Exterior of Adelbert Hall with red tree berries framing the image

Despite COVID-19, Think Big Strategic Plan moves forward

The Office of the Provost is pleased to announce an investment in strategic initiatives to help build on CWRU’s strengths at the intersection of humanity and technology; diversify the CWRU campus and support surrounding neighborhoods; and respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Original plans for the 2020 fiscal year were to align these investments in areas that included supporting interdisciplinary research activities and expanding experiential learning opportunities. But as the COVID-19 pandemic hit the campus community, and social injustices were brought to the forefront, it became clear that the plan needed to be fine-tuned and adjusted.

“As we have thought about all of our challenges—and our wins—it has become increasingly clear that the bones of our strategic plan are sound,” said Provost and Executive Vice President Ben Vinson III. “Our commitment to igniting interdisciplinarity, integrating humanity and technology, achieving social impact and shaping our agora has never rung more true, and we continue down our pathways operationally,” he said. “But as we have evaluated our new reality, we knew we needed to be more focused on our investments.”

Financially, the pandemic resulted in an investment 20% lower than anticipated.

As a result, only a small number of campus-generated Think Big RFP and Seed ideas (16 total) were able to be funded. In making final selections, the team looked first at the ranking of the proposals, and then at alignment to current needs.

“There is so much creativity within our campus community,” Vinson said. “We really wish we could have funded all 47 finalist proposals, but we are thrilled with this group and are very much looking forward to their implementation. These investments remain true to the plan’s original goals and intentions, but are now more attuned to our current realities,” he said.

Review additional details.