Frequently Asked Questions

As our working groups have been meeting, a few common themes and questions have surfaced. We address them below.

No draft has been written. At this time, we are awaiting recommendations from the core pillar working groups (Research and Creative Excellence; Educational Excellence and Student Success; and Public Impact), which will be shared with the cross-cut working groups (Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Accessibility; Enrollment Strategy; Global Engagement; and Resource Sustainability and Budgeting) to help inform their eventual recommendations. Once all the working groups submit their recommendations, the steering committee, which consists of all working group co-chairs, as well as a few University leaders, will compile a first draft of the plan. That draft will be shared with the campus community, beginning in January, at which time we will request community input and feedback.

Following a feedback period, the University will finalize the new plan and begin implementation. Many of the schools and colleges have begun their own academic strategic planning processes and will be working developing their plans over the course of the next few months.

Through the launch event, the Campus Conversations, the surveys and other means of feedback, we are looking to all of you to help us identify our priorities. This may include putting additional resources into areas of strength, evaluating areas of opportunity, leaning in in some places and pulling back in others. We are looking to our community to drive these conversations and outcomes about priorities.

With the pandemic, advances in technology, changes in our political culture, exciting new local investments and impending local infrastructure changes, we are facing a very different landscape.  Online learning is more prevalent than ever before. Our students’ needs and expectations are different. What our faculty need to be successful has evolved.  That is why the time is right for this work.

The University’s last strategic plan resulted in some outstanding achievements. It called us to make improvements in our student experience, which yielded the Barnes Center at The Arch, the Einhorn Family Walk, enhancements to Bird Library and the renovation of the Schine Student Center.  It called us to redouble our efforts for veterans and military families, which led to the construction of the National Veterans Resource Center at the Daniel and Gayle D’Aniello Building, among many other accomplishments. It called on us to increase our research and creative enterprise, which resulted in the cluster hire program. We believe, though, that new circumstances call for new aspirations.

We don’t want people looking at this as something “we have to do.” Instead, we want people to think of strategic planning as something “we get to do.” All of us get to be a part of this. All of us get to help shape the future of this university. And all of us can play a role in this work.

This is a good and fair question, and it is exactly why we created the Enrollment Strategy and Resource Sustainability and Budgeting working groups. First, tuition is one of our two most significant revenue streams. Understanding where we’re going in terms of enrollment is critical for directing resources, hiring faculty and staff, and planning around courses, housing, dining and so on.

The Resource Sustainability and Budgeting group was created to ensure that we have the resources to not only bring our aspirations to life but also sustain those efforts into the future. We won’t be able to fund every great idea, but together as a community, we will identify our collective priorities and goals and direct the appropriate resources.

A lot of great things are happening at Syracuse University and will continue to happen, regardless of our new academic strategic plan. What the new plan will do is help us focus on areas of opportunity and growth and direct resources appropriately. This is why community involvement is so important.