Kenneth A. Buzz Shaw, former president of
the University of Wisconsin System, becomes Syracuse
Universitys 10th Chancellor and President. Shaws
first initiative is to lead the SU community in redefining
the institutions mission and vision. He articulates
five guiding institutional core values: quality, caring,
diversity, innovation, and service, which form the basis
for the Universitys new quest to become the nations
leading student-centered research university. A new
paradigm is created that makes student learning the
Universitys highest priority.
Shaw introduces a major plan to improve faculty roles
and rewards. Thirty-three initiatives are laid out to
help create a more learning- and student-centered culture
based on the core values. Heres what I envision
we will be like four years from now....We will be a
student-centered research university. Our focus on teaching
and excellence will be clearly apparent.
in his February
address to the University
Restructuring of the University begins to take shape.
Six-hundred staff and faculty positions are eliminated,
allowing the University to recover from a deficit and
prepare for an economic downturn that occurs just as
student enrollment is reaching record-low percentages
nationally. Back in Wisconsin they make a lot
of sausage. Even with the most carefully chosen and
sausage making is an ugly process
to witness. But after all the slicing, chopping, blood,
and gore, the end process can be delicious, nutritious,
and of remarkable quality.
Shaw on the restructuring process, quoted in the Syracuse Herald American
The Center for Public and Community Service is established
to promote volunteer service as a fundamental part of
the student learning experience. This is integral to what we do as a university, and it comes at a time when the country
is renewing its efforts to involve young people in service
to the nation.
quoted in the
With a gift from the estate of Dr. L. Douglas Meredith 26, Shaw creates the Laura J. and L. Douglas Meredith
Professorships for Teaching Excellence to recognize
outstanding faculty teaching.
SU receives the nationally prestigious Theodore M. Hesburgh
Award for Faculty Development to Enhance Undergraduate
Learning in recognition of the Universitys pioneering
work under Shaws leadership.
Shaw is elected chair of the NCAAs first Division
I board of directors for his academic and athletic leadership
abilities and previous success with NCAA issues. Whenever
we had a problem solving something, we would call on
Buzz. He goes right at it. He very quickly can determine
what are real problems and what are perceived problems
and what kind of resources we have to go about solving
them. He also remembers his sense of humor.
Smith, president of Washington State University and
member of NCAA board of directors, quoted in the Syracuse Post-Standard
Weathering the Storm
Labor Day Storm: Despite major storm damage, the University
continues to function under Shaws leadership and
with the contributions of the many students, faculty,
and staff who assisted in community-wide cleanup efforts.
Shaw writes The Successful President: Buzzwords on Leadershipa top-selling book published
by the American Council on Education.
Envisioning the Future
The Vision Fund is introduced to promote visionary and
creative ideas to improve teaching and learning through
individual and departmental grants for faculty.
Shaw announces that the University will implement a
$150 million to $185 million Space Plan over the next
five years aimed at meeting academic and student support
space needs on campus. The plan calls for adding 350,000
to 400,000 square feet of academic space and renovating
nearly 350,000 square feet of existing space.
The Marilyn and Bill Tennity Ice Skating Pavilion is
dedicated, providing recreational skating and organized
activities for SU
students, faculty, staff, and their families.
The seven-year Commitment to Learning campaignthe
largest fund-raising endeavor in Syracuse University history
to dateconcludes with a total of more than $370
million in gifts, pledges, and corporate and foundation
The Crouse-Marshall Project partners SU with the University
Hill Corporation, the Crouse-Marshall Business Association,
and U.S. Congressman James Walsh for a beautification
and renovation project of the University/ Marshall Street
Shaw oversees the merging of the School of Social Work,
the College for Human Development, and the College of
Nursing to form the College of Human Services and Health
Truth in Tragedy
September 11: In a national crisis, Shaw brings together
the campus community for reflection and discussion. How might we go about fulfilling our role as pursuers
of truth? First, lets acknowledge that truth is
evasive....It is very tempting, especially under stress,
to hold tight to a set of beliefs while ignoring any
information that runs counter to them. But that way
has led to countless errors in human judgment and much
quoted in The Chronicle of Higher Education
Change, the magazine of higher learning that
is published by the Helen Dwight Reid Educational Foundation
under the editorial guidance of the American Association
for Higher Education,
examines the Universitys progress since winning
the 1996 Hesburgh award. I found an institution
that has been brilliantly successful over the last 10
years or so in creating consensus for its refined mission,
building an infrastructure to support it, and changing
its campus culture.
