Message to Community

Photo of Vice Chancellor and Provost Michele Wheatly, and her husband, Stan Smith.
Vice Chancellor and Provost Michele Wheatly and her husband, Stan Smith.

I am honored and humbled to be here, and I look forward to meeting all of you who have shaped the culture and campus climate of this truly great university. I am deeply grateful for the opportunity—indeed, the privilege—to serve as your Vice Chancellor and Provost. In the weeks ahead, I welcome your wisdom and support as I acclimate and take on the responsibilities of this office.

I consider myself a quick learner, grounded in the fundamentals of a liberal arts education. As a youngster growing up in a row home in north London, I developed a strong work ethic and an appreciation for the importance of community in helping shape and achieve goals and dreams. My educational experience in England, Canada and the United States has helped define my viewpoint on higher education as a global industry, one that must provide students access to worldviews and diverse experiences.

My own academic journey has been one of discovery, innovation and advocacy. I was always passionately curious about the biology of our world, which led me to focus on physiology and understanding animal systems. I have enjoyed the delicate balance of building a career in teaching and research, continuing to work in the lab and in the classroom after becoming a chair, a dean, and a Provost. The challenges faced by being a woman in a STEM field have sensitized me to the importance of maximizing access and opportunity for all segments of our society. Women, people from all racial, ethnic, cultural and sexual orientations, veterans and those with disabilities must all participate in order to originate truly excellent research, teaching and learning.

What drew me to Syracuse University is the quality of the faculty, the student body and the community and their willingness to embrace change. I easily see myself here, surrounded by like-minded people who understand the power of education to unleash human potential.

I look forward to getting to know you and working together to accelerate SU’s academic strategic plan in achieving our shared goal of being a thriving international research university.