President Snyder Celebrates Fall Semester Achievements, Eyes Strategic Plan in 2008

December 17, 2007


To the Case Western Reserve University Community:

As the fall semester draws to a close, I wanted to take this opportunity to thank all of you for the incredibly warm welcome I have received in these first days as president of your university. I've had the pleasure of meeting many of you at events ranging from student, staff and faculty gatherings on campus to alumni receptions across the country and in Asia. In every encounter, I have been engaged and inspired by your overwhelming belief in the university's great possibilities -- and your commitment to help us realize them.

My own optimism about this institution has roots both in these wonderful conversations and the impressive evidence of our excellence that has emerged repeatedly in recent months. In September the National Institutes of Health recognized the strength of our medical faculty, led by Dean Pamela Davis, in awarding a highly selective $64 million grant that will allow us to work closely with medical partners throughout the region. Weeks later the Department of Defense acknowledged Team Case and DEXTER, its self-driving robotic car, as one of the top 20 entrants in a competition that featured veteran teams from Stanford University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, among others. Soon after, our Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing won its own sizable grant to create a national Center of Excellence aimed at researching ways to help patients better manage their own chronic diseases.

These are just a few of the literally dozens of noteworthy accomplishments our students, staff and faculty have achieved this semester. We also cheered the unprecedented success of our Spartan football team, the national eminence of our cross country program and tireless efforts of those who participated in Case for Community Day and continue to volunteer all year long. And, of course, we had the pleasure of dedicating both a new alumni house and the simply stunning space that today houses the Mandel Center for Nonprofit Organizations.

As I look forward to 2008, I see even more reason for excitement. Led by Interim Provost Jerry Goldberg, our university is amid a bold strategic planning effort for our future. I want to thank all of the alumni, students, staff and faculty who responded to our recent survey related to that effort, as well as those within individual schools already thinking deeply about where they are now and where they would like to be. Creating a cohesive document that integrates each school's priorities into a larger whole represents a significant challenge; doing so by June is even more ambitious. But I have full faith that our community is prepared to respond to this opportunity. Like me, you recognize that this institution possesses enormous potential, and that this plan marks an important step toward ensuring we make the most of it.

For now, however, I want to wish all of you peace and happiness in the rest of this holiday season, as well as an absolutely wonderful new year. I am honored to serve as your president.


Barbara R. Snyder

Undergraduate Dual-Degree Program Unites Case Western Reserve, National Cheng Kung Universities


More than 1,200 students from 80 countries are attending Case Western Reserve University this year to pursue undergraduate, graduate and professional school studies and research opportunities from among 75 majors and minors.

John Wang and Ching-Hao "Jake" Hsu from the National Cheng Kung University (NCKU) in Tainan, Taiwan, are part of a contingent of new international students welcomed to Case this year. The twosome are at the university as part of a new dual-degree program administered by their home institution and Case Western Reserve. National Cheung Kung University students who participate in this program can earn two degrees (B.S. or B.A.); one from their home institution and the second from Case Western Reserve.

The program is the first of its kind at Case, according to Donald Feke, vice provost for undergraduate education. However, the university has also established dual-degree programs for undergraduates at three other universities in Taiwan. Read more.

Campus News


The Department of Occupational and Environmental Safety recommends that the campus community review the suggested holiday safety reminders. For additional details, call 368-2907.

Access Services will close at 2 p.m., Thursday, December 20. The office will reopen at 8:30 a.m. Friday, December 21.

Information Technology Services has discontinued the Usenet newsgroup service to the university community as of December 5. Advances in collaboration technology have provided adequate replacements for the services that this newsgroup once provided. Alternatives such as Google Groups and commercial Usenet providers are available.

For Faculty & Staff

The Tax Deferred Annuity Plan (TDA), otherwise known as a Supplemental Retirement Plan (SRA), provides a way for employees to contribute to a retirement account on a pre-tax basis through payroll deduction. The limits for calendar year 2008 are unchanged from 2007: For calendar year 2008, employees can contribute up to $15,500; employees aged 50 or older in 2008, can contribute up to an additional $5,000; and employees with more than 15 or more years of service may be eligible to contribute up to an additional $3,000. Call Sharon Fleischer at 368-6693 for more information.

The Faculty Senate will meet from 3:30-5:30 p.m., December 18 in the Toepfer Room in Adelbert Hall. Refer to the senate Web site for additional information.

For Students


Juniors, seniors and graduate students are eligible to take a new course in spring 2008, Fundamental Concepts in Global Health, INTH 301/401. The course will integrate the multiple perspectives and objectives in global health by showing how the disciplines of biology, medicine, bioethics, epidemiology, anthropology, nursing, mathematics and engineering analyze and approach the same set of international health problems. Ronald Blanton is the course director. Learn more about the program.


Refer to the Web event calendar for a list of events and activities on campus and in the community today and in the days ahead.

December 17, 2007

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Case in the News

Editorial: Deals for University Circle workers could help square away troubled blocks

The Plain Dealer, December 15, 2007
The newspaper's editors write that the new Greater University Circle Initiative -- a collaboration between Case Western Reserve University, University Hospitals, Cleveland Clinic and other nonprofits to invest in the University Circle community -- is an investment in the entire city's well being.

How to cut Ph.D. time to degree

Inside Higher Ed, December 17, 2007
For the last two years, Harvard University has announced that for every five graduate students in years eight or higher of a specific Ph.D. program, the department would lose one admissions slot for a new doctoral student. Liz Olson, a graduate student at Case Western Reserve University and president of the National Association of Graduate and Professional Students, said that she had never heard of a policy like the one at Harvard.

Evidence preservation a key piece to exoneration puzzle

Lebanon (Ohio) Western Star, December 15, 2007
Edmund Earl Emerick is hoping DNA testing allowed under a new Ohio law will bolster his claims of innocence. Despite the new law, DNA is rarely used as a post-conviction tool. Paul Giannelli, a law professor at Case Western Reserve University, comments.

Higher Ed News

So how do we get to Berkeley? Spend big on SUNY, panel says

New York Times, December 16, 2007
As the largest and most comprehensive university of the State University of New York's 64 campuses, State University at Buffalo is a good yardstick for measuring just how far New York has traveled -- yet how short it has fallen from Nelson A. Rockefeller's vision of creating a premier public university system.

Computer-free students find life hard without them

USA TODAY, December 17, 2007
About 87 percent of 18- to 29-year-olds use the Internet, according to a 2007 report by the Pew Internet & American Life Project, which studies Net use. Capturing the experience of going without a computer is part of a documentary-making course at Carleton College; several students went on a "computer fast." They've discovered that ditching computers entirely is impossible.

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