Compiled from SU news reports


Vice Chancellor and Provost Deborah A. Freund appointed new deans to head University College, the College of Human Services and Health Professions (HSHP), and the Graduate School.

Steve Sartori
Charles K. Barletta G’73 was named dean of University College, SU’s continuing education division, after serving as interim dean since 1999. Barletta joined University College in 1987 as assistant dean of programs and marketing, and was promoted to associate dean in 1991. He holds a master’s degree from the School of Education and earned a Ph.D. in higher education administration from Michigan State University.

Steve Sartori
Bruce W. Lagay was selected to lead HSHP, where he had been interim dean since July 2002. He came to Syracuse in 1998 as associate dean of the School of Social Work, and later served as the school’s interim dean. When the school became part of HSHP in 2001, Lagay was named the school’s director. He holds a master of social work degree from Rutgers University and a Ph.D. from Brandeis University.

Steve Sartori
John Mercer was appointed dean of the Graduate School. A professor of geography in the College of Arts and Sciences and the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs, Mercer had been acting dean of the Graduate School since January 2002. He was associate dean of the Graduate School from 1998 to 2000. Mercer joined the SU geography department faculty in 1980 and served as the department’s director of graduate studies (1981-89), chair (1990-95 and 1997-2000), and director of undergraduate studies (1995-97). Mercer received both master’s and doctoral degrees from McMaster University in Canada.

“All three bleed orange—that is, they are very adept at finding the best solutions for the University as a whole,” Freund says. “They are creative doers who are very skillful with people and in their own fields.”

Steve Sartori

Playwright's Perspective
Award-winning playwright Suzan-Lori Parks readily admits that her success wasn’t immediate. “I was not good at writing plays for a long time,” says Parks, author of the 2002 Pulitzer Prize-winning play Topdog/Underdog. “You have to keep going, though, because you love writing more than anything.”

Parks, who was on campus to deliver the keynote address for the University’s 18th Annual Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration in January, gave a free seminar in Maxwell Auditorium that attracted about 100 people. During the hour-long event, she read excerpts from her 1990 novel, The Death of the Last Black Man in the Whole Entire World, and answered questions from the audience. Parks, who heads the A.S.K. Theater Projects Writing for Performance Program at the California Institute of the Arts, also spoke about the influence of her work on black culture. It’s important for writers to balance positive and negative stories to present a realistic representation of that culture, or any culture, she says. “If a story is made in the right spirit, it can bring all of us, as a culture, to a better place.”

Environmental Initiative
As part of an agreement with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Syracuse University is conducting a comprehensive environmental audit of the Main Campus, the Joseph I. Lubin House in New York City, and the Minnowbrook Conference Center in Blue Mountain Lake, New York.

The agreement, the first of its kind with a private college or university, continues the EPA’s national initiative to help institutions of higher learning comply with environmental regulations. “Both the EPA and Syracuse get something very positive out of this agreement,” says Jane M. Kenny, EPA regional administrator. “It helps the University protect human health and the environment; it helps the University to more effectively discover and fix violations; it reduces or eliminates financial penalties; and it conserves EPA resources.”

SU will undertake comprehensive environmental audits, self-report violations, correct deficiencies in its environmental management, and take steps to prevent recurrence of violations. The EPA will waive penalties for self-disclosed violations. “This agreement allows both the EPA and Syracuse University to better do their jobs,” says Chancellor Kenneth A. Shaw.



Former President Bill Clinton has accepted the University’s invitation to be Commencement speaker. Clinton will address the Class of 2003 in the Carrier Dome on May 11.

After a 13-year tenure as dean of the School of Management, George Burman will step down from his position in June. After a sabbatical, he will return to the school as a professor of entrepreneurial management.

Douglas Holtz-Eakin was appointed director of the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office, which provides Congress with information needed for making economic and budget decisions. Holtz-Eakin is on leave from the Maxwell School, where he is Trustee Professor of Economics.

Professor Norma Burgess, chair of the Department of Child and Family Studies in the College of Human Services and Health Professions, was named the 2002 recipient of the Marie Peters Award by the National Council on Family Relations. The award recognizes scholars and researchers who have made significant contributions in the area of ethnic minority families.

William M. Wiecek, Congdon Professor of Public Law and Legislation at the College of Law, won the prestigious Hughes Gossett Literary Award for outstanding scholarship in articles published in the Journal of Supreme Court History. Wiecek’s article was titled “Felix Frankfurter, Incorporation, and the Willie Francis Case.” U.S. Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer presented Wiecek the award.

David F. D’Alessandro ’72, H’99, an SU trustee emeritus, was named to The Sporting News’ 2002 list of the “100 Most Powerful People in Sports” for the eighth straight year. D’Alessandro is chairman and CEO of John Hancock Financial Services, and chief architect of the company’s highly successful sports sponsorships.

Hat's OFF

It’s hard to miss the big, floppy, bright orange hat donned by Chancellor Kenneth A. “Buzz” Shaw at Commencement and other official SU ceremonies. The hat has become even more prominent now that it’s the star of the new children’s picture book Buzz the Big Orange Hat.

The book was created by Michael Bevivino ’03, Maria Malagisi ’04, Lindsay Pendergast ’04, and Nadine Aut ’03 for the SU Literacy Corps, a tutoring program that sends student volunteers into the community to work with children.

Chancellor Shaw appears in the book as the King, who is heartbroken when the wind blows Buzz the Hat off his head during a walk. “The book is a great idea, a perfect project for students involved in helping children with their reading,” the Chancellor says.

The book was printed by Syracuse University Printing Services, and is available for $9.99 through the SU Bookstore (www.syr.edu/bkst/). Proceeds support the SU Literacy Corps.


Syracuse University was one of 38 institutions of higher education that submitted a friend of the court brief to the U.S. Supreme Court in support of affirmative action in collegiate admissions.

The brief was submitted to the court in support of the University of Michigan’s position on affirmative action, which is being tested in two cases: Grutter v. Bollinger and Gratz v. Bollinger. The Supreme Court is scheduled to hear the cases in April. “Given that one of our core values is diversity, the court’s decision will directly affect our ability to achieve the kind of environment that provides the best education for all our members,” Chancellor Kenneth A. Shaw says.

Program ENDING

The School of Nursing will close by the end of the 2005-06 academic year, according to University officials. The Board of Trustees Executive Committee, acting on behalf of the entire board, voted in December to close the school. Before rendering its decision, the committee reviewed a closure proposal from Vice Chancellor and Provost Deborah A. Freund and accompanying recommendations from the University Senate, the Board of Trustees Academic Affairs Committee, and Chancellor Kenneth A. Shaw. “SU has a long history of nursing education, and our alumni and current students and faculty work hard at a proud profession,” Shaw says. “This decision is not one that they welcome, nor one that we are happy to make. But given present and future programmatic needs, it is the right decision.”

The school’s undergraduate and graduate programs will be phased out gradually, and provisions are being made to ensure that nursing students will complete their degree work prior to the closing. Tenured nursing faculty will be offered positions in other SU academic units. The University’s Office of Human Resources will work with the school’s staff to assist them with the transition to other positions.



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