A Legacy of Leadership: The Chancellors and Presidents of Syracuse University

Charles Wesley Flint

Term of Office: September 1922 – May 1936
Inauguration Date: 17 November 1922

Charles Wesley Flint is remembered for seeing Syracuse University through a dire financial crisis during his tenure as the institution’s fifth Chancellor. Upon taking office Flint was faced with what was then the largest expense deficit of any American university. Despite these challenges, his administration saw a period of academic growth for the University, including the expansion of the School of Education and the establishment of the School of Journalism and the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs. During Flint’s time as Chancellor the University strengthened the faculty, and created innovative new opportunities for students, such as the Student Dean Program that trained female students for careers in academia. His tenure also saw the construction of Hendricks Chapel and funding for the College of Medicine. Flint traveled extensively for fundraising purposes while Chancellor and shared the lessons of his time abroad in columns in campus and alumni publications. During his extended absences, Flint delegated many tasks and responsibilities for the governance of the University to Vice Chancellor William P. Graham and other administrators who worked to restrict enrollment of Black and Jewish students and to enforce segregated housing. Chancellor Flint left the University in 1936 after being elected a Bishop of the Methodist Church. Further information about Flint’s administration can be found in the Archives’ Chancellor Charles W. Flint Records.

Portrait of Chancellor Charles Wesley Flint, circa 1930s. Syracuse University Portrait Collection, University Archives.

Photograph of Chancellor Flint with wood-chopping contest winner Austin C. Bilby and dean of the College of Forestry Franklin F. Moon at the annual College of Forestry barbecue, 1922. Syracuse University Portrait Collection, University Archives.

Chancellor Flint was a member of the New York State College of Forestry at Syracuse University’s Board of Trustees, and was tasked by Governor Roosevelt with finding a dean for the College. Flint was an advocate for forestry as both a college and a field of study at Syracuse, particularly during the Great Depression when questions arose regarding which forestry programs the state could continue to support.