Wright, The Syracuse Transformation: On Becoming a Student-Centered Research University, Change,
Vice Chancellor and Provost Deborah A. Freund introduces
a new Academic Plan for the University. Its initiatives
are aimed at securing the foundation of SUs student-centered
research mission and establishing signature experiences
that will distinguish a Syracuse education.
Funny Hat, Good Cause
Shaw is featured in Buzz the Big Orange Hat,
a childrens book. The book, created by SU student
volunteers, is a fund-raising project for the SU Literacy
Corps. It was apparent from the first time I met
the Chancellor that, for him, this is not a job but
an opportunity to make a difference in the lives of
every student who passes through the doors of Syracuse
University, and to make the world, in his own way, a
Michael Bevivino 03, one of the books
SU celebrates its first-ever NCAA Division I Mens
Shaw receives the 2003 Chief Executive Leadership Award
from the Council for Advancement and Support of Education,
District II. The award recognizes the ability
to create vision and inspire others to succeed.
Donald E. Newhouse 51, president of Advance Communications,
announces the S.I. Newhouse Foundations gift of
$15 million toward construction of a third building
in SUs public communications complex. Newhouse
III will increase available classroom and office space
and provide new facilities designed to meet the challenges
of the digital communications age.
On June 24, Shaw announces that Wall Street businessman
Martin J. Whitman 49 has pledged one of the largest
gifts ever made to the University to the School of Management.
In Whitmans honor, the school is named the Martin
J. Whitman School of Management.
Chancellor Shaw prepares to turn over leadership of
the University to his successor, Chancellor-Elect Nancy
Until he taught high school while working toward a masters degree in education at the University of Illinois, Kenneth A. Buzz Shaw (http://whitman.syr.edu/shaw) took for granted that people thought well of him. After all, whats not to like about a smart, popular, good-looking guy whos pragmatic like his mother, honest like his father, and great at sports? As a kid growing up and as a high school student, everyone liked me, says Shaw, who will retire in August after completing 13 years as Syracuse Universitys Chancellor and President. At least I thought they did. As a teacher, however, Shaw learned from his students that not everybody responded quite so positively to him. It was a difficult realization, but crucial to his personal and professional development. I needed to understand what it means to do the right thing, even when its not necessarily the popular thing, he says.A second formative lesson came during graduate school at Purdue University, where Shaw earned a Ph.D. degree. A professor noted that Shaw may not be cut out to be a counselor or a school psychologist, even though that was his professional aspiration at the time. He saw that my real interests were in social organizations and seeing groups change, Shaw says. I was interested in understanding more about how society works. The professor allowed Shaw flexibility in choosing courses and a dissertation topic, which helped direct him toward a lifelong career as a leader in higher education. That experience shaped me a great deal, Shaw says, because my graduate studies helped me form a philosophy about how people change and, more significantly, about how institutions can transform themselves when people work together for the common good. When you start looking at things that way, you no longer seek to save the world one person at a time. Instead, you seek to change your piece of the world by trying to improve the things that make the world workthe institutions, the way decisions are reached, and the quality of those decisions.
Chancellor Kenneth A. Shaw talks with a student in Hendricks Chapel.
| Steve Sartori
U.S. Congressman James Walsh, center, discusses part of the Marshall Street renovation with the Chancellor and Mary Ann Shaw.
