Editorial Board

Campus Framework forum was engaging, but failed to provide concrete updates about infrastructure plan

Daily Orange File Photo

Last semester's Campus Framework forum was held in Goldstein Auditorium.

The Campus Framework forum held Tuesday afternoon was productive in the sense that it involved Syracuse University community members in a discussion about the campus’s future. But the forum lacked substance in providing concrete updates to the plan to those in attendance.

This lack of new information was especially apparent when none of the three administrators heading the forum provided updates in two areas that were advertised as talking points of the forum. These topics included the results of meetings between university officials and deans and select SU faculty, and the results of two university space audits — including one specifically for accessibility — that occurred during the fall semester.

When the forum’s moderator, Student Association Vice President Joyce LaLonde, asked the panel of three administrators about the results of the audit, Chief Facilities Officer Pete Sala said the audit’s findings “are fluid.” But the results of both the audits and the meetings between administrators and representatives from the different schools and colleges were indicated as talking points of the forum in an SU News release published in early February.

It’s not expected of the university to provide groundbreaking information at every Campus Framework forum. But the administrators asked to answer questions about the plan — both from the moderator and audience members — should have been prepared to discuss the findings of the audits and meetings as promised. At the very least, the administrators — Sala, Vice Chancellor and Provost Michele Wheatly and Provost for Faculty Engagement Cathryn Newton — should have acknowledged they would not address the audits or meetings.

Despite the lack of updates provided on Tuesday, the forum was productive because it facilitated a discussion among administrators and SU faculty, staff and students about the Campus Framework.

For this reason, and because SU is expected to release a report about the Campus Framework by the end of this semester, the university should hold another forum before classes end to get more perspectives on the plan that will shape the infrastructure of the university for years to come.

Disclaimer: The Daily Orange leases a house on Ostrom Avenue owned by Syracuse University. As part of the long-term Campus Framework implementation, the university has proposed building student housing on Ostrom Avenue where The Daily Orange currently operates.

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