School of Law Professor, Students Play Key Role in Preparation for "Killing Fields Trials" in Cambodia


In just a few months, five leaders of the genocidal Khmer Rouge regime will go on trial before the U.N.-established war crimes Tribunal in Cambodia (known as the ECCC). Case Western Reserve University School of Law's globe-trotting professor Michael Scharf and two of his students recently traveled to Phnom Penh to help the ECCC prepare for the historic "Killing Fields Trials."

Scharf, who directs the School of Law's Frederick K. Cox International Law Center and its War Crimes Research Office, has helped establish war crime tribunals in the former Yugoslavia, Iraq, Rwanda and Sierra Leone. He has been assisted by third-year law students Margaux Day and Niki Desarathy. The students spent six months (August through December) as legal interns at the ECCC.

The trials of the accused, allegedly responsible for the deaths of 1.7 million people, are set to begin in late January or early February. Read more.

Faculty Senate Works to Streamline Committees

Faculty Senate is working to streamline its university-wide working groups to improve governing efficiency and effectiveness.

About 200 faculty members are serving on such groups—in addition to the 50 elected Faculty Senate representatives who work with the governing body's 12 standing committees, among others.

To streamline, while at the same time ensure comparable faculty representation, the senate has appointed an ad hoc team to review university-level faculty committees. The team will examine faculty committees and the methods of nomination and selection of members. A resolution passed by the senate at its November meeting states the purpose of the team is to "improve the efficiency and effectiveness of faculty governance while preserving and strengthening the commitment to democracy and transparency."

At today's meeting, the senate expects to hear updates on ongoing initiatives, including the recent signing of the American College & University Presidents Climate Commitment. President Barbara R. Snyder, with the endorsement of the senate executive committee, pledged to reduce and eventually eliminate the university's global warming emissions and to enhance research and education to help society re-stabilize the Earth's climate.

During its final 2008 meeting, the senate also will discuss an upcoming online survey in which faculty will identify new budget priorities. Read more.

Campus News

Veale Center is now on a winter break schedule. The facility will be closed on the following dates: Saturday, December 20, through Sunday, January 4; Saturday, January 10; and Sunday, January 11. The recreation center will be open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., Monday, January 5, through Friday, January 9. Regular hours of 7:30 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. resume Monday, January 12.

Case Western Reserve's 1-2-1 Fitness Center is offering a special two-week membership for $18 to all university employees while Veale Center is closed. The fitness center will be open every day except Thursday, December 25.  The special membership includes full access to the facility, including all group exercise classes, towel and locker services, parking, equipment, locker room amenities, and more. Go online or call 368-1121 for more information.

The campus community is invited to view performances from the Joint Music Program 40th anniversary celebration. The video collection is now available on YouTube.

For Faculty and Staff

The participant tax-deferred contribution limit is increasing to $16,500 in 2009 for Salary Reduction Agreement contributions made to the 403(b) plans sponsored by the university. Participants age 50 and older can contribute up to an additional $5,500 on a pre-tax basis. To increase per paycheck contributions, employees should submit a Salary Reduction Agreement form (Plan A and Plan C forms can be accessed online) to Benefits Administration. Call 368-6781 with questions.

For Students

This section will be updated occasionally during the winter break. Refer to the "Campus News" section for general information.


Refer to the University Circle Inc. calendar for a list of holiday events and activities taking place in the community today and in the days ahead.

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.

Et al


Christoph Weder, professor of macromolecular science and engineering, was recently named the F. Alex Nason Professor of Engineering.

The Ohio Cancer Research Associates—a nonprofit organization
dedicated to the cure and prevention of several types of cancer—recently honored David Danielpour, associate professor with the Case Comprehensive Cancer Center.

MediaVision recently announced that videos on Case Western Reserve University's YouTube Web site have been viewed over 100,000 times. The university launched the channel last spring.


Cody Wood (CWR'08) recently released Nothin' to It, a CD featuring several musical genres. Wood worked with several Case Western Reserve students and alumni on the project, including Marc Plotkin (co-producer, recording engineering, mixing engineer, songwriter, saxophone, electric guitar, and acoustic guitar); Ben Jacobs (assistant recording engineer, songwriter, bass, keyboard, electric guitar, and acoustic guitar); Ben Rose (percussion); John Knific (piano, keyboard); Morgan Paros (violin); Jordan Welch (vocals); and Martin Malone (graphic design). The project was recorded at the Patrick Audio Center, Cleveland Institute of Music. Wood studied music and biomedical engineering at Case Western Reserve.

December 19, 2008

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Case in the News

Cleveland Foundation awards $18.8 million in grants

The Plain Dealer, December 18, 2008
The Cleveland Foundation announced $18.8 million in grants this week A total of $272,500 was awarded to Cuyahoga County Commissioners for the Great Lakes Wind Energy Center, a pilot wind energy project and technology development center connected to Case Western Reserve University.

Bat saliva-based stroke drug disappoints in trial

The Washington Post, December 18, 2008
An experimental clot-busting drug derived from the saliva of the vampire bat has failed to reduce stroke damage in a major trial. But hope for the drug, called desmoteplase, remains alive, experts say, because the study may not have been large enough to provide clear results. Anthony J. Furlan, chair of the neurology department at Case Western Reserve University, co-authored the study.

Fit for pregnancy, fit for life, December 17, 2008
Staying active throughout pregnancy predicts physical fitness later in life, according to a new study from the Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine and the University of Vermont College of Medicine. Researchers looked at the exercise habits of 39 women before, during and after their pregnancies.

Higher Ed News

A new look at the impact of diversity

Inside Higher Ed, December 19, 2008
A new study that tracked 2,000 students at the University of California at Los Angeles is attempting to document what happens when students interact with different kinds of fellow students.