Our Continued Commitment to Access and Inclusion

Dear Orange Friends:

Last fall, I reaffirmed our commitment to embracing the disability community as One University. At that time, I approved adoption of the Phase One recommendations of the Disability External Review Committee. Over the course of the 2020-21 academic year, we began implementation of initiatives designed to ensure that our diversity, equity, inclusion and accessibility efforts embrace the disability community that includes our colleagues, students and friends here at Syracuse University.

Today, I am pleased to announce that I have approved both the short-term and long-term Phase Two recommendations from the Disability External Review Committee. I am grateful to all of the committee members. With the leadership of co-chairs Joanna Masingila and Michael Schwartz, this committee was asked to complete a difficult and broad scope of work. There were few experts qualified to help and the process was interrupted by the pandemic. Despite these challenges, the committee delivered a high-quality, valuable report that will be an important part of our road map for refocusing our commitment to access and inclusion.

I have charged the Office of Diversity and Inclusion with working across the University to prioritize implementation of these recommendations. The University will soon appoint a Disability Access and Inclusion Council that will include faculty, staff and student representation. The council will provide expertise and input to broader University groups working on the Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Accessibility Strategic Plan and other initiatives. Council members will be formally announced by Aug. 1. Individuals interested in serving should email diversity@syr.edu.

Syracuse University has historically been a pioneer in disability studies, disability rights and inclusive education. Our continued leadership depends on a commitment to access and inclusion within and across the campus community. I am so grateful to the Disability External Review Committee. Their report provides the clarity and focus needed to ensure that Syracuse University continues to be a national leader in disability culture, policy, education and advocacy.


Kent Syverud




Chancellor Kent Syverud