Fast Forward Syracuse

3 takeaways from Syracuse University’s 2nd Campus Framework draft

Courtesy of Stephen Sartori

The Campus Framework is part of Syracuse University Chancellor Kent Syverud's flagship Fast Forward Syracuse initiative.

Syracuse University on Monday released the second and latest draft of the Campus Framework, a major infrastructure plan that is intended to guide physical campus development in both the short- and long-term.

The 180-page draft document contained several updates on the South Campus housing relocation project and detailed SU’s push to create a more “compact campus.” Here are three other Campus Framework updates of note that were included in the second draft.

 

Three-year housing requirement

The Campus Framework draft released Monday stated that SU will “continue to explore the viability of a third-year residential requirement.”

If the requirement is implemented, South Campus “would be considered as one of several possible housing options for third-year students,” according to the draft.

In February, university administrators hosted an open forum on the Campus Framework, answering questions from SU community members during a Q&A session about the plan. During the forum SU officials said the potential implementation of a three-year housing requirement was being discussed.

Currently, non-commuter students are required to live on campus for two years, but can get a waiver for their second year to live in greek housing.

SU Vice Chancellor and Provost Michele Wheatly at the forum said the university has to be “informed by research” when considering the three-year housing requirement. Research shows that students now do more work in groups and that common spaces facilitate a better student environment, which is more accessible on Main Campus, Wheatly said at the time.

The three-year housing requirement had not been mentioned publicly by university officials prior to the forum in February and previously was not included in the June 2016 Campus Framework Draft Overview.

 

SU stakeholder meetings

The second Campus Framework draft stated that feedback from SU stakeholders on the infrastructure plan is “critical.”

“Campus stakeholders, including deans, administrators, department chairs, faculty, staff, students, and neighborhood organizations, were interviewed to document real and perceived operational and physical limitations that impact community members,” the document stated. “These interviews revealed disparities in facilities between the University’s different colleges, areas with significant deferred maintenance, and department-level space needs.”

The draft though did not go on to exactly detail what these campus stakeholders had to say about the Campus Framework during their interviews with university officials.

The document only included feedback gathered from the MyCampus survey, which was sent to SU faculty, staff and students to get “campus impressions” in 2014.

Throughout the fall 2016 semester, SU administrators met with deans from different schools and colleges across campus to discuss the Campus Framework. The university also conducted two space audits during the fall semester, including an accessibility audit.

The February open forum on the Campus Framework was promoted in an SU News release. The release stated that university administrators at the forum would summarize the results of both the meetings with deans and the two space audits. The results of the meetings and the space audits though were never discussed at the forum.

 

Academic consolidation

To “optimize operating efficiency and allow for faculty collaborations,” the Campus Framework draft released by SU Monday details how “some consolidation” is under discussion for schools, colleges, departments and programs.

The SU Department of Psychology was used in the draft as an example for this possible consolidation, to bring schools and departments into “geographic proximity.” The department is currently part of the College of Arts and Sciences and is spread across four buildings, including within leased space, according to the document.

The Department of Psychology is “a good candidate” to occupy a new building, “as the newly constructed space can be customized to the unique spatial needs of the Psychology Department, and the adjacency to the hospital district can facilitate existing partnerships,” according to the draft.

“As a result of such a move, the School of Education could consolidate and expand within Huntington Hall once the Psychology Department vacates that space,” the document stated.

The Campus Framework draft did not give any other examples of hypothetical consolidations of SU schools, colleges, departments or programs. The document also did not detail what new building the Department of Psychology could potentially move into, if it were to be consolidated. It did however state that overall “many of the University’s academic departments and programs require new or upgraded facilities to replace an aging building stock and support modern academic practice and pedagogy.”

Disclaimer: The Daily Orange leases a house on Ostrom Avenue owned by Syracuse University. As part of the Campus Framework, the university has proposed building student housing on Ostrom Avenue where The Daily Orange currently operates.

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