Alum Named ’Cuse President
Published: Tuesday, September 17, 2013
Updated: Tuesday, September 17, 2013 01:09
The new president of Syracuse University has an unusual alma mater for the king of the Carrier Dome: Georgetown.
Kent Syverud (SFS ’77), who is currently dean of the School of Law at Washington University in St. Louis, was named the 12th chancellor and president of Syracuse on Sept. 12.
The chancellor search committee chose Syverud, who grew up in Irondequouit, N.Y., after a two-year process. The committee, composed of student, faculty, alumni and staff representatives, unanimously recommended Syverud from a pool of 270 candidates to Syracuse’s board of trustees. Syverud will begin work at the university in January.
“Chancellor-designate Syverud is exceptionally well prepared to guide S.U. as we work to build on our tremendous momentum and continue to raise S.U.’s profile while fulfilling its proud legacy,” Syracuse University Board of Trustees Chairman Richard Thompson wrote in an email to the Syracuse community. “Throughout the selection process, he distinguished himself by the impressive range and depth of experience he brings.”
Thompson cited Syverud’s experience, which includes time as dean of the Vanderbilt University Law School, clerk for Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor and trustee of the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill Trust — BP’s $20 billion fund that was created in response to the Gulf of Mexico oil spill.
Thompson also praised Syverud’s reputation in the higher education community as both a “visionary” and “strategic thinker,” based on his work bringing both the WashU and Vanderbilt law schools into greater national prominence.
Syverud, who was officially introduced to the Syracuse community Thursday afternoon, expressed his desire to learn more about the institution.
“I still have so much more to learn about this university, this city and this region,” Syverud said in a speech to the community. “I need to learn from each of you. … I need to learn how to bleed orange. I will work hard to learn exactly that.”
With Syracuse moving from the Big East Conference to the Atlantic Coast Conference this year, Syrevud made reference to ACC rival Duke University in his speech but did not mention Big East rival Georgetown.
“I am absolutely certain that we are going to accomplish great things together … that we are going to flatten the competition, including Duke, and that along the way we will help the whole world see Syracuse as the best university,” Syverud said in his speech.
Despite the historic rivalry between Georgetown and Syracuse, Syracuse Senior Vice President for Public Affairs Kevin Quinn said the university was excited to welcome its new chancellor.
“We’ve had a great rivalry, and we hope that in the future that rivalry can continue, and we’re excited to welcome chancellor-designate Syverud into the Orange family,” Quinn said.
Quinn said that Syverud was unavailable for comment due to a high volume of media requests.