Standard & Poor's Takes Note of Case Western Reserve University's Financial Progress; Improves Outlook to "Stable"

Case Western Reserve University's recent financial success this week drew positive notice from Standard & Poor's. The independent provider of credit ratings has announced that it will maintain the university's AA- long-term rating, and revise its outlook from "negative" to "stable." The improved outlook should translate to lower borrowing costs for the institution going forward.

"We are pleased with the outlook change from S&P as it reflects our solid performance over the last fiscal year," said John Sideras, interim senior vice president for finance at Case Western Reserve University.

In the 2008 fiscal year the university posted a surplus of $127,000, a sharp reversal from the previous year's $20 million deficit. The results also marked the institution's first balanced budget in four years. In addition, the university raised $103 million in philanthropy, the third-highest total in its history. Read more.

University Holidays in December

To Faculty and Staff:

This year the university's holiday schedule calls for the campus to be closed on Thursday, December 25, and Friday, December 26.  In recognition of your hard work and achievements, university leaders have agreed to close the campus at 3 p.m. on Wednesday, December 24.

Some university employees hold positions that require work after 3 p.m. on December 24, including those who work shifts other than the standard 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.  For those employees in this situation, two hours of time off will be made available for future use. Employees must coordinate with supervisors to determine a mutually agreeable date.

Because December 24 is not a university holiday, employees will be compensated at their normal rate of pay for the time off resulting from the early close.

Please contact Carolyn Gerich in Employee Relations at 368-2458 with any questions.

Thank you for all you have done to help Case Western Reserve University realize its goals this year.

Sincerely,

Barbara R. Snyder

President

Campus News

The entire campus transaction system (Blackboard) will be offline tonight. All financial transactions (food service, CaseCash, employee charges, Print2Here, etc.) will be declined this evening. Contact Dennis Drew at 368-5844 with questions.

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The Department of Physiology and Biophysics introduces new technology for research in the state of Ohio. Implemented as the Protein Expression Purification Crystallization Core (PEPCC), these state-of-the-art robotics facilitate the expression, purification and crystallization of soluble and membrane proteins. These new robots are designed to save time and lower costs for researchers who determine the three dimensional structures of biological macromolecules. The Ohio Board of Regents, with the Office of Naval Research, each awarded competitive grants totaling $652,000 to Walter F. Boron, chair, and Harry S. Gill, assistant professor and director, to purchase the equipment. Learn more.

For Faculty and Staff

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Case Western Reserve President Barbara R. Snyder and Provost W. A. "Bud" Baeslack will host a Faculty and Staff Holiday Open House from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m., Friday, December 12, in Adelbert Hall. There will be holiday refreshments and musical selections from the Cleveland Institute of Music. RSVP to Jane Howarth Vogelsberger.

Benelect Open Enrollment 2009 confirmation statements are available onlineEmployees can access their statements by signing in to HCM and navigating to: Employee Self Service->Benefits->Benefits Home->Print Open Enrollment Summary. If the statement is accurate, no action is required.  However, if a discrepancy from the elections made during open enrollment are found, employees are advised to print their statement, mark the correction, and submit to Benefits Administration for processing. Corrections must be received by Wednesday, December 17. Call Benefits Administration at 368-6781 with questions.

For Students

The Student Alumni Association is hosting a study break event from 7:30-9:30 p.m. tonight at the Alumni House. Free snacks and playing cards will be provided.

The National Association of Science Writers (NASW) announces the 2009 NASW Student Travel Fellowships to the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). As many as 10 undergraduate students interested in science journalism will receive up to $750 in travel expenses to attend the 2009 AAAS meeting in Chicago. The meeting will take place February 12-16, 2009. NASW's education committee will select students to receive the fellowship and will pair each one with a veteran writer for a one-day mentorship program. The application deadline is December 12. Go online for more information and an application.

Today is the last day to complete Bon Appetit's 2008 Campus Dining Survey online. One participant will receive a Nintendo Wii for completing the survey, while two others will receive an iPod Touch. In addition, some participants will win Starbucks gift cards.