Shaw has led the way in improving Syracuse University since 1991, when he became SUs 10th Chancellor and President. At the time, the University faced a $38 million budget deficit and enrollment challenges. What appealed to me about Syracuse was, first of all, its a distinguished school. Secondly, it had a number of financial problems that, if ameliorated, could result in even better things happening, and if not dealt with, could become a serious problem, he says. I was presented with an institution with a great deal of stature that was sure of its values, but needed some changes. Syracuse had all the ingredients to get much better. And thats the kind of place Ive always liked to go toa place that is a challenge, but not an impossibility.
Three months into his term, Shawthen a 14-year veteran chief executive in higher educationaddressed the situation head-on, asking the University community to support an ambitious plan to refocus SU on its strengths and promote student learning in new ways. I thought it was important, first, that the University community be reminded of what its values have been, Shaw says. He articulated SUs core values of quality, caring, diversity, innovation, and service, embracing them as the defining characteristics that form the institutions foundation. Values push you to continually improve, and to do it in ways that enhance those values, he says. These are our values, and they guide us today, just as they did 13 years ago. Weve improved in every one of them, but we should always be trying to do better.
From the beginning, Shaw established an open atmosphere regarding the Universitys financial situation. The conditions were not crisis-like in dimension at all, he says. But we had problems that, if not dealt with, could lead to a disaster. People needed to know that. And they needed to know there was no immediate, painless fix. A series of forums was held to share the specifics of SUs challenges and invite input from the campus community. I felt that transparency was necessary regarding our financial problems, Shaw says. People were going to be asked to make sacrifices, and if they didnt know what the conditions were, it wouldnt be fair to them. I helped to publicly shape the problem, and provided a means by which people could express their views.
| Steve Sartori
Chancellor Shaw poses for photographs with graduates on the steps of Hendricks Chapel, a Commencement tradition for him.
Louis Marcoccia 68, G69, senior vice president for business, finance, and administrative services and a member of the Chancellors Cabinet, commends Shaws commitment to obtaining feedback from the Universitys constituencies. His approach has been to have concepts and related guidelines identified that best support the institutions priorities, and to allow for sufficient discussion to occur to achieve acceptance of those concepts, Marcoccia says. Most importantly, he understands and communicates the need for financial discipline and planning, and their roles in successfully leading the University. As a result of Shaws leadership and clearly defined institutional goals, SU not only recovered from its financial difficulties, but also made strides toward its vision of becoming the nations leading student-centered research university. Syracuse is one of few higher education institutions to have improved nearly every facet of campus life during challenging economic times, even as the University faced budget cuts of more than $60 million and the loss of 600 jobs. In the early 90s, Shaw resisted the trend to lower admissions standards to boost enrollment. Instead, he led the University through an institutional restructuring that reduced enrollment, strengthened the educational program by providing greater attention to student needs, and brought a renewed emphasis to teaching.
Chancellor Shaw has the requisite traits of authentic leadership, says Barry L. Wells, senior vice president and dean of student affairs. Hes visionary, a risk taker, and action oriented, and is guided by purpose, values, and integrity. Wells, who has worked closely with Shaw as a member of the Chancellors Cabinet, describes him as a strategic thinker who has exceptional analytical skills and an amazing ability to identify and implement solutions. He has a unique style that commands respect, yet at the same time puts people at ease and allows them to share their ideas and opinions freely, Wells says.
Today, the University is stronger than everboth academically and financially. The learning environment has been revitalized, facility and technology improvements abound, student services are more responsive, and SU has a greater national presence than ever before. Shaws leadership has been crucial to all these achievements. Buzz Shaw is one of a handful of absolutely first-class leaders in higher education, says University of Miami President Donna E. Shalala G70, who served as chancellor of the University of Wisconsin-Madison when Shaw was president of the University of Wisconsin System. He is a skilled manager and a national leader who has demonstrated his commitment to excellence.
