Shaw gives final state of university address, outlines goals for the future
Chancellor Kenneth A. Shaw says his tenure as ‘Buzz’ has taken him and the university to ‘infinity and beyond.’
He gave his last state of the university address to the Syracuse University community Wednesday afternoon in Hendricks Chapel. After his speech, the audience had a chance to ask questions and comment on his tenure.
Shaw prepares to pass the throne on to the next candidate by informing him or her of both short-term and long-term goals for the future. He also reiterated what SU has already accomplished in the past decade during his tenure.
According to his speech, one of the biggest problems facing SU, as well as universities and colleges nationwide, is the floundering economy. Competing with other schools to attract and retain the best students forces colleges to offer attractive financial aid packages.
‘No American university has done as good of a job renovating the tuition plans as Syracuse,’ he said.
Shaw said the university had already addressed the problem during his tenure. He drew attention to the possible $44 million deficit that could have resulted if nothing had been done.
Shaw said since he took office, SU has made progress toward reaching its goal of becoming a student-centered research university. Some SU community members feel the student-centered approach has not been as effective as Shaw claims.
Marty Hanson, preservation administrator at the SU library, said the students are short-changed if the university is not both faculty- and student-centered. She claimed that SU officials have not adequately addressed the problem of faculty retention.
‘Honesty, frankness and active listening by key leaders – not sweeping topics under the rug – is what we need,’ Hanson said.
Some students went to the speech with other concerns about the quality of life at SU. Laura Brientnall, a sophomore communications and rhetorical studies major and member of the girls’ club lacrosse team, didn’t get the chance to ask Shaw about the university’s support for club sports and gym facilities.
‘There’s no place for non-varsity athletics,’ Brientnall said. ‘I work at Archbold Gym, but a lot of people leave because comparative to other colleges in the area, we have poor gym facilities.’
Shaw also spoke briefly about the new scheduling paradigm for students, saying he hadn’t decided whether to adopt the new proposal or enforce the old one. He added that no matter which he chooses, the present state of disorder ‘is not good enough.’
After wrapping up his speech, Shaw reminded students that his time at SU is not yet over.
‘I’m not leaving SU. I enjoy the moment and it’s time for me to move on, just as you will when you graduate.’
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