Photo of Charles Rozek
Charles Rozek

Charles Rozek, vice provost and dean of graduate studies, to retire this summer

After more than four decades serving the Case Western Reserve University community, Charles Rozek, vice provost and dean of graduate studies, will retire effective June 30. Rozek has led the university’s School of Graduate Studies since 2004.

“I believe that there comes a time when fresh ideas and perspectives can enhance the progress of the university,” Rozek said. “Handing over the leadership will facilitate this enhancement.”

In retirement, Rozek plans to enjoy more time with his wife, Sue—who he met at Case Western Reserve—and their golden retriever, Mayzie. “I am also having my 1973 Corvette restored and look forward to days of driving pleasure,” he said. “Gardening and woodworking, along with our shared interests in art collection and travel, will occupy a significant portion of our time.”

Rozek joined Case Western Reserve in 1983 as an assistant professor of biology, just three years after the inauguration of the university’s third president. Since that time, he’s experienced a great deal of change.

“During my time at the university, I’ve witnessed an increased awareness of what our graduate students need for success,” Rozek said. “This includes an emphasis on effective advising and mentoring. We have also found many ways to recognize and address mental health needs for our students.”

Among his accomplishments, Rozek established an annual awards ceremony for graduate students, improved graduate student education through increased mentoring and annual reviews, and created a Professional Development Center for graduate students. Additionally, he worked to enhance the experiences of postdoctoral fellows and scholars.

“Our campus and community have benefited from Chuck’s guidance both as a faculty member and as a leader,” said Provost and Executive Vice President Joy K. Ward. “During his long career, he has always put students first, and he leaves behind a strong legacy of advancements in graduate education.”

A native of Michigan, Rozek began his career as a postdoctoral research associate in the laboratory of Norman Davidson at the California Institute of Technology. Davidson was a National Medal of Science winner and biologist whose work helped greatly advance genome research. In 1983, Rozek accepted a position as a professor of biology at Case Western Reserve, citing the appeal of the university’s Developmental Biology Center and its leadership in the field.

“Fortunately, when it came time to look for an academic job, CWRU’s Biology Department was recruiting new faculty. I was thrilled to receive an invitation to interview with the biology faculty,” he said. “After meeting faculty across the university, I knew this would be a great place to work and teach. I was fortunate to receive a job offer,” Rozek reminisced.

Reflecting on his 40 years, Rozek credited his coworkers for his success. “My time in administration has made me aware of the wonderful people who work in administration and all the hard work they do daily to make our institution thrive,” he said. “I could only succeed in my job with their help and guidance.”

Rozek will be formally recognized for his accomplishments during a gathering later this year.

Faculty, staff respond to news of Charles Rozek’s upcoming retirement:

“Chuck has always put the good of others first. He played a major role in overseeing the Howard Hughes Medical Institute Grant that helped fund a range of exciting initiatives in the (biology) department, he was instrumental in coordinating the complex renovation of DeGrace, and he has served with distinction as the Dean of Graduate Studies. We are lucky to have had someone with such dedication and concern taking on all of these important tasks.” – Hillel Chiel, professor, Department of Biology, College of Arts and Sciences

“Chuck was very supportive when I first joined the biology department at CWRU. He would ask what I needed, and sure enough those things we quickly addressed.” – Nancy DiIulio, instructor, Department of Biology, College of Arts and Sciences.

“Case Western Reserve and its graduate students have benefited tremendously from Chuck Rozek’s many years of leadership of the School of Graduate Studies.   During Chuck’s tenure as Dean of Graduate Studies, the university’s support and services for graduate students and graduate programs have made significant advances, and the environment for the graduate experience has seen much improvement. Similarly, in his role as Vice Provost, CWRU has benefitted from Chuck’s thorough and thoughtful approach to academic and faculty affairs.” – Don Feke, Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education and Academic & Faculty Affairs

“One of the traits I appreciate most about Chuck is his trust in his staff. From day one, he recognized the talents and capabilities of his team and empowered them to excel in their roles. He allowed us the autonomy to do our jobs effectively. With his trust and encouragement, as the first director of the Office of Postdoctoral Affairs, I was able to grow this office and to add many services and resources for the postdoctoral scholars and fellows on campus that did not previously exist. Chuck also consistently made sure that we were benchmarking with our peer institutions and keeping up to date with national standards.” – Rachel E. Begley, director of the Professional Development Center