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 account. Below is 2019’s edition.
To the Case Western Reserve University Community:
difficult to believe that this is my 12th report to the Case Western
Reserve University community on the state of the university. Each year, I am
grateful for the opportunity to reflect on the extraordinary accomplishments of
the university’s outstanding faculty, staff and students, and each year we have
remarkable research, scholarship and other innovative programs to celebrate across
This summer Suparna Mahalaha, assistant professor at the School of Dental Medicine, announced a new initiative of the Lifelong Smiles program with Hough Heritage, a low-income housing facility for seniors. This program helps provide easier access to dental care for seniors and trains our dental students to care for older patients through the Lifelong Smiles van, an impressive high-tech dental office on wheels.
These excellent faculty members look forward each year to welcoming our incoming classes. For example, in August, we welcomed more than 1,350 undergraduate students, and the Class of 2023 is the most diverse in our history and among the most academically accomplished. These outstanding students are from 46 states as well as Guam, Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia, and 24 countries. The Class of 2023 boasts 19.5 percent underrepresented students, 17.5 percent Pell grant recipients and 16 percent international students.
The Class of
2023 also includes 10 Cleveland Scholars—nine are from the Cleveland
Metropolitan School District and one is from East Cleveland—all of whom
received full-tuition scholarships. Many of these students are also Emerging
Scholars, who receive academic support and advising to prepare them for a
successful experience at Case Western Reserve.
our partnership with The Posse Foundation, a nationally renowned organization
dedicated to increasing college access for promising urban students from
diverse backgrounds. Two years ago, we welcomed the first cohort of 10 students
from New Orleans, and this year we welcome another cohort of 10 students. They
have received full-tuition scholarships and additional funds for housing and
Last year, we launched the Student Success Initiative, a more comprehensive approach to increase our students’ opportunities to flourish in all aspects of their undergraduate experiences. I am pleased to report that the Student Success Initiative is making great progress, continuing to evaluate its programs and processes and make necessary changes to serve our students even better. Tom Matthews is now the Associate Provost for Student Success, having served in an interim role while we launched the program, and co-chairs a faculty advisory council with Professor Lee Thompson.