Dear Orange Friends:
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.
I have been using the time since Commencement to think about how we might do this. I start with our students. I thought about the Fast Forward student competition that was held as part of inauguration at which student teams presented their winning ideas for improving this place. The ideas were innovative, collaborative and inspiring, and came with an attitude of “We can do amazing things quickly” and “We want to do great things for the best reasons.” As we seek to improve, who better to emulate?
Borrowing the best from our students, I want to share with you Fast Forward Syracuse, a framework for how we will improve and get better by embracing change and prioritizing students as the primary focus of everything we do.
Fast Forward Syracuse includes three interrelated components that will be developed and implemented with participation by students, faculty and staff, as well as other stakeholders from across the University:
- A Strategic Plan, centered on academics, that lays out a shared vision for the University and identifies clear priorities needed to achieve that vision;
- A Campus Master Plan to guide our decisions about the University’s strategic infrastructure needs; and
- An Operational Excellence Program that will help us be more effective, achieve efficiencies and create opportunities to fund investment in the Strategic Plan and the Campus Master Plan.
I also continue to believe that, to get better, we need to take risks, we need to embrace the entrepreneurial spirit that animates so many parts of this campus and we need to move nimbly. In that spirit, given the opportunities and challenges before us, I believe we must get started soon, and be nimble and agile every step of the way.
So we are moving as fast as we can. I will be sure to keep you updated about Fast Forward Syracuse and how you can participate and share your ideas and feedback. More details about the initiative can be found here .