In 2014, a 27-member Academic Strategic Plan Steering Committee guided the planning and fact-finding process, elicited campus input from open forums, and drafted the Academic Strategic Plan, the Trajectory to Excellence. In 2015, the Academic Strategic Plan Working Group 1 developed the following goal that served as the foundation for the shared competencies discussion over the past few years:
“Clearly define and boldly instill a set of distinctive Syracuse University competencies, skills, experiences and values for all undergraduate students, to be collaboratively developed and consistently applied and acted upon at both the curricular and co-curricular levels across all schools and colleges.”
Upon the release of the Academic Strategic Plan, Implementation Working Group 1 was charged to further develop the competencies and plan for implementation. Multiple focus groups, presentations to all of the schools/colleges, and discussions were held to elicit faculty, staff, and student input. Individual comments were evaluated and incorporated into the competencies. This work also supported the new Middle States requirement outlined in standard III.5 a and b, EITHER (a) a free-standing, common general education program across all Schools and Colleges, OR, (b) a shared competencies approach.
In 2016, the 4+4 was developed and shared at a University Senate meeting and across campus.
In 2017, the Senate Ad Hoc Committee on Shared Competencies was charged to review the competencies that emerged from Working Group 1, to develop a mechanism for the Provost’s Office to regularly review the competencies, and to bring to the Senate any updates.
In spring 2018, the Senate Ad Hoc Committee on Shared Competencies conducted a survey of University Senators regarding the 4+4 shared competencies framework. Qualitative feedback from the survey was evaluated and incorporated into the competencies where possible. The following University Senate presentation shared the survey results: Spring 2018 University Senate Survey Results.
In fall 2018, the Senate Ad Hoc Committee on Shared Competencies revised the shared competencies, instituted a two-week open comment period, and revised the competencies again. The following University Senate presentation shared the survey results: Fall 2018 University Senate Survey Results. On October 30, 2019 the Ad Hoc Committee on Shared Competencies distributed a White Paper to Guide Discussion which outlined next steps, value propositions, a proposed operating system, pilot mapping results, and proposed roll out schedule.