Syracuse UniversityChancellor

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The Bleeding Orange Blog

  • Welcoming

    Aug. 14, 2014

    I have been reading a lot of books by our faculty lately, and learning a lot. Next week I’ll alert you to a couple of them that are representative of the extraordinary work Syracuse aspires to.  But this week, I just want to spotlight the booths—or more precisely, the traffic booths—in the middle of the streets (and in parking lots) at various key entrance points to our campus.  Read more

  • Boundaries

    Aug. 5, 2014

    Yesterday, The Princeton Review, a for-profit corporation with no connection to Princeton University, designated Syracuse University as the top “party school” in the nation for 2014, replacing the University of Iowa, which was selected last year. Read more

  • Our Front Lawn

    July 30, 2014

    Ruth and I stopped by Walnut Park on Saturday for the family picnic to welcome faculty and staff of color, sponsored by the University’s Faculty and Staff of Color Connection initiative. Read more

  • Glass Treasure

    July 24, 2014

    I have been scrambling to walk through every floor of every building on our campus this summer. I just want to get a sense of the spaces and the people working in them. Read more

  • Reading

    July 9, 2014

    I am finishing up 10 days in the woods in a cabin near the Straits of Mackinac. It has been a time for kayaking and family and especially for reading.  Read more
  • Reflecting

    July 1, 2014

    As we enter the heart of summer, which gives us all time to reflect, I have been thinking a lot about two tough issues.  Read more
  • Fast Forward Syracuse

    June 24, 2014

    I’ve been saying that we need to get better by aiming high and aiming carefully. I believe that our direction should be inspired and empowered by the insights of all our people, from a shared dialogue about the direction we go in together. Read more
  • Improvements

    June 17, 2014

    I have been visiting dorms these past few weeks. Most nights, after work, I walk through a different (mostly empty) dormitory. I’ve been up on Mount Olympus, at Flint and Day, over beyond the Dome, at Sadler and Lawrinson. I am now working my way through the dorms between Life Sciences and my house, including Ernie Davis, DellPlain, Kimmel, Marion, Haven, Booth and Shaw. Read more
  • Chimes

    June 14, 2014

    Faculty, students, neighbors and our newest trustee, Patricia Mautino, gathered on the lawn around Crouse College one evening last week to listen to the chimes. Up in the bell tower, four student Chimemasters from the Setnor School of Music performed everything from Sibelius to “The Star-Spangled Banner” on a beautiful late spring day while we sat on lawn chairs and blankets and enjoyed the setting sun and the view of the “vale of Onondaga.” Only in Syracuse! Read more
  • Changes II

    May 30, 2014

    A couple of weeks ago I shared with you some changes and new initiatives, and said I was working on additional changes in other areas. I attach a memo describing the remaining changes that are being made, and describing some new things that are happening at the University. Read more
  • Beyond the Classroom

    May 28, 2014

    Our women’s lacrosse team played their hearts out Sunday night against a talented Maryland squad in the national championship game. Maryland won in a close contest played in Maryland. My heart broke seeing the anguish on the faces of some of our players at the end. Thousands of Syracuse fans showed up and stayed throughout the game and the ceremonies that followed, cheering for our students throughout. Read more
  • Are You a "Deer" or a "Bear" Part II

    May 22, 2014

    About 3,000 of you have now emailed me (and texted, called, and talked with me) about the correct pronunciation of “Syracuse.” The messages have come from all over the United States and 15 foreign countries. You are almost evenly divided between “deers” (the first syllable rhymes with “deer”) and bears (the first syllable rhymes with “bear”).  Read more
  • Changes

    May 12, 2014

    Tomorrow will mark exactly four months since I joined Syracuse University as Chancellor. During that time, I have listened carefully, learned a lot, and explored as much as I could. I have taken some time to think about and assess some key areas of focus, and want to share with you a number of changes that are being made, some new initiatives underway, and other information I think you should know.  Read more

  • Happiest Day of the Year

    May 6, 2014

    Not so many years ago, commencement was dying at many American colleges. The ceremonies got longer and longer and had less and less to do with the people graduating. Faculty and graduates stopped going. Many schools got rid of robes and other traditions.  I am glad commencement has made a comeback, because it is the happiest day of my year. Read more

  • Late Night

    Apr. 29, 2014

    One night last week I toured campus and off-campus from 11 p.m. to 1 a.m. with our very dedicated Department of Public Safety officers. I was able to see campus life at night through their eyes, riding in their cars and watching them watch out for you. We are all blessed to have experienced professionals who truly care about our students, faculty, and staff.  Read more
  • Are You a "Deer" or a "Bear"?

    Apr. 24, 2014

    I have a question to ask you: When you say “Syracuse,” does the first syllable rhyme with “deer” or with “bear”? I ask because, in three months here, I have heard you say it both ways, and for a newcomer it can be confusing. Read more
  • Fast Forward

    Apr. 17, 2014

    I often get asked by my friends elsewhere to explain what is different about Syracuse. I try to explain why the people are wonderful. I have an even better answer now: Watch this video of the student presenters at the Fast Forward competition. Read more
  • “Boys From Syracuse”

    Apr. 10, 2014

    My identical twin brother and I are both, in some sense, from Syracuse. We grew up down the way; he had part of his schooling in Syracuse; and I have settled here. But after our youth together, time and tides carried us far away from each other. His visit this week will bring us together here for the first time in many years.  Read more
  • Salute to Service

    Apr. 3, 2014

    Matthew Kellar and Michael Kennedy are two University locksmiths. Between them they have spent more than 60 years at the University changing keys, fixing locks, installing locks, and helping a few thousand of us out when we are stranded at our office and front doors.  I met Matt and Mike on Monday morning at the Salute to Service Breakfast, in which 185 faculty and staff were recognized for the 25th, 30th, 35th, 40th, and 45th anniversaries of their starting work at Syracuse University.  Read more

