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Vice Chancellor and Provost Eric F. Spina addresses the faculty

October 29, 2008

Kelly Homan Rodoski
(315) 443-3784

Kelly Homan Rodoski

Syracuse University Vice Chancellor and Provost Eric F. Spina delivered his annual address to the faculty on Monday, Nov. 3 in Hendricks Chapel.  The text of his speech is available at

Spina spoke about SU's financial preparedness and planning in the current economic climate, the importance of continuing a strategic and disciplined approach to investing in the academic enterprise, and ways that the University can build on its momentum in vigorously pursuing increased quality and impact.  

He also honored all University, distinguished, trustee and alumni professors. Special recognition was extended to distinguished and endowed chair professors who have been appointed within the last year. They include:

Walter D. Broadnax, Distinguished Professor of Public Administration in the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs. Broadnax most recently served as president of Clark Atlanta University; he was previously dean of the school of public affairs at American University and professor of public policy and management at the University of Maryland. He served as deputy secretary and chief operating officer of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services from 1993- 96, overseeing a major restructuring of the agency. He has previously served as president of the New York State Civil Service Commission; director of Children, Youth and Adult Services for the state of Kansas; and faculty member at Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government.

Fiona Chew, Newhouse Endowed Chair of Public Communications in the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications. A former television/film producer, Chew teaches television research, television and health, and persuasive writing and programming theory. In addition, she is an active consultant on various national and international telecommunications projects. Her research interests focus on message analysis and effects, health communication and informational needs. She directs the Healthy Monday campaign at SU, a student-focused communications and outreach health promotion effort. Two Healthy Monday-related TV programs for which she has served as co-executive producer have won prestigious Telly Awards. She is the founding editor of the Journal of Health and Mass Communication, and her research on the "state of science" on mammography guidelines won a top faculty paper award from the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication.

Gerardine Clark, Celia and Isaac Heiman Professor (2008-09) in the College of Visual and Performing Arts. Clark, professor of drama, has been a professional actor, director and playwright for more than 30 years. She has been a Lilly Fellow, a Mellon Fellow and a Gateway Fellow, and she has been a Meredith Professor for Excellence in teaching since 1998. She is also currently a member of the Honors Core Faculty. Clark teaches acting, directing, playwriting, dramatic theory, history and literature. Her research interests include the relationship between recent discoveries in cognitive science, communication theory and contemporary acting practices. She is working on two plays, "The Last Meeting of the First Fifty Club" and a musical adaptation of "Tartuffe." Her last play, a musical adaptation of Kenneth Grahame's "The Wind in the Willows," was produced by the New Victory Theatre in New York in 1998 under her direction. It has been produced professionally many times since.

David Driesen, University Professor in the College of Law. Driesen served as an attorney in the Natural Resources Defense Council's air and energy program prior to entering academia. His first book, "The Economic Dynamics of Environmental Law" (MIT Press, 2003), won the Lynton Keith Caldwell Award for the best book of the year in science, technology and environmental studies. His research focuses primarily on the role of economic thought in environmental law. He is the leader of the Center for Progressive Reform's climate change program and a member of the New York State Bar Association's Advisory Committee on Climate Change. He was the 2008 Vermont Law School Distinguished Summer Scholar in Environmental Law.

Elizabeth Ingram, Shubert Chair Professor (2008-09) in the College of Visual and Performing Arts. Ingram, professor of drama, was for many years an actress in England, performing on television, in London's West End and in many regional theaters throughout the U.K. In 2007, she returned to England to perform in an all- female production of "Julius Caesar" at The Mercury Theatre in Colchester. In the United States, she has played many leading roles in productions. She has taught in SU's Drama Department since 1989, has directed productions of "The Greeks," "The Importance of Being Earnest," "Dancing at Lughnasa," "Blood Wedding," "The Misanthrope" and "Rookery Nook," and is the founder and faculty advisor for The Young Artists Theatre program, a unique acting group made up of young actors from the community, all of whom have a disability.

Rosemary O'Leary, Howard G. and S. Louise Phanstiel Chair in Strategic Management and Leadership in the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs. O'Leary is Distinguished Professor of Public Administration and Maxwell School Advisory Board Endowed Chair at Syracuse University. An elected member of the National Academy of Public Administration, she was a senior Fulbright scholar in Malaysia and the Philippines. O'Leary is author or editor of six books and more than 100 articles and book chapters. She has won 10 national research awards and eight teaching awards. She is the only person to win three National Association of Schools of Public Affairs and Administration awards for Best Dissertation (1989), Excellence in Teaching (1996) and Distinguished Research (2004). From 2003-05, O'Leary was a member of NASA's Return to Flight Task Group assembled in response to the Columbia space shuttle accident. She also has served as a consultant to the U.S. Department of the Interior, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the Indiana Department of Environmental Management, the International City/County Management Association, the National Science Foundation and the National Academy of Sciences.

Peter Saulson, Martin A. Pomerantz '37 Professor in Physics in The College of Arts and Sciences. Saulson serves as undergraduate program director in the Department of Physics. He teaches courses in physics and astronomy, and his research interests are in detection of gravitational waves from unmodeled burst sources and detector characterization and development. Saulson has been affiliated for several years with the LIGO Scientific Collaboration, a self-governing collaboration seeking to detect gravitational waves, use them to explore the fundamental physics of gravity, and develop gravitational wave observations as a tool of astronomical discovery. The LSC has more than 600 members from more than 50 institutions and 11 countries. Saulson served as LIGO's spokesperson from 2003- 07. He was awarded the Physics Department Undergraduate Teaching Award in 2002 and the SU Scholar/Teacher of the Year Award in 2003. He is a fellow of the American Physical Society.

Steven Taylor, Centennial Professor in Disability Studies in the School of Education. Taylor, professor of cultural foundations of education, is co-director of the Center on Human Policy, Law and Disability Studies at Syracuse University. Taylor specializes in qualitative research methods, the sociology of disability, disability studies and disability policy. He has published widely on disability policy, the sociology of disability and qualitative research methods. He has been the recipient of the Research Award from the American Association on Mental Retardation, the SU Chancellor's Citation for Exceptional Academic Achievement and the first Senior Scholar Award from the Society for Disability Studies. As director of the Center on Human Policy, Taylor has been principal investigator on more than a dozen major grants and contracts funded by the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research, the Office of Special Education Programs, the National Endowment for the Humanities and other public and private sources.

Jay Wright, Newhouse Endowed Chair of Public Communications in the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications. Wright is the co-author of three books on communications law-"The First Amendment and the Fourth Estate" and "The First Amendment and the Fifth Estate" (The Foundation Press, 2004 and 2003, respectively) and "The Legal Handbook for New York State Journalists" (New York State Bar Association, 1987). He edited the New York state chapter for "Tapping Officials' Secrets," a national compendium of information on state open records laws and open meetings laws (Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, 2001). Wright was a Ford Foundation Fellow at Yale Law School. He has been an adjunct professor at the College of Law and is a former chair of the Law Division of the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (AEJMC). He was an advertising agency copywriter and newspaper columnist and is a former member of the faculties of the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University and the Defense Information School. For many years, he was a consultant to the New York State Office of Court Administration and the executive director of the New York Fair Trial Free Press Conference, a statewide bench-bar-press organization chaired by the chief judge of the State of New York. In 2001, he was honored as SU's Scholar/Teacher of the Year.

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