Explainers

Chancellor Kent Syverud’s Fast Forward Syracuse initiative, explained

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When Kent Syverud become chancellor of Syracuse University, he started Fast Forward Syracuse. The initiative has three parts and is meant to improve SU's infrastructure and academic life moving forward.

At the heart of Kent Syverud’s ongoing tenure as chancellor of Syracuse University has been Fast Forward Syracuse.

Fast Forward, which has been in the works for more than two years, is a university-wide initiative that sets out to improve SU’s infrastructure and academic life moving forward. It consists of three components: the Campus Framework, the Academic Strategic Plan and the Operational Excellence Program.

Entering Syverud’s third full academic year as chancellor, here’s where each component of Fast Forward currently stands.

Campus Framework

Syverud released a draft of the Campus Framework plan in June, following 18 months of planning and campus outreach from a 17-member advisory group. The purpose of the Campus Framework is, as its name suggests, to improve the campus.

The draft details a 20-year plan, covering everything from small construction plans to larger plans, such as phasing out housing on South Campus, building the National Veterans Resource Complex and replacing the roof on the Carrier Dome.

And though the plan is still in a draft stage, the university has already begun implementing some aspects of it. Namely, construction for the University Place promenade began in late May and has continued throughout the summer.

Additionally, SU announced in May that it would replace the Carrier Dome roof and renovate Archbold Gymnasium as part of the Campus Framework.

Academic Strategic Plan

The Academic Strategic Plan outlines the university’s vision and sets goals to achieve that vision, serving essentially as a roadmap for SU’s decision-making in the coming years.

The plan outlines six areas the university should focus on: the student experience, discovery, internationalization, veterans affairs, innovation and “One University.” Six working groups were formed in 2015, with each one focused on developing strategies to meet goals in one of those areas.

The Academic Strategic Plan is a living, evolving document, and as a whole it has not yet been approved, said Michael Speaks, dean of SU’s School of Architecture, in May 2016.

Some faculty members have questioned how the university can justify implementing aspects of the Campus Framework, such as the University Place promenade, prior to the Academic Strategic Plan being completed, given that aspects of the Campus Framework are supposed to fit into the Academic Strategic Plan.

Operational Excellence Program

The purpose of the Operational Excellence Program is to make SU more fiscally efficient and fund investment for the Academic Strategic Plan and Campus Framework.

Operational Excellence has two committees: the Executive Committee and the Steering Committee. The Executive Committee provides oversight to the Operational Excellence Program, and its members also serve on the Steering Committee.

The Steering Committee, which is composed of SU community members, provides input on Operational Excellence’s work, which includes several initiatives. Each of those initiatives aims to help achieve the program’s goal of making SU more fiscally efficient, which SU hopes will result in savings to drive funding for the rest of Fast Forward.

More on each of the Operational Excellence Program’s initiatives can be found here.

The Daily Orange will continue to update this Explainer as new information about Fast Forward Syracuse is released.

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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