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

Kent D. Syverud

Term of Office: January 2014 –
Inauguration Date: 11 April 2014

The University’s twelfth Chancellor and President, Kent Syverud, was elected by the Board of Trustees in September 2013. With a background as a legal scholar and educator and an academic administrator, he has worked to position the University for growth and recognition as a global research institution. Through the development of an Academic Strategic Plan, part of the Fast Forward Syracuse initiative, Syverud’s administration identified four key priorities: providing an outstanding undergraduate experience, empowering research excellence, fostering innovation, and making the University the best higher education institution for veterans and military-connected students. He has overseen a period of physical transformation of the University informed by the Campus Framework, a guide for campus planning and development intended to sustain an inclusive and accessible campus and ensure facilities are available to support the goals of the Academic Strategic Plan. Projects include the Einhorn Family Walk, the National Veterans Resource Complex, and the Barnes Center at the Arch replaced the aging Archbold Gymnasium. Syverud has been recognized for his commitment to student veterans and for enhancing the University’s relationship with the Haudenosaunee. Syverud’s administration has experienced significant periods of student activism, including movements such as THE General Body in fall 2014 that coalesced around demands for increased transparency in student services and training regarding issues of racially marginalized groups, and #NotAgainSU during the 2019-2020 academic year in response to a series of racist graffiti and hate speech incidents on campus. The demands of the later movement bore many similarities to those raised in 2014. In the spring of 2020, Syverud oversaw the University’s response to the COVID-19 global health emergency, including the early termination of study abroad programs during the spring semester and the transition to non-residential instruction.

Portrait of Chancellor and President Kent D. Syverud, 25 February 2014. Syracuse University Photo & Imaging Collection, University Archives. Photograph by Stephen Sartori.

Photograph of Chancellor Syverud at the annual Chancellor’s Review for the Army and Air Force ROTC cadets, 3 April 2015. Syracuse University Photo & Imaging Collection, University Archives. Photograph by Stephen Sartori.

Chancellor Syverud continues the tradition of his predecessors in conducting an Annual Chancellor’s Review of the Army and Air Force ROTC cadets. Leaders from the University’s Office of Veterans and Military Affairs, special guests, alumni, and community members join him in this celebration.