SUs transformation has been well-recognized by its peers in higher education. In 1996, the University received the TIAA-CREF Theodore M. Hesburgh Award for Faculty Development to Enhance Undergraduate Learning, and an Outstanding Institutional Advising Award from the National Academic Advising Association. In 2003, Shaw was honored with the Council for Advancement and Support of Education District II Chief Executive Leadership Award. Additional measures of success include growth in financial resources, greater student and faculty diversity, stronger student enrollment and increased retention rates, and continued affordability. Things come about because of the tone and example Buzz sets, says Vice Chancellor and Provost Deborah A. Freund. By being confident and approachable, he makes people believe things can become better. So they draw together and things do get better. He empowers people to think creatively and do their best. Hes a very good listener. And hes great at managing the group process so that everybody feels their points are valued.
| Steve Sartori
The Chancellor has fun with members of the football team in the locker room. He often composed humorous poems for the team and read them after a victory at the Carrier Dome.
Shaws executive abilities extend beyond the SU campus. He has assumed an active leadership role with the National Collegiate Athletic Association, chairing both the basketball issues committee and the Division I board of directors. He also chairs the Commissioners Advisory Council on Higher Education for the New York State Education Department, serves on the board of the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities, and is a member of the Council on Competitiveness and the TIAA-CREF Hesburgh award jury. His book, The Successful President: Buzzwords on Leadership, was published in 1999 and became a top seller in the American Council on Education/Oryx Press Series on Higher Education. For me, its important to know Ive made a differenceor at least tried toin the lives of the people closest to me and the people I work with, as well as in the community and the world I live in, says Shaw, who counts loyalty, honesty, and trusting others among his own core values. And thats all good. But if you really believe youre going to make a difference, you have to be willing to spend the time. Youve got to make more than a regular commitment, or all youll get is regular results.
| Steve Sartori
The Shaws are partners at work and at home.
A Well-Matched Team
Before coming to Syracuse, Shaw was president of the University of Wisconsin System (1986-91). He also has served as chancellor of the Southern Illinois University System (1979-86), president of Southern Illinois University Edwardsville (1977-79), and vice president for academic affairs and dean of Towson State University in Maryland (1969-77). Each of those encounters provided me with great teachers and formative experiences, Shaw says. But I think one of the biggest contributions to whatever successes Ive had is my willingness to take professional risks. Any philosophy I have today is a result of the risks I took and the successes and failures I experienced.
Of all the life events and relationships that helped make Shaw who he is, he was perhaps most profoundly affected by his 42-year relationship with his wife, Mary Ann, who has worked side-by-side with him at SU in her role as associate of the Chancellor (see Rewarding Partnership, bottom of this page). I think any time a person can have a close, intimate, long-term relationship with someone else, he grows from it, Shaw says. And ours has been just that. You cant help but influence each other a great deal.
| Steve Sartori
The Shaws meet with a family during Opening Weekend 2002.
Throughout their partnership, Mary Ann has supported him in embracing new professional opportunitiessimultaneously pursuing her own education and careereven when doing so uprooted their family and provided no guarantees. Her earliest contribution came at a pivotal time, Shaw says. He was 29 years old, had a Ph.D. degree from Purdue, and was working at Illinois State University as an assistant to the president. I loved the place, greatly respected the president, and thought Id probably stay there forever doing 75 percent mundane jobsand maybe once in a while something really substantive, he says. Just after their third child was born, Shaw received a call from Jim Fisher, a respected former colleague who was the new president at Towson State. He offered Shaw a temporary position as acting vice president for academic affairs, but couldnt promise it would become permanent. Still, Fisher encouraged Shaw to accept, expressing great faith in his blossoming leadership abilities. I talked to Mary Ann, who was, of course, feeding the baby, and asked her what she thought. She said, without hesitation, I think we should go, Shaw recalls. So we sold our house, hopped in our Ford Falcon with the three kidsone who cried the whole wayand drove across the country to Maryland. And that wasnt the last time Mary Ann allowed me to take risks.
