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Syracuse University introduces Kent Syverud as its next chancellor

SYRACUSE — Syracuse University (SU) today introduced Kent Syverud as the school’s 12th

chancellor, replacing Nancy Cantor who departs in January.


SU formally presented Syverud to the SU community during an event at Hendricks Chapel this afternoon.



The school’s board of trustees unanimously made the appointment on Wednesday, Syracuse University said in a news release.


Cantor is leaving to become chancellor of the Rutgers University-Newark campus.


Syverud begins his tenure as SU chancellor on Jan. 13, 2014, the school said.


He will be leading a university with more than 4,650 employees, over 21,000 full- and part-time students, and annual revenue exceeding $800 million.


The chancellor-designate, a native of the Rochester area, has been serving as the dean of the Washington University School of Law in St. Louis since 2006, Syracuse University said.


Syverud has previously served as dean of the Vanderbilt University Law School, associate dean for academic affairs at the University of Michigan’s School of Law, and as a clerk for Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, according to SU.


The Chancellor-designate also currently serves as one of two independent trustees of the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill Trust, a $20 billion fund that BP created to compensate victims of the 2010 BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.


Syverud first delivered remarks in Hendricks Chapel before meeting with the media in a separate room.


“My vision is to form a vision as promptly as I can after I learn the place really well, and that requires talking to a lot of people,” Syverud said in his remarks to the media.


Richard Thompson, chairman of the school’s board of trustees, joined Syverud as he met with reporters.


“He has a world-class intellect,” Thompson said of Syverud, noting that the Chancellor-designate  displays a “mastery of the challenges facing higher education, including the digital challenge, the global challenge, the financial challenge, providing assistance for students who need help.”


A graduate of Irondequoit High School near Rochester, Syverud went on to earn a bachelor’s degree from Georgetown University in 1977, a law degree from the University of Michigan in 1981 and a master’s degree in economics from Michigan in 1983.


Knowing Syracuse’s long-time basketball rivalry with Georgetown, Syverud was quick to point out he was a student there “when Georgetown was not part of the Big East Conference and when Georgetown’s main rivalry was with George Washington University.”


In his remarks during the welcoming event, Syverud said he had two words for all those attending and anyone connected with or caring about Syracuse University.


“I’m in,” he said.




Contact Reinhardt at




PHOTO: Richard Thompson, chairman of SU’s board of trustees, left, and Kent Syverud, SU’s Chancellor-designate, right. 




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