Eric F. Spina is Syracuse University’s Interim Chancellor and President. He was unanimously appointed by the University’s Board of Trustees on October 10, 2013, and assumed this role on October 14, 2013. Interim Chancellor Spina will serve in this capacity until January 13, 2014, at which time Chancellor-designate Kent Syverud will begin his tenure. During this time, Interim Chancellor Spina will continue to serve as SU’s Vice Chancellor and Provost.
Interim Chancellor Spina was appointed Vice Chancellor and Provost in January 2007, since that time has served as the University’s chief academic officer. Prior to his appointment in 2007, he had spent almost 20 years at Syracuse in teaching, research and administration and a brief term as Interim Vice Chancellor and Provost. He had been the Douglas D. Danforth Dean of the L. C. Smith College of Engineering and Computer Science.
Immediately following his appointment as Provost, Spina began reaching out across campus to create new collaborative relationships and synergies, which have allowed the University to more dynamically and efficiently advance its academic mission of Scholarship in Action. Those collaborations include a new partnership with the University’s chief financial officer to jointly oversee budget and planning, contract (research) accounting, and design and construction. Spina has also reached out to other academic and non-academic institutions to build new partnerships across the region, including the expansion of the University’s collaborative relationships with the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry and SUNY Upstate Medical University.
First as Associate Dean and then as Dean of the L.C. Smith College of Engineering and Computer Science (ECS), Spina was dedicated to improving engineering education. His academic vision centered on leveraging ECS’s strong research traditions with the extensive resources of the University to give engineering graduates a competitive edge in an increasingly demanding global marketplace.
A mechanical and aerospace engineer by training, Spina has more than 20 years of research experience in experimental fluid mechanics, ranging from the fundamentals of simple canonical flows to flow control methods. The holder of two U.S. patents, Spina has published more than 30 refereed archival and conference papers and has edited books and conference proceedings. His most important work was on the physics of high-speed turbulent boundary layers, which culminated in a paper in the Annual Review of Fluid Mechanics.
As principal or co-principal investigator, Spina has received more than $2 million in research funding, including two National Science Foundation (NSF) Research Experiences for Undergraduates site awards, an NSF Leadership in Laboratory Development grant, and several projects that have resulted in innovative educational partnerships with industry.
Since joining the Syracuse University faculty in 1988, Spina has served in a wide range of leadership positions. In addition to his teaching and administrative responsibilities, he has taken a leading role in developing Syracuse University and New York State initiatives in indoor environmental quality and environmental quality systems. He was deputy director of the Environmental Quality Systems Center, a New York STAR (Strategically Targeted AcademicResearch) Center at Syracuse University, and continues to serve on the board of the Center of Excellence in Environmental & Energy Systems, a state- and federally-funded technology transfer initiative designed to attract millions of research dollars to the New York State economy. Spina’s community leadership includes membership on the boards of the Syracuse Chamber of Commerce and the Milton J. Rubenstein Museum of Science and Technology.
In recognition of his work, the University awarded Spina one of its highest honors—the Syracuse University Chancellor’s Citation for Outstanding Contribution to the University’s Academic Programs. Spina has also been honored by NASA and the National Science Foundation and has received numerous department, college and University teaching awards.
Dr. Spina received a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from Carnegie Mellon University and masters and doctoral degrees in mechanical and aerospace engineering from Princeton University.