Collective Wisdom
Development Advisory Council is
established to help focus fund-raising efforts

As University officials plan for SU’s next major fund-raising campaign, they know they can turn to a newly established council for ideas and guidance. The Development Advisory Council (DAC), which is chaired by Chancellor Kenneth A. Shaw, was specially designed to facilitate the upcoming campaign. The council consists of some 50 members drawn from every corner of the campus, including deans, administrators, faculty, staff, and students, as well as an alumnus and a trustee. The DAC is charged with a variety of functions in the campaign, which promises to be the most ambitious in Syracuse history. Perhaps its single most important function is keeping the lines of communication open among campus constituencies and SU development professionals. “The council gives us two valuable advantages,” says John D. Sellars, senior vice president for institutional advancement, who created the DAC. “It ensures that the development office can focus its fund-raising efforts to directly support the needs and goals of the campus. At the same time, it gives us access to the strategic thinking and problem-solving prowess of some of the best and brightest minds on campus.”

With preparations now under way for the massive fund-raising effort, the first job of council members will be to articulate priorities and objectives for recommendation to the Board of Trustees. Accordingly, the inaugural meeting last fall was largely informational. “Much of the initial meeting focused on the resources, objectives, and strategies of comparable institutions, offering us a context for looking at what we will be doing,” says history professor and DAC member David Bennett. “I find it heartening that this campus-wide group was organized. To the best of my knowledge, nothing like this has been done before by a university in a major fund-raising campaign.”

The council continues to meet at regular intervals throughout the academic year to review data and discuss and recommend development strategies. Other council responsibilities include assisting in the Chancellor’s roundtable meetings and recruiting qualified volunteers for specific campaign tasks.

Chancellor Shaw is pleased to have this valuable new resource at his disposal. “The scope of the next campaign will be broader and deeper than any we have attempted so far,” he says. “Therefore tapping the expertise and goodwill of this representative group is essential to ensure consensus on priorities and to help the whole campus take ownership of the critical fund-raising process. I look forward to relying on the collected wisdom of this important council.”

—David Marc


Lumina Grant Boosts
Higher Education Study

Syracuse is proud of its commitment to helping students overcome obstacles that can sometimes stand in the way of graduation. Now, with the help of a nearly $1 million grant from the Lumina Foundation for Education, SU professors Vincent Tinto and Cathy McHugh Engstrom are extending SU’s Academic Plan priority of ensuring student success to benefit undergraduates across the country.

Vincent Tinto

The Lumina grant enables the two School of Education professors to co-direct a comprehensive three-year study of existing student preparation and transfer programs. “This project brings together our program’s long-standing involvement in issues of educational reform and our work on issues of access and equity,” says Tinto, Distinguished Professor of Education and chair of the Higher Education Program. “It provides us with a forum to argue for a national rethinking of the ways in which colleges and universities address the learning needs of under-prepared students.”

Cathy McHugh Engstrom

Engstrom, coordinator of the higher education master’s degree program, points out that the Lumina project dovetails with Syracuse’s well-established strengths and interests in the field. “Our graduate students will be immersed with faculty in cutting-edge scholarship that is intimately tied to policy and practice,” she says. “We will examine innovative pedagogies that utilize multi-method approaches, responsive to the needs of today’s students.”

The Lumina Foundation for Education is a private, nonprofit organization dedicated to helping people achieve their potential by broadening access to—and creating the conditions for—success in post-secondary education. Lumina’s generous expression of confidence in SU’s ability to help it achieve that mission includes the funding of three doctoral student research assistantships during each of the three years of the project.

—David Marc


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