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SU Chancellor Acknowledges "Hard Times" of Last Fall, Vows to Make SU Better in Winter Message

Syracuse University

Syracuse University Chancellor Kent Syverud didn’t waste any time in his Winter Message Monday in addressing the racist incidents that gripped campus in November.  He began his speech by saying the students, faculty, and the community went through a hard time, facing hate, fear and uncertainty.  

He acknowledged the many students who have called for change in how the university responds to such incidents, and how to improve diversity on campus.

"I am so thankful to so many who came forward with courage and with voice and with action to reaffirm the values of this community.  I am thankful to those who called upon us all to live up to those values and to improve."

Syverud says he spent much of the past two months listening to students, faculty, staff, alumni, and the Board of Trustees.   He sees the troubled times as an opportunity.

"There are many opinions, as there should be, at any great university.  But there is also a strong consensus that Syracuse can and should now become a world class model of an academic powerhouse that truly embraces, welcomes, and values all people."

The chancellor highlights five of the 50 commitments the university made last semester to students following the anger expressed over racist incidents.

Syverud says the university is committing $5.6 million for diversity and inclusion initiatives.  But it remains to be seen how the #NotagainSU movement might respond.  The Monday "deadline" they set for the resignations of Syverud and other top administrators  has come and gone without the unspecified "consequences," protests, or other action they promised at the end of the fall semester.

A video and complete transcript of the Chancellor's address can be found here.

Credit Toby Craner / WAER-FM 88.3
WAER-FM 88.3