115901pre_a70679a8580b99bLook below for an Overview of Fast Forward Syracuse and its objectives, a summary of Who’s Involved and how you can contribute, and a general Timeline of when you can expect to see these changes.


Q. What is Fast Forward Syracuse?

A. Fast Forward Syracuse is a strategic, transformative, and collaborative initiative that will allow the University community to build on its widely recognized strengths and improve in key areas. This University-wide effort will include broad participation by faculty, staff, and students, as well as other stakeholders from across the institution.

Q. What is the goal of Fast Forward Syracuse?

A. The goal of this initiative is to strengthen Syracuse University by embracing change and prioritizing student needs as the primary focus of everything the University does. Fast Forward Syracuse will serve as the framework for these future improvements.

Q. How will Fast Forward Syracuse achieve this goal?

A. The initiative will accomplish this goal via three interrelated components: an Academic Strategic Plan, a Campus Master Plan, and an Operational Excellence Program.

Q. What results or changes can I expect?

A. The Academic Strategic Plan will define the University’s vision and strategic direction, detail the University’s priorities and identify specific actions and plans to pursue, as well as investments that must be made. This ambitious vision for the University will build on our strengths and leverage external opportunity.

The Campus Master Plan, which will be developed in conjunction and coordination with the Strategic Plan, will:

  • Shape, guide, and manage the campus environment and its physical form
  • Identify the relationship between principles and policies, and the issues and places that constitute the campus
  • Determine issues and goals for selection and development of campus building sites
  • Establish architectural, landscape, parking, utilities, signage, code, zoning, and other criteria for developing sites.

The Operational Excellence Program will:

  • Increase efficiency and effectiveness across the University, controlling costs and exploring better ways to do business
  • Provide opportunity for the fostering, encouraging, and realizing of good ideas
  • Identify savings and new revenue for investment in priorities identified in the Academic Strategic Plan and Campus Master Plan.

As the Operational Excellence Program work gets underway, the University community can expect to first see changes in operational areas, including facilities planning, human resource processes, purchasing processes, fundraising processes, and organization design.

Who’s Involved:

Q. How will students, faculty, and staff play a role and contribute?

A. Transparent decision-making and open communication are critical components of the initiative. Therefore, student, faculty and staff representatives will be placed together in committees and working groups to guide development and implementation. Each of the three components—the Strategic Plan, Campus Master Plan, and Operational Excellence Program—will have its own committees and working groups.

Q. How can I provide input, learn more, submit ideas, or ask questions?

A. Fast Forward Syracuse will have many ways for the campus community to provide direct feedback and learn more. These include:

  • The Fast Forward website
  • A series of open forums and presentations
  • Town hall-style meetings
  • Regular updates to the community via email and social media

The goal is to ensure that all key University stakeholders, especially students, have an opportunity to learn about the proposals, contribute ideas, and provide feedback.

Q. How will this affect students?

A. By prioritizing students as the primary focus of everything the University does, Fast Forward Syracuse will provide students greater value and a better overall student experience. The initiative will foster academic and operational excellence, providing the key strategic direction and framework for propelling the University forward.


Q. How long will Fast Forward Syracuse be in place?

A. Fast Forward Syracuse is long-term, multi-year initiative with the goal of creating lasting, positive changes to Syracuse University, as well as meeting and overcoming any challenges the University may face in the days, months and years ahead.

Q. When will we see results?

A. The development of both the Academic Strategic Plan and Campus Master Plan will conclude by the end of the 2014-15 academic year, and be followed by the implementation phase of each plan over a multi-year period. The Operational Excellence Program will begin to produce results sooner, because it is the next step in the Innovation and Opportunities Assessment process that began last October.