Dear Students, Faculty and Staff,
As August approaches, I am looking forward to the first days of the fall semester, when campus is again bustling with the excitement and anticipation of new challenges and opportunities.
Students, faculty and staff are returning from summer adventures and time with family and friends. Many have also spent the last several months writing, conducting research here and abroad or immersing themselves in unfamiliar cultures and communities. Much work has continued here on campus. There are many improvements in the physical environment, and there is exciting news to share regarding our continued pursuit of academic distinction and an enhanced student experience.
In my end-of-year message in May, I discussed some remarkable efforts underway to ensure this university’s future as a distinctive global research institution. Many of you have asked how we are going to fund this vision.
Today, I am pleased to introduce Invest Syracuse: Advancing Academic Excellence and the Student Experience. This $100 million bold and balanced initiative will help bring to life the big ideas and innovative proposals envisioned in the Academic Strategic Plan.
Over the next five years, we will invest $100 million to redefine the student experience, advance discovery and innovation, and expand opportunity to students of talent and promise from across the socioeconomic spectrum. We will invest in, among other things, the following:
- Providing comprehensive and integrated academic and career guidance and support so every student has a personalized path to future success;
- Recruiting and hiring 100 additional faculty scholars over the next five years and allocating resources to retain outstanding faculty;
- Building a more robust Office of Research to offer tangible support to all faculty pursuing scholarship, research and creative work;
- Leading in the area of financial assistance by making additional investments in need-based aid programs that expand access to a Syracuse University education; and
- Increasing grants and reducing student loans to decrease the debt burden on graduating students.
The funding to support these initiatives and others will come from three sources: $40 million in new gifts to support student scholarships; $30 million in administrative efficiencies and cost reductions; and $30 million in additional tuition revenue, including a tuition premium for first-year and transfer students entering in the fall of 2018. I want to make clear: No current students or first-year and transfer students entering in the fall of 2017 will be impacted by the premium.
Invest Syracuse is a sound strategy as we pursue shared goals and a vision that is both aspirational and achievable. Given the rapid pace of change in the world and the shifting expectations and pressures reshaping higher education, we are focused on the future, and will invest in getting to where we want to be. As a university, we will do what we encourage our students to do: Build upon distinctive strengths, stay focused, invest resources wisely and dream big.
This is a great time to be at Syracuse University. A physical transformation of our campus is underway; enhancements to the living and learning environments continue; and efforts to implement the bold and ambitious goals as expressed in the Academic Strategic Plan are now supported by a thoughtful and comprehensive funding plan.
Today’s announcement is just the first step of this campus-wide effort. As the new academic year gets underway, students, faculty, staff and alumni will be invited to participate in engagement sessions about the implementation of this new funding plan. I encourage you to visit http://InvestSyracuse.syr.edu to learn more. Visitors can also submit suggestions about where they’d like to see funds invested.
I look forward to hearing from you and working together as we shape Syracuse University’s future.
Chancellor Kent Syverud