Mary Ann Shaw expresses equal respect for her husband and their partnership. He is my best friend, and always has been, she says. I think we really do depend on each other and inspire each other. She admires his ability to bring out the best in people, whether in professional relationships, friendships, or as a father. Hes very accepting of others, but also very encouraging and motivating, she says. Hes always supportive of people wanting to spread their wings and take up new opportunities. And he has outstanding judgment.
Chancellor Shaw gives a donation to students collecting contributions for Dollar Day at the Dome, a fund-raiser for United Way.
Eleanor Ware G85, SUs senior vice president for human services and government relations, has worked closely with the Shaws throughout their years at the University. A member of the Chancellors Cabinet and secretary to the Board of Trustees, Ware respects the Chancellor as a highly skilled, multifaceted leader with a gift for understanding and assessing people and situations and resolving problems. Buzz and Mary Ann are the perfect team for heading a university like Syracuse, and their contributions to University life are evident everywhere, she says. They demonstrate their caring and service through the countless hours they give to hundreds of events at their home, on campus, at Lubin and Greenberg houses, and across the country. They have also demonstrated their interest in the welfare of faculty and staff by establishing more family-friendly benefits and workplace policies. Ware believes the Shaws have significantly changed SUs environment and culture. Its a more welcoming place, and its processes are handled in a more open and collaborative manner, she says. The University has come to reflect their genuine warmth and graciousness.
Senior Vice President for Institutional Advancement John D. Sellars is also impressed by the powerful partnership shared by the Chancellor and Mary Ann Shaw. They complement and balance each other and make a beautiful team, says Sellars, a Chancellors Cabinet member who worked for three other college presidents before coming to Syracuse in 2001. He says the Shaws share a genuine respect for people that forms a strong foundation for all they do. At heart, they are humanitarians, he says. So when Buzz talks about topics like diversity, it isnt because its the popular thing to do. Its because it is the right thing to dothe caring thing. Thats a solid platform from which to lead a university.
According to their three childrenall married with kids of their own and living in the Midwestthe Shaws have been as successful at family life as they have been in professional life. I am tremendously proud of them, says son Ken Shaw, an associate professor at the University of Missouri School of Accountancy. While they have achieved so much, they have also embraced a strong and unwavering commitment to family. I doubt any of us kids realized my father had a stressful job. He never dwelled on work while at home. Instead, he was an enthusiastic participant in all our activities. He coached all our teams, played every sport imaginable with us, and made us pancakes for dinner on nights my mom had class. Daughters Susan Gleason and Sara Shaw Buffett echo their brothers comments, referring to their parents as amazing and describing their home as one that was always graced with love, encouragement, and fun. Growing up, our home was a happy retreat filled with warmth and humor, Gleason says. A representative of the youngest generation in the Shaw family also offers up some words of admiration about her grandparents: At her elementary school in a Chicago suburb, 7-year-old Aly Buffett is learning about the six pillars of character: trustworthiness, respect, responsibility, fairness, caring, and citizenship. Nana and Pappy are the six pillarsfor sure! she says.
| Mike Okoniewski, SU Athletics
Chancellor Shaw fields a question from ESPN reporter Greg Roberts during halftime of a football game at the Carrier Dome.
As Shaw makes way for his successor, Chancellor-Elect Nancy Cantor, SU is poised for continued success with two transformations already taking shape. Vice Chancellor Freund has introduced a comprehensive Academic Plan that identifies institutional priorities, along with initiatives to ensure greater student and faculty success, refocus graduate education, and enhance the campuss intellectual climate through diversity. Also under way is the Space Plan, which will result in the addition of nearly 400,000 square feet of new academic space and the renovation of nearly 350,000 square feet of existing space. I think our next logical step is to reinvigorate our efforts to improve Syracuse University andin Buzzs honorto trump him. Hes the kind of guy who would love that, Freund says. What he would hope for the future is that it be even brighter than hes made it. He would want nothing less. I believe he would bask in the glow of our continued success.
