student looking intently at laptop computer in study lab

INNOVATION: Nurture an entrepreneurial culture


Trajectory To Excellence (Working Group #5)

Against the backdrop of significant external forces that will affect higher education over the next 25 years, Syracuse University will define its own path of change and institutional renewal, one distinguished by its unique past and guided by its virtues. We have a long record of trail-blazing innovation and creativity, including veterans’ programs, entrepreneurial activity, the arts, disability studies, campus-community engagement, and industry partnerships, to name a few. We will strive to ensure that our culture, structures, and mechanisms continue to fuel productive change and empower us to respond nimbly to emerging needs and opportunities. We will work to cultivate an enterprising mindset characterized by visionary thinking and creative problem-solving, and the capacity to channel ideas into actions. Such an environment will attract the best and brightest students, faculty, and staff and incite external partnerships with those on the cutting edge.


We will achieve this by:

Creating a mechanism that allows us to respond nimbly to emerging needs & opportunities

• Increasing student engagement outside the classroom

Creating sandboxes & innovation labs (In conjunction with the Campus Masterplan and the Blackstone Launch Pad)

• Reimagining spaces to be accessible and inclusive (In conjunction with the Campus Masterplan)

• Re-engineering the library to complement virtual media

• Rewarding creativity and innovation

• Funding “Staybaticals” for faculty & staff

• Promoting problem solving by starting “Fail Forward” initiatives

• Seeking expanded partnerships with private, civic and governmental sectors to inform innovation efforts

• Using alumni networks to recruit mentors, improve entrepreneurship education & support innovation efforts

Common Charge

This Working Group will produce strategies to implement the objectives listed above from the Academic Strategic Plan. These strategies will emerge by refining the recommendations made by the working groups in the Discovery phase and cultivating the extensive information that was gathered throughout that process.

This group will:

Review the list of proposed strategies from the Discovery reports and agree on a prioritization of objectives to pursue

Determine specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-bound strategies to implement each objective

Establish a Key Performance Indicator(s), timeline and estimate of implementation costs for each of those strategies

Prepare an assessment process that uses the results of Key Performance Indicators over time and feedback loops for each objective in order to ensure continuous improvement

Perform due diligence on each strategy by conducting research, benchmarking and working with the central functions team that includes, legal counsel, risk management and budget departments in order to assess feasibility.

Prepare a report for the Chair persons to present to the Academic Strategic Plan Implementation Oversight Committee (ASPIOC) for endorsement


INNOVATION  – Working Group 5


Suzette Melendez/College of Law

Luis Columna/School of Education/Exercise Science






Collin Brooke


College of Arts & Sciences/Writing

Vir Phoha


College of Engineering and Computer Science

Ed Bogucz


Center of Excellence

Terriruth (TC) Carrier



Laura Heyman


College of Visual and Performing Arts/Transmedia

Tony D’Angelo


Newhouse School/Public Relations

M. Jack Rudnick


College of Law/Sci&Tech Law Center

Shane Lavalette


Coalition of Museums & Art Centers

Cindy Hoalcraft


Information Technology Services (ITS)

J.D. Ross



Mi Ditmar


College of Arts & Sciences/ Humanities Center

Robert Moreno


Falk College of Sport and Human Dynamics

Laura Viller


School of Education/Higher Education

Juwan Thompson


Whitman/General Studies

Alicia Lewis


Special Events

Sonia Y Suchak


College of Arts & Sciences/Citizenship & Civic Engagement


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