Internal Revenue Service Announces Standard Mileage Rate for 2024

The Internal Revenue Service has announced the optional standard mileage rate for 2024. University employees may use this rate to calculate the deductible costs of operating an automobile for business purposes.

Effective Jan. 1, 2024, the standard mileage rate is set at 67 cents per mile for business miles driven (up 1.5 cents from the 2023 rate of .655 cents per mile).

The rates apply to electric and hybrid-electric vehicles, as well as gasoline and diesel-powered vehicles.

Employees with questions can reach out to the Comptroller’s Office at 315.443.3765.

Meet Executive Chef Richard Leonardo

Auxiliary Services welcomes Richard “Rick” Leonardo as Executive Chef for Syracuse University Campus Dining. Leonardo’s culinary path began in his teenage years, when he worked at his family’s Central New York restaurant. He received his culinary degree from The French Culinary Institute in New York City, then honed his skills working with the Daniel Boulud Restaurant Group. He returned to Central New York to work as an executive pastry chef, then found his passion in collegiate dining with American Dining Creations, where he has spent the last 10 years developing menus for 29 colleges and universities.

Read on to learn more about his goals and initiatives:

What inspired you to become a chef?

Leonardo: My father was a chef and owned a family business, so I grew up learning the trade. When I wasn’t in school or playing sports, I was working in the business. It just kind of stuck with me.

Are you excited to be part of the Syracuse University team?

Leonardo: My wife and I grew up under the shadow of the Dome, loving Syracuse sports and everything that Central New York has to offer. We both have a lot of roots in Syracuse, so I am happy to be able to raise my family here.

What goals have you set for the dining program at Syracuse University?

Leonardo: I want to elevate the food on campus, especially in the dining centers. I want students to come in to eat, not just because they have to, but because we offer the food they are looking to eat.

How will you reach the goals you’ve set for the dining program?

Leonardo: My team and I will do a lot of market research to get a better idea of what is currently trending in the food industry. I’ll work with our purchasing agents, cooks, dining center managers, and in-house nutritionist to find ways to bring these foods to our dining centers.

Most importantly, we plan to really listen to students’ ideas for new menu items. I plan on being a regular presence in the dining centers, so students recognize me and hopefully feel comfortable talking to me about their dining experiences.

Students can also look for more tasting events where we will share new foods. We’ll ask for feedback on what works and what doesn’t. We started doing this in the fall semester, and it was very helpful.

This January, we are holding hands-on trainings with the dining staff on seasoning, different techniques and cooking methods, and food display. I’m also forming weekly cooks’ meetings where we will dive deeper into methods and recipe creation for authentic foods based on student requests.

Is there something that students can look for right away?

Leonardo: We have added more fresh vegetables into the daily menu. As we continue to rewrite recipes, I would ask students to look for new, modern flavors and foods with enhanced seasoning. To add a bit of fun to the regular menu, we are planning weekly pop-up events in our dining centers. These pop-ups will feature unique concepts and will be in a different dining center every day, Monday through Friday. If you enjoy a particular pop-up, you can follow it around to the different dining centers. Also, we will provide a wide variety of vegan, vegetarian, and gluten-free options.

What about long-term goals?

Leonardo: I would like to have more student-facing opportunities, such as food samplings and possibly a “Chef Table” where I can teach students how to make their own dishes. The possibilities are out there, and I am excited to lead the way. As I continue working with students to get a better understanding of their needs, I will be able to fine-tune what these student-facing opportunities will look like.

What do you like to do in your free time?

Leonardo: I truly enjoy my family time. In my previous job, I was traveling constantly and felt like I was missing seeing my children grow up. I jumped at the chance to continue working in collegiate dining, stay in Central New York, and have more opportunities to spend time with my family.

Parking and Traffic Information for 2023 School Day at the JMA Wireless Dome

On Thursday, Dec. 21, the women’s basketball team will host a school day at the JMA Wireless Dome. Approximately 60 schools from around the Central New York area have been invited to attend the Orange’s game against St. Francis University.

We are expecting 200 school buses on campus, with students being dropped off on College Place and the west side of Campus. Faculty and staff parking in the west campus lots may use the Irving Avenue Garage on Thursday to allow for space to park buses.

Read the full story at Syracuse University News.

Pages Café Will Pilot an Evening Meal-Swipe Equivalency Program Beginning Nov. 27

During the busy finals preparation period, students studying in Bird Library later in the evening will have new food options to select from at Pages Café. From Monday through Thursday through the end of the semester, Pages will expand its operating hours to remain open until 9 p.m. In addition, from 4 to 9 p.m., the café will accept meal swipes as payment for prepackaged dinner meals.

