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July 10, 2008

Dean's Letter May 2008

Dear Alumni and Friends of MSASS,

The month of May is a busy time at the Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences. As I write, students are in the midst of final examinations, class presentations, and group projects. This is a stellar group of students. Several weeks ago, we hosted a “thank you” luncheon for students to meet some of the people who provided scholarships to them for this academic year. Our guests were greatly impressed by the students’ work at MSASS, their field placements and with their goals. Our alumni, too, are impressive. Local agencies routinely seek out MSASS graduates when they are looking for social workers with exceptional skill and knowledge. Your School is known for educating the very best in professional social work and in helping to shape public policy through applied research.

This brings me to several items of news which will tell you why I am so proud to be Dean of MSASS.

• The recently-released U.S. News & World Report rankings, based on peer review, put MSASS in the top ten schools of social work in the country and number one in Ohio.

• Nine MSASS faculty members are published in the new 20th Edition of the Encyclopedia of Social Work, along with a number of alumni from our doctoral program.

• In numerous speeches in front of diverse audiences, Case Western Reserve University President Barbara Snyder has consistently pointed to the great contribution made by the Mandel School and its students, who perform over 224,000 hours of service annually in the community through their field placements. She also has singled out for recognition NEO CANDO, the on-line, publicly-accessible community data system developed by the Mandel School’s Center on Urban Poverty and Community Development.

While such news is indeed encouraging, we also have the bittersweet news to report that a figure important to the MSASS community will be retiring from the MSASS faculty at the end of this academic year.

Grace Longwell Coyle Professor Pranab Chatterjee, Ph.D. has announced his retirement. Dr. Chatterjee has been on the faculty for 40 years teaching and researching in human behavior and social policy as well as serving on the faculty of the Mandel Center for Nonprofit Organizations. He has been a good friend and colleague and we will miss his senior leaderhip. More information about Prof. Chatterjee’s contributions will appear in the next issue of MSASS Action. If you wish to drop him a note, you may send it c/o Dean’s Office, and I will be sure to pass
it on.

On the business side of things, the MSASS faculty has begun the strategic planning process to take the School into our second century of education, scholarship, and service. We are pleased to have met our annual goals set in the 2003 strategic plan and look forward to building on these achievements. The School’s Budget Committee is once again predicting a balanced budget on June 30 thanks to good financial management by our staff and support from tuition, faculty grants, and contributions by our alumni and friends. We are at 81% of our Annual Fund goal and, with your help, we know our target of $190,000 can be reached. 100% of this Fund is used for scholarships.

We are all looking forward to graduation on May 18. Our commencement speaker, Sarah Short Austin, M.S.S.A. ’62, will reflect on her education and its impact on a remarkable career. She has been long missed in Cleveland, and we are glad to have her back even for a brief visit. If you are in the neighborhood of The Temple Tifereth Israel at University Circle at noon on that day, you are most welcome to attend to hear Sarah and join us afterwards at the School for a wonderful celebration.

Please keep in touch and let us know any news you would like to share with other alumni. I enjoy learning about where your M.S.S.A. has taken you in life and the accomplishments you have achieved. Also, be sure to look over the enclosed schedule of upcoming lectures at MSASS. Hope to see some of you there.

Best regards,

Grover C. Gilmore
Dean and Professor

P.S.
Send your news via email to Pam Carson at pamela.carson@case.edu or by mail to her at MSASS, 10900 Euclid Avenue, Cleveland, OH 44106-7164.