Editorial Board

Campus board will hopefully increase communication between Syracuse University community and administration about infrastructure

The newly created Campus Facilities Advisory Board will hopefully serve as a vehicle for Syracuse University community members to give their input on physical changes to the university. These changes are part of the Campus Framework, one of Chancellor Kent Syverud’s chief initiatives and a plan that will affect the infrastructure of the university for years to come.

In addition to giving SU faculty, staff and students a forum to discuss the Campus Framework, the board’s 23-member makeup should aim to ensure that university administrators do not make decisions that dramatically affect campus without first seeking the input of SU’s stakeholders. Many faculty members were surprised and angry by the administration’s decision to invest $6 million in the construction of the University Place promenade, an aesthetic feature to the campus, rather than investing that money in improving the university’s academics.

The Campus Framework Advisory Board is a platform that will ideally ensure due diligence and prevent another controversy like that surrounding the University Place promenade from emerging again. The board includes 21 faculty, staff and students, in addition to its chairs, Vice Chancellor and Provost Michele Wheatly and Vice President and Chief Facilities Officer Pete Sala. Having two prominent members of the university administration at the head of a board mostly composed of SU community members will provide a variety of perspectives on infrastructure plans.

Wheatly first discussed the creation of the board in January at the first University Senate meeting of the spring semester. The announcement followed Senate demands that the university administration be more transparent and communicative about on-campus infrastructure projects, and renovations in particular. Those demands stemmed from faculty sentiments regarding the construction of the University Place promenade. The board was created to dispel skepticism over SU’s transparency in infrastructure decision making.

During the Senate meeting, Wheatly said university administrators could better collaborate with the rest of campus, and added that she hoped the board would establish “a flow of information so we get broader input” on infrastructure decisions.

After the promenade controversy, it’s refreshing to see the administration move forward with a greater emphasis on transparency with the creation of this new board.

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