  • Home & Away

    Mar. 28, 2014

    Ruth and I moved into the Chancellor’s house on Comstock this week. The move, originally intended for January, was delayed because of a need for remediation of some environmental issues, and for some significant deferred maintenance. We intend to work hard to invite the campus and community into the house for various events and occasions. The first will be next week, when we are hosting each of the folks (and their guests) who worked on the house to come see it and be thanked.  Read more

  • Our Reading Room

    Mar. 24, 2014

    Andrew Carnegie gave $150,000 to Syracuse University to build this library at the same time he was funding 2,500 libraries in towns across the United States. Most of the Carnegie libraries are gone, casualties of tight budgets and deferred maintenance. After the Bird Library opened in 1972, our Carnegie Library and its Reading Room also gradually faded, and until this semester you could not even walk through its front doors.  This past week, students, faculty, donors, and staff celebrated the reopening.  Read more

  • SU in LA

    Mar. 18, 2014

    Having been in Los Angeles this past week, I learned how to be a comedy straight man for Jeff Garlin of the sitcom The Goldbergs. Jeff is a professional and acutely funny comedian; he and the cast of The Goldbergs, together with their producer Doug Robinson, Syracuse Class of 1985, provided one funny highlight to a packed week of activities for Syracuse students in Los Angeles.  Read more
  • Spring Break

    Mar. 10, 2014

    It is spring break in Syracuse, so the campus is relatively quiet. I just returned from Greensboro and the ACC President’s Meeting (and the Women’s ACC basketball tournament), which was quite disrupted by ice and snow—it was sunny and beautiful in Syracuse! Read more
  • Entrepreneurial and Nimble

    Mar. 5, 2014

    I have recently seen a great network of alumni and supporters who help out our students. First, I attended the dedication of the Einhorn 21st Century Studio in Slocum Hall. It is a new instructional space in the School of Architecture that was generously supported by alumni Steven and Sherry Einhorn. This is incredibly flexible teaching space with the kind of technologies that spark excellence and collaboration. I suspect scholars in every discipline would learn a lot from teaching there.  Read more
  • Touring

    Feb. 25, 2014

    I have been trying to get an extended tour of every school and college this semester, and I still have half a dozen to go. I recently toured both Newhouse and the iSchool. Each has a distinct mission, culture, and vibe, and each is wonderful.  Read more
  • Quiet Things

    Feb. 17, 2014

    There has been a lot to be proud of at Syracuse University this last week, including mostly quiet things. The quietest thing of all was the arena in Pittsburgh when, with 44 tenths of seconds left, a 35-foot shot was heard around the world. Congratulations and many thanks to all on our team!  Read more
  • Handling Anything

    Feb. 11, 2014

    As I write this, 30 students are sledding down the Crouse College hill on dining hall trays, toboggans, and their rear ends. They are in a joyful mood because a winter storm, with accelerating snowfall all day, led the University to cancel late afternoon classes. I am told this is the first closure during even part of daytime hours since 2010. Having grown up in upstate New York during the previous millennium, I regard any closure for weather as a sign of weakness. But seeing the sheer joy of our students sliding down the hill is great compensation.  Read more
  • No Degrees of Separation

    Feb. 4, 2014

    I met with the faculty of the College of Arts and Sciences last week in the Hall of Languages. I expected a tough audience. This is a group that has faced some real challenges in recent years, including growth in student enrollment. They now face a dean search under a brand new Chancellor they hardly know. I have presided over hundreds of faculty meetings in the last 20 years, and this one logically should have been a challenge.  Read more
  • A Show of Syracuse Support

    Jan. 28, 2014

    Since I last wrote, Syracuse has experienced unusually cold weather, compounded by a power failure on Thursday night that for three-and-a-half hours plunged parts of the North and South campuses into darkness. The power failure, which was caused by damage to a National Grid transformer located about a mile from campus, also cut power to 7,000 customers in Syracuse neighborhoods. I witnessed a wide array of staff and support units pull together to respond in so many ways that showed concern for our students.  Read more
  • Discovering Syracuse

    Jan. 22, 2014

    I write this right after attending a “lava pour.” It is an event unique to Syracuse University. This is an inspiration of Bob Wysocki, a sculptor and professor in the College of Visual and Performing Arts. Along with collaborator Jeff Karson, a professor of earth sciences in the College of Arts and Sciences, he makes lava from basalt-based gravel, by heating it in a furnace his team built, and pours it under controlled conditions that produce path-breaking geologic research opportunities. The event drew collaborators from the sciences at Columbia University and Dickinson College as well as a film crew from The Weather Channel. The pour also generates remarkable materials for Bob’s work, fantastic shaped glass-like rock that Chihuly would admire and envy. Watching a crowd of people ages 7 to 80 cheer on the lava outside during a snow flurry is something that you can only do here!
    Read more

  • First Days as Chancellor

    Jan. 15, 2014

    My first two days as Chancellor are a blur akin to every student’s first days on campus: I met lots of wonderful and kind people, and had many chance encounters with faculty, staff, and students. I fear the unspoken question on their minds was, “Who really is this guy?” Thanks to all of you for accepting me the way Dean Biklen has taught me to accept every new student: with a presumption of competence, a belief in a capacity for excellence, and a willingness to help.  Read more
  • A Warm Welcome to the New Semester

    Jan. 13, 2014

    It is my great pleasure to welcome you to the first day of the spring 2014 semester. Like our 255 Winter Welcome students who begin their academic careers at Syracuse University today, I have very much looked forward to this day, my first official day as your 12th Chancellor and President.  Read more