Provost announces new strategic planning process to build on university’s progress

Provost and Executive Vice President W.A. “Bud” Baeslack III today announced the launch of a new strategic planning process to help chart Case Western Reserve‘s direction over the next five years. The initiative follows the nine-month campuswide effort that led to the university’s 2008 plan, Forward Thinking.

“Over the past five years we have made great progress on the priorities of Forward Thinking and developed a meaningful sense of momentum,” Baeslack said. “Our task now is to build on that foundation and position Case Western Reserve to make even greater gains in the future.”

Diversity and internationalization were among the key issues covered in Forward Thinking, and the university moved quickly to act on each. President Barbara R. Snyder appointed the university’s first vice president for Inclusion, Diversity and Equal Opportunity in December 2008, and Baeslack named the campus’s first associate provost for international affairs in May 2009. Baeslack also launched an alliance investment plan to help catalyze interdisciplinary collaborations. The plan also called for the university to stabilize finances and launch a capital campaign. Since 2007 the university has eliminated its nearly $20 million deficit and in Fiscal Year 2012 posted a $6.4 million surplus. Meanwhile, Snyder announced the public launch of Forward Thinking: The Campaign for Case Western Reserve University in October 2011. As of June 30, the campaign has raised $717.5 million toward its $1 billion goal.

“Case Western Reserve today is a stronger, more dynamic and accomplished institution,” Baeslack said. “Our advances come directly from our faculty, staff, students, alumni and friends, and we are counting on all of them to help us create a truly compelling vision for our next five years.”

The provost emphasized that the planning process will be open and inclusive. As in 2007-2008, the process will include a steering committee as well as a handful of working groups targeting select aspects of the university’s mission. Those who would like to suggest ideas or possible participants can post comments on a Case Western Reserve University Google Docs site, accessible here.

Baeslack added that he will hold several open forums regarding the plan and process, and soon will launch a website that will provide information and seek additional comments. He hopes that a complete draft plan will be available for the community to review in the spring, with a final version ready to present to the Board of Trustees before the end of the academic year.

“This process allows us to reflect upon lessons learned from the past five years,” Baeslack said, “and to consider how we best can make our campus distinct among comprehensive private research universities. I encourage our entire community to take advantage of the opportunities to engage over the next several months.”