entire community. I knew that some hard choices were ahead and that there would be difficult losses to face.
      I didn’t know then that Syracuse was a place where people truly cared about their institution and were willing to do whatever it took to weather the storm and move ahead. I told my new colleagues—members of the board, the faculty, staff members, and students—that with a solid plan and a vision for the future we could make history.
      And we did.
      Syracuse University was one of very few higher education institutions to come through the early ’90s having withstood budget cuts of more than $60 million and the loss of some 600 jobs while simultaneously implementing the initiatives that would improve every facet of campus life.
      I couldn’t be prouder of this singular achievement.
      Today SU enjoys the fruits of these efforts—the student profile is improved, more alumni and friends give to the University, the endowment has grown impressively, facilities and technology improvements abound, services to students are more responsive, the learning environment has improved appreciably, and the University has a greater national presence than ever before.
      It hasn’t been easy. There were times of great stress, some discouraging moments, and more than one failure along the way. But I think the pride we feel today in this student-centered research university has been well worth it.
      As I said, I have the advantage of knowing the cycles of life at a university. Each year there are occasions that boost my spirit. I never tire of them because they make me know, deep in my soul, that this is a good thing we do here.
      Convocation is one such event. There in front of me in the Dome each fall are our new students and their families, eager to get on with this new phase of life. They don’t know, and neither do we, how this adventure will turn out. And the air is ripe with potential.
      In February come the Chancellor’s Citations and the celebratory dinner in honor of a select group of our finest, most accomplished faculty and staff. I read and listen to their accomplishments and marvel that a life could be filled with so much. And I take pride in knowing that Syracuse had a part in making these achievements real.
      In May I host the annual University Scholars program at our residence. I am in awe of these young men and women as I listen not only to their accomplishments and high expectations of the future, which are truly impressive, but also to the very high regard they have for their dedicated faculty and staff mentors.
Steve Sartori

      I have also been rewarded with a Board of Trustees whose confidence in the University and in my ability to lead has supported the changes that this report chronicles. They have been with me through budget cuts, and they have approved the funding of initiatives, particularly those outlined in our new Academic Plan, that will bring us yet closer to achieving our vision as the nation’s leading student-centered research university.
      There is a moment in this past decade that I will recall with great affection in the years to come. It was 1996 and our men’s basketball team had reached the final game of the NCAA championship tournament. They were good players, but not necessarily as strong or talented or experienced as the other leading teams. Yet they played on with determination, grit, and—most importantly—as a smoothly functioning team.
      This team knew who it was, what it could accomplish, and that it had to work together to get there.
      It was very much like Syracuse University itself—determined, tenacious, and functioning as a true team—a team of people who really love the place and the work they do.
      I am grateful to have witnessed such growth, and I am confident of an even richer future.

Kenneth A. Shaw, Chancellor and President

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Main Home Page Contents Opening Remarks Charting the Future
A Decade of Progress Quad Angles SU People Alumni News/Notes
Cover To Cover View From The Hill

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