Trajectory To Excellence

Trajectory To Excellence (PDF version or Word Document) is Syracuse University’s 2015 Academic Strategic Plan that set an ambitious vision for the University building on its strengths and leveraging external opportunities. It defined the University’s vision and strategic direction, detailing the University’s priorities and identifying specific actions and plans to pursue and investments to be made. Looking back after seven years, it is clear that strategic planning contributed to many meaningful improvements to the University community, the teaching and research enterprises and the campus built environment.

Action inspired by and/or taken as a result of Trajectory to Excellence include:


  • Creation and implementation of research clusters and the complementary Cluster and Signature Hire Programs
  • Significant investments in the Office of Research, Women in Science and Engineering and recruitment and retention of postdoctoral researchers
  • Deployment of grants in support of equipment purchases
  • Launch and staffing of the Syracuse Office of Undergraduate Research and Creative Engagement (SOURCE) and the Center for Teaching and Learning Excellence (CTLE)
  • Development of the Research Cost Share Program
  • Launch of the Collaboration for Unprecedented Success and Excellence (CUSE) Grant Program
  • Supporting the construction of the Special Collections Research Center
  • Increased faculty retention and partner hire funds
  • Creation and execution of the STEM facilities renewal plan


  • New scholarships created for Syracuse Abroad opportunities and the launch of the Bird Library Syracuse Abroad Recruiting Office
  • Creation and convening of the Internationalization Council
  • Hiring of a vice president for international strategy to lead holistic approach to international institutional collaborations for research, teaching and student recruitment
  • Enhanced programming for international students

Commitment to Veterans

  • Building of a first-of-its-kind National Veterans Resource Center at the Daniel and Gayle D’Aniello Building
  • Endowment of the Institute for Veterans and Military Families
  • Expansion of online enterprise to support education opportunities for active military, including in the School of Education, the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs and the College of Professional Studies

The Student Experience

  • Creation of the Barnes Center at the Arch
  • Transformation of the Schine Student Center
  • Development of the First Year Experience course
  • Launch of the Center for Learning and Student Success (CLASS)
  • Significant investments in undergraduate advising across all schools and colleges, career services, classroom technology and accessibility updates
  • Convening of the Student Success Council
  • Increased resources directed at the Graduate School, including as it relates to graduate student fellowships, graduate student resources and other enhancements aimed at improving the graduate student experience


  • Opening of the Blackstone Launchpad in Bird Library
  • Launch of Invent@SU
  • Support of curricular enhancements to promote entrepreneurship and innovation across disciplines

One University

  • Launch of Syracuse University Global and the Center for Online and Digital Learning
  • Construction of the Einhorn Family Walk
  • Creation of the Faculty Commons at Bird Library
  • Expansion academic programming in New York City, Washington, D.C., and Los Angeles
  • Program Review/Institutional Effectiveness and Assessment
  • Creation of the Artist in Residence Program