[Editor’s Note: After consultation with the Faculty Senate in 2014, the president’s annual State of the University report transitioned from a spoken address to a written message. Based on experiences over the past two years, this year’s edition is more visual than previous versions.Scroll through our slideshows to see some of the year’s biggest stories; some headlines offer links for you to read the full story. This edition is a bit of a test, to determine whether a change in presentation is more appealing than the earlier approach. Please let us know your thoughts in the comments section at the end of this page. Do you like the more visual “State of the University” presentation? Or do you prefer a full written text as though it actually was a speech? Maybe you are more interested in the subjects covered than manner of presentation. Did this round-up touch on topics of interest? Are there others you would like to see added next year? We welcome your opinions, inquiries, criticisms and recommendations.]
The violence that struck Ohio State University Monday provided a painful reminder of how quickly an institution dedicated to the power of knowledge can become a scene full of fear.
Sadly, we also know the devastation a single disturbed individual can wreak after the 2003 shootings at our Peter B. Lewis Building. I have reached out to OSU President Michael V. Drake to let him know our thoughts are with the university and that we stand ready to assist in any way as it copes with the aftermath of this incident.
As became quickly evident Monday, the Ohio State community will not be alone in searching for answers. Law enforcement and political officers both addressed the alleged attacker’s Muslim religion and the possibility he might have been radicalized by terrorist groups. Others, including President Drake, urged that all avoid any premature conclusions.
“What we want to do is really unify together and support each other,” he said Monday.
His statement struck me as relevant not only to this moment at OSU, but also the transition our nation is making in the wake of this month’s elections. My office has heard from individuals across the ideological spectrum; while their positions vary, they share some common concerns. Among the most frequent has been worry that articulating a political perspective—of any kind—would provoke rancor, even rebuke, from others.
It is in such contexts that the role of a university becomes particularly relevant. No other institution combines the discovery of knowledge, the deepening of understanding, and the ongoing exchange of insights and ideas across the generations—all in one place.
As members of this campus, we share a common commitment: to speak, listen and learn—from and with one another. We will not always agree, but it is in the act of mutually respectful conversations that we lay the foundations of a stronger and more empathetic community. These efforts may not prevent senseless tragedies like Monday’s in Columbus, but can contribute significantly to the health of our broader society.
I thank those of you who have engaged in such discussions already, and look forward to hearing of more in the days, weeks and months to come. For now, I ask that you join me in this review of some of the most significant developments at Case Western Reserve since I last reported on the state of our university.
Barbara R. Snyder
Ranking results show that several of our programs are gaining well-deserved notice.
The generosity of our alumni and friends continued to astound, as fundraising in Fiscal Year 2016 broke 18 all-time records. Particularly impressive are continuing growth in endowed professorships and student scholarships.