Syracuse's Slide

As Chancellor Focuses on the 'Public Good,' Syracuse's Reputation Slides

As Chancellor Focuses on the 'Public Good,' Syracuse's Reputation Slides 1

Nathaniel Brooks for The Chronicle

Nancy Cantor, chancellor of Syracuse U., visits an old furniture warehouse that has been renovated by the university for academic programs.

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close As Chancellor Focuses on the 'Public Good,' Syracuse's Reputation Slides 1

Nathaniel Brooks for The Chronicle

Nancy Cantor, chancellor of Syracuse U., visits an old furniture warehouse that has been renovated by the university for academic programs.

Nancy Cantor is the chancellor of Syracuse University, but if you didn't know better you might think she was the mayor of this town.

Since she took over at the university seven years ago, the institution has spent tens of millions of dollars—and attracted much more—to revitalize this sagging Rust Belt city. It has helped refurbish parks, taken over an abandoned building where drug dealers once grew marijuana, and turned an old furniture warehouse into a new home for