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

Kenneth A. Shaw

Term of Office: August 1991 – July 2004
Inauguration Date: 8 November 1991

Kenneth “Buzz” Shaw’s term as Syracuse University’s tenth Chancellor and President began with his declaration of five guiding principles: quality, caring, diversity, innovation, and service. These values helped modernize the University for the 21st century, beginning with a reassessment of its financial and institutional structure amidst the economic and enrollment downturns of the early 1990s. Shaw led the University through these challenges with a focus on reinvigorating teaching and curriculum as a student-centered research institution. He raised more than $370 million for the Commitment to Learning campaign and developed an Academic Plan and a Space Plan to meet scholarly and student support needs. Among the new facilities constructed during his tenure were the Whitman School of Management Building and an expansion to the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications. An ethic of service and community partnership was central to Shaw’s administration, exemplified by the work of his wife, Mary Ann. During his chancellorship the Center for Public and Community Service, now the Mary Ann Shaw Center, was established. Shaw retired as Chancellor in 2004, but continued to teach at the Whitman School for several years. Additional information about Shaw’s tenure can be found in the Archives’ Kenneth A. Shaw Papers.

Portrait of Chancellor and President Kenneth A. Shaw, circa 1995. Syracuse University Portrait Collection, University Archives.

Photograph of Chancellor Shaw at a football game, 21 September 1991. Syracuse University Portrait Collection, University Archives.

A former college athlete, Shaw could often be found in the stands cheering the Orange alongside students. He was also involved in National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) leadership, chairing the basketball issues committee and the Division I board of directors, the latter a governing body he had proposed.