Retiring SU Board of Trustees Chair Joseph O. Lampe 53, G55, who led the national search for Shaws successor, notes that Shaw will be sincerely missed and difficult to replace. Chancellor Shaw is a gifted leader who combines academic vision with an informed understanding of what can be realistically accomplished, he says. His relationships with members of the University community, the city, and the Board of Trustees are always based on honesty and respect, and are an outstanding model for all to follow. From the start, he brought together all facets of the University to create a common plan, and gained support to accomplish the necessary changes, charting a course that proved to be the right one.
| Steve Sartori
Board of Trustees Chair-Elect John A. Couri 63, left, Chair Joseph O. Lampe 53, G55, second from right, and Chancellor Shaw welcome Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Donovan McNabb 99 to the Board of Trustees.
After Shaw steps down, he will take a years sabbatical to prepare a series of lectures on leadership (see Defining Leadership, bottom of this page). He will then return to campus to teach and assume other responsibilities assigned to him by the new Chancellor and the Board of Trustees. The desire to try something different has defined my life, he says. I knew I had to retire sometime, and I wanted to do it while I still had a lot of enthusiasm, and before I was worn out from being Chancellor, so I could try something new and enjoy more time with my family. Shaw also looks forward to a continued commitment to Syracuse and Central New York. Mary Ann and I feel as if were natives of the area, he says. Weve lived in a lot of different places and traveled a lot, but there is something very appealing about Syracuse that reminds me of the Midwest. The people are friendly, they work hard, love their families, and love the institutions they work for. There is also a kind of East Coast interest in culture, the arts, and ideas, which makes it all the more appealing. We have felt welcome here.
Shaw celebrates SUs successes, but wont take personal credit for the improvements that have occurred during his tenureattributing them instead to the entire University community. Weve done a lot of good things together, he says. Were more focused, were more student-centered, and were more able to deal with the challenges that come before us. Im really proud and grateful that I had a chance to be a part of it. But it has been us, not me, that made it all happen.
Just as the institution has evolved during Shaws time here, the Chancellor himself has been changed by the experience. Im older, for one thing, he says. Ive noticed, anyway, that a lot of other people around me are older than they were 13 years ago, so I have to assume that Im older, too! Shaw also believes hes more at peace with himself, more self-confident, and better able to trust his instincts than when he was younger. But I dont think my values have changed all that much. Im probably not much different than I was at 18, really, except I hope Im a little smarter, he says. At the end of all this is the gratitude I feel for being here, for now having the opportunity to teach, and for being blessed with a good marriage, good children, and good health. I have a lot to be thankful for.
Beyond that, he offers a few words of advice to his successor, saying simply this: Take the job seriously, but have fun. Make a strong commitment, he says, and love the place. For Shaw, that approach has proven to be a winning formula, and its advice straight from the heart. For more information on Chancellor Shaw, go to http://whitman.syr.edu/shaw.
During their time at SU, both the Chancellor and Mary Ann Shaw have been active participants in community affairs. He chairs the Metropolitan Development Association and has served as chair of its health care and educational services committee. He also serves on the boards of the Greater Syracuse Chamber of Commerce, Unity Mutual Life Insurance Co., the University Hill Corporation, the Milton J. Rubenstein Museum of Science and Technology, and the Policy Council of Success by Six, and is a member of the executive committee of Syracuse 20/20.
Mary Ann Shaws commitments to the Syracuse community include serving in leadership roles for such organizations as Syracuse Stage, the Syracuse Symphony Orchestra, and the Central New York Community Foundation. She chairs the steering committee for the development of the Central New York Childrens Hospital at University Hospital. She also contributed to the development of Success by Six, was a 10-year member of the board of directors for United Way of Central New York, and served on the boards of the Ronald McDonald House, WCNY Public Broadcasting, and Literacy Volunteers of Greater Syracuse. Earlier this year, she received an Achievement Award from the Syracuse Post-Standard, one of 10 people to be recognized for
contributions to the community.