As at Goldstein Food Hall, students with unlimited meal plans can utilize one swipe per the dinner meal period to purchase their food. Students with block plans will use one swipe of their plan to pay for the meal, which features handcrafted grab-and-go salads, sandwiches and entrees.

Read the full story at Syracuse University News.

Guide to Campus Transportation, Dining and More Over Thanksgiving Break

For students remaining in Syracuse over Thanksgiving break (Nov. 18-26), we’ve compiled relevant information from campus partners about the hours of operation for certain student services on campus. Read on to learn more, and while you’re here, check out our companion guide of local food options and activities available across the larger Central New York community.

Read the full story at Syracuse University News.

New Director of Campus Dining to Bring Student-Centric Ethos to Syracuse 

Matthew Werth began his tenure as the new director of Campus Dining at Syracuse University in fall 2023. His charge is a simple one: Meet the dining needs of today’s college students. 

His responsibilities will include residential dining (the University’s five all-you-can-eat dining centers), retail dining (the University’s 14 cafes, SUNY ESF dining, and three convenience stores), and athletic dining, which is focused on the specific nutrition and performance needs of all student athletes. 

The guiding principle behind all of his work will be to take a student-centric approach to all aspects of Campus Dining. He’ll enhance student employment inside the department – Campus Dining has long been one of the largest employers of students on campus. Werth will seek out student “food ambassadors” to tell the story behind the University’s dining efforts. He’ll continue his predecessor’s work with the Food Services Accountability Committee, to hear regular, direct feedback from students about the food choices available to students. And he will oversee the department’s work with the Food Recovery Network, a student-run organization that works to collect unused food from dining centers and distributes it to local agencies serving Central New Yorkers experiencing food insecurity. 

Werth joins Syracuse fresh from Penn State University and the University of Iowa, where he held key operational roles in Big Ten dining programs. His breadth of experience: food service leadership, restaurant management, and hospital dining administration, will assist his transition at Syracuse as he begins to guide the roughly 400 employees of the Campus Dining unit who comprise culinary operations at the University. Up first will be to review campus menus, modernize dining concepts to introduce a greater range of international flavors, and to build relationships across campus to gain insight into the culinary needs of the campus community. 

Werth is well-versed in another issue of increasing importance in campus dining: crafting menus and options for students with special dietary needs. During his time at the University of Iowa, he collaborated with the campus registered dietitian to establish “Thrive,” a food concept focused on creating dishes without the Top 9 allergens or gluten. The concept focused on creating healthy, sustainable food for students with allergens, and designing an inclusive dining experience for all students.  

“Matt’s history of high culinary standards combined with his track record of success at institutions of higher education made him the perfect fit for Syracuse University,” said Cheryl Fabrizi, associate vice president of Auxiliary Services. “The to-do list in Campus Dining is long, but Matt will be the change agent the University needs to deliver on its high standards.” 

Syracuse University endowment scores big with 8.6% return

Syracuse University’s $1.85 billion endowment returned a net 8.6% for the fiscal year ended June 30, said Scott Kemp, treasurer for the Syracuse, N.Y.-based university. For the three and 10 years ended June 30, the endowment fund returned an annualized net 11.3% and 8.1%, respectively.

For the most recent fiscal year, Syracuse posted the third-highest return among the 39 college and university endowments whose returns have been tracked by Pensions & Investments as of Nov. 8. The median return is 4.4%.

Read the full story with Pensions & Investments.

University to Convert On-Campus Sheraton Hotel and Conference Center to Vibrant Undergraduate Residence Hall

Syracuse University today announced its plans to convert the Sheraton Syracuse University Hotel & Conference Center into a nearly 400-bed, on-campus residence hall. The announcement, which represents the latest step in advancing the vision and strategic priorities of the Campus Framework, follows approval from the University’s Board of Trustees.

Read the full story at Syracuse University News.

Campus Parking Information for Friday, Nov. 3

The Syracuse University football team will host Boston College on Friday, Nov. 3. Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m. As the game falls on a weekday, some campus lots and garages will be restricted during regular business hours.

Beginning at 3:30 p.m., faculty, staff and students with valid permits who need to access campus for academic reasons will be allowed to park in the University Avenue and Comstock Avenue garages. All Quad and West Campus lots will be restricted beginning at 4 p.m.

Read the full story at Syracuse University News.