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SU Dean of Admissions Susan Donovan to retire

March 22, 2010

Sara Miller
(315) 443-9038

Susan Donovan, dean of admissions at Syracuse University, will retire on Aug. 31, as announced today by Don Saleh, vice president for enrollment management. Donovan will conclude a distinguished career at the University spanning more than 35 years in the Syracuse University Office of Admissions.

“After a great deal of thought in recent years, I believe that the stars were aligned for me to retire in 2010, as I celebrate 35 years in Admissions and 10 years as dean,” says Donovan. “What I will miss the most are the relationships with so many wonderful colleagues over the years—people who are so dedicated to what they do and who give so much of themselves to the University. My wish is that many of these relationships will continue.”

Donovan was named director of admissions in 1986, associate dean of admissions and financial aid in 1992 and dean of admissions in 1999. As a senior member of the campus leadership, Donovan has done much to fundamentally strengthen and advance the University. Under her strategic direction, the volume of applications to SU has continued to increase every year, while her deep commitment to accessibility has resulted in a corresponding increase in all types of diversity, including racial, ethnic, geographic and socio-economic.

“The combined impact of these increases cannot be underestimated,” says Saleh. “Now, as never before, we are able to actively shape incoming classes, and thereby promote enhanced learning outcomes for the entire student body. This is surely among Susan’s most meaningful contributions to the University’s long-term success.”

“Susan Donovan’s leadership has been pivotal in strengthening the academic enterprise at Syracuse University,” says SU Vice Chancellor and Provost Eric F. Spina. “Her profound experience and wise guidance of the Office of Admissions have enabled us to achieve new heights in bringing today’s best and brightest to Syracuse—students with outstanding academic credentials whose widely diverse backgrounds, entrepreneurial spirit and commitment to making a difference in the world have set a new standard for student excellence here. We will miss Susan, but SU will continue to feel the tremendous positive impact of her work for years to come.”

Donovan’s other notable accomplishments and initiatives include playing a key role in the implementation of the Syracuse Challenge, a collaborative program with the Syracuse City School District to assist low-income and underrepresented students in the Syracuse community; service as a long-standing member of the University Senate; and service as a guiding force behind the Multicultural Spring Program, Bridge Tour and Puerto Rico plan. She has also served as the New York state delegate to the National Association for College Admission Counseling, and received the state chapter’s 2006 President’s Award for Outstanding Service. In 2009, she received SU’s Chancellor’s Citation for Outstanding Contributions to Academic Excellence and Support for fostering within her staff a legacy of leadership and a commitment to access initiatives for students with diverse interests and backgrounds.

Donovan will present the entering class to Chancellor Nancy Cantor at the Chancellor’s Convocation for New Students during opening weekend on Aug. 27, and her last day at the University will be Aug. 31.

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