Steve Sartori


As the final weeks of my time as Chancellor of Syracuse University draw to a close, I am quite naturally taking stock. While I will leave to others the full story of my tenure, what pleases me most at this juncture is that I leave my office knowing this is a better place than when I arrived in August 1991.

Syracuse is stronger academically, fiscally, and institutionally. We have raised the bar in admissions, and our top students have challenged us to challenge them. We have far greater financial resources through our growing endowment and thriving annual giving efforts. We are a community—and here I include the hundreds of thousands of alumni and friends across the nation and the world—that cares even more deeply about this institution and is more confident about its future.

This is the institution I will be proud to hand over to my successor, Chancellor-Elect Nancy Cantor (see "Up Front" story), this coming August.

On a more personal level, my stock-taking prompts me to revisit not only my decision to come to Syracuse 13 years ago, but also my choice of a career in leadership in higher education. It’s been my choice for two important reasons.

First, I believe that the creation, transmission, and application of knowledge hold the key to a better civilization. It is an educated citizenry that will bring about a higher quality of life through science, medicine, government, and economic advances. It is a privilege to be a part of this process.

Second, I wanted to make a difference for the better, no matter where my career led me. After all, the stresses of leadership can be truly taxing. There are crises to weather and competing priorities to sort through, and there is never enough time to meet all responsibilities equally. Higher education is a complex environment where leadership is a long, slow process with gains often not visible for years or even decades in the future.

I am fortunate to have seen some very positive changes during my time here. But as gratifying as that has been, I will be even more pleased to watch this institution prosper and grow in the years to come.

Finally, I leave my chancellorship with a debt of gratitude to the legions of people both on and off campus whose hard work, commitment, and, above all, love of Syracuse University have made my work here personally fulfilling.

My wish for the new Chancellor is a tenure as productive and satisfying as mine has been. With your help, it will be.

Kenneth A. Shaw
Chancellor and President


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