Faculty and staff were divided into tables to discuss ideas for unifying the University during the guided brainstorming exercise.

By: J.D. Ross
(315) 443-3094

Sixty-five faculty and staff members from Syracuse University’s School of Information Studies (iSchool) took part in an exercise today designed to generate ideas about creating a more unified vision for the University.

Taking cues from similar exercises done by University leadership this summer, the brainstorming activity was designed to surface both positive ideas for change, as well as issues that need to be addressed. Working together in small groups, participants generated over 120 ideas in the hour-long lunchtime session.

Today’s event was one of the first brainstorming sessions to be held by individual schools and colleges across campus in support of Chancellor Kent Syverud’s One University vision.

Ideas were generated under the following topic headings: niches of excellence; how to act as one University; failed collaborations and roadblocks; examples of successful collaborations.

“It was interesting to see the wide range of opinions across these four different topics,” said assistant professor Yang Wang. “Some of the ideas I was not surprised about, but many I hadn’t thought of before, and it was interesting to explore those.”

Wang noted that he hopes the idea generation activity will lead to a better awareness of the opinions within the school, and how faculty and staff can work together across the institution to shape the future of the University.

For Stephanie Worden, the activity served as an introduction to her new colleagues, as she began her position as the iSchool’s recruiting specialist just two weeks ago.

“I think the event encompassed the Chancellor’s idea of One University as both faculty and staff came together to contribute equally,” Worden noted. “It was also a good opportunity to meet and collaborate with people that don’t normally work closely together.”

iSchool dean Liz Liddy called the exercise, “an exciting and inspiring sharing of ideas for Syracuse University to truly be One University. I was glad to see three-quarters of our joint staff and faculty so actively engaged in generating ideas, and I can’t wait to share them with our Provost & Chancellor!”