Events

The Clinical & Translational Science Collaborative and the Case Center for Proteomics and Bioinformatics is hosting a presentation by Belinda Willard, director of the Proteomics Laboratory at the Cleveland Clinic Lerner Research Institute. She will speak on the topic of 'Going Outside the Box with Carboxylase" from noon to 1 p.m., Thursday, December 11, at the Biomedical Research Building's ninth floor conference room. Call 368-0291 with questions.

The campus community is invited to attend the Cell and Molecular Biology Training Grant at Case Western Reserve's third presentation within the Model Organisms Seminar Series.  The series focuses on yeast, fruit flies, zebrafish, mice and viruses. The training grant sponsors two talks on each organism: One on the utility of the organism and another on recent research advancements using the organism. The third installment will feature Didier Stainier from the University of California, San Francisco at 4 p.m., Tuesday, December 9, at the Biomedical Research Building, Room 105, on the topic of "Development and Regeneration of Endodermal Organs." Additional information on future speakers can be found online.

The Western Reserve Historical Society is hosting John Grabowski, Krieger Mueller Historian, for a discussion on the topic of "Concepts of Race: American Migration and Immigration History" at 6:30 p.m., Wednesday, December 10, at the museum. Participants can learn about migration within the United States and learn about the journey from immigrants to citizens from the late 1800s through the early 20th Century. Admission is $5 and includes free parking.

The views and opinions of those invited to speak on campus do not necessarily reflect the views of the university administration or any other segment of the university community.

In Memoriam

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Robert V. Edwards, professor emeritus of chemical engineering, died last night. He was part of the Case Western Reserve University community for 40 years. At the graduate level, he developed a unique course in chemical engineering analysis that continues to remain a part of the required set of core courses. At the undergraduate level, Edwards was largely responsible for the development of the junior-level measurements laboratory course, which helps to distinguish Case Western Reserve's chemical engineering program from those offered at other schools. Furthermore, he was instrumental in the continued evolution and improvement of the senior-level unit-operations laboratory, and also was primarily associated with modernizing the junior-level course in Separation Processes. Over the course of his academic career, Edwards served in various administrative roles, including department chair and associate dean of the Case School of Engineering. In addition, he also benefited the university for many years as assistant to the president for minority affairs. Through the generosity of alumnus J. David Roberts, the Robert V. Edwards Student Reading Room was dedicated November 10, 2008, in recognition of Edwards and his commitment to students. Details about a memorial service are forthcoming.

December 9, 2008

A daily newsletter published by the Office of Marketing & Communications, Case Western Reserve University. Submit items for inclusion to: case-daily@case.edu.

Year of Darwin

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Campus members who have missed some of the events that have been part of Case Western Reserve University's celebration of Charles Darwin are invited to go to the official Web site. Choose from several videos featuring experts who've already visited campus as part of the academic observance of Darwin's life and work.

Case in the News

S&P revises outlook on Case Western Reserve University

University Business, December 8, 2008
Standard & Poor's Ratings Services revised the outlook on Case Western Reserve University's long-term ratings and underlying ratings (SPURs) to stable from negative. Standard & Poor's also affirmed its 'AA-' long-term ratings and SPURs on various Ohio Higher Education Facilities Commission bonds issued on behalf of the university.

Judge rules for retirement

News-Herald.com, December 8, 2008
Lake County Common Pleas Judge Paul H. Mitrovich is retiring after 30 years on the bench. On Jan. 5, lawyer Joe Gibson will take over. Jonathan Entin, professor of law and political science at Case Western Reserve University, comments.

Struggle with willpower? Seven tips to reinforce it

MSNBC.com, December 8, 2008
Many people struggle with sticking to a new diet or resisting a shopping spree. Why is our self-control so strong on some days and so weak on others? The article offers tips and cites a research study from Case Western Reserve University that involved baked chocolate chip cookies.

Higher Ed News

Those taking graduate test abruptly drop in number

The New York Times, December 9, 2008
After years of steady growth, the number of students taking the Graduate Record Examination, which is required for most graduate programs, is on course to decline this year.