I am a pragmatic optimista person who sees the glass as half full, but also checks to be sure there will be more water when it is needed.
Therefore, I welcomed the good news from Syracuse University's most recent reaccreditation review from the Middle States Association of the Commission on Higher Education. The whole-hearted endorsement of our vision as the nation's leading student-centered research university was heartening, though the outcome of our review was exactly what we expected. (See the article on SU's reaccreditation process on page 46.)
We knew going into this long process of self-examination and peer review that Syracuse University was making good on its promises. Our work over the past seven years has been specifically targeted to give shape to our vision and to deal with the many challenges we and all of higher education have faced.
Syracuse University is heading into the next century with significant gains in all the areas that are critical to success: steadily improving quality in each incoming class, higher numbers of students who persist through graduation, greater attention paid to teaching and advising, and increasing numbers of individuals, corporations, and foundations willing to provide significant support, among others.
These are some of the things the Middle States Association team validated in the report that led to our reaccreditation. There was more, however. And these were recommendations that the team believed would help make Syracuse University even better. We have taken those ideas to heart and have begun the collegial process of selecting those we are convinced will move us forward. Thus the University's experience with the Middle States Association, like so many other efforts to date, has been an opportunity to see our successes, assess our strengths and weaknesses, and chart a course for a brighter future.
It's no wonder that I'm optimistic.
Kenneth A. Shaw
Chancellor and President