Chancellor Nancy Cantor addresses alumni and friends who gathered in January at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City to celebrate her inaugural year. The event was hosted by honorary trustees Robert B. Menschel ’51, Martin J. Whitman ’49, and Donald E. Newhouse ’51.
As we think about where we want Syracuse University to be five to 10 years from now, I would like to see the reputation and visibility of the entire University be as good as any of its individual parts—as outstanding as the Newhouse or Maxwell schools, for example, as celebrated as our international programs abroad and our championship athletic teams. We should be known, nationally and internationally, as a thriving example of an AAU university where excellence is connected to ideas, problems, and professions in the world—a place where excellence is tested in the marketplace.
Our great strengths at SU are based on the interactive nature of many of our programs, such as those in the School of Education and the College of Human Services and Health Professions, where faculty and students learn, discover, and create through deep engagement with practitioners and with the world. We see this clearly in the work of our journalists, our artists and architects, and our experts on government, public affairs, technology, and information studies. Therefore, as we build selectively on traditions of excellence in the College of Arts and Sciences, we will focus on scholarly areas in the humanities and sciences that also connect to the world. Examples might be religion and society or environmental systems.
We intend to build excellence in our professional schools in a focused way, by connecting our emerging strengths in business, law, and engineering to our highly visible strengths and to the core of the University, creating interdisciplinary areas that provide rich opportunities for new approaches and ideas—introducing contexts that act as catalysts for discovery.
Syracuse University should be known as a place where creative exchanges occur easily across disciplines and colleges. We want our students to feel they have been given real, entrepreneurial opportunities in settings where students with diverse interests from diverse backgrounds can mix it up. Our newest interdisciplinary programs, such as music industry or arts journalism, and our cross-campus Renée Crown University Honors Program and Soling Program, have this profile of breaking new ground on and off campus.
Discovery and learning at Syracuse should have no physical boundaries as we test ideas in the marketplace, be it through community geography or social entrepreneurship, disability studies, technology commercialization, and school reform, or immersions on theater row or Wall Street, or in partnerships with non-governmental organizations abroad or the indigenous Nations at home in CNY.
We have significant precedents for scholarship-in-action in all of our professional schools and in University-wide internship programs. We should take our traditions even further, aggressively connecting to the world through active engagement with community, industry, practitioners, governments, and the professions. In the weeks and months to come, I hope to talk more with you about just how we intend to accomplish these goals. Meanwhile, please share your thoughts in the Soul of Syracuse Alumni Survey at www.syr.edu/alumni.
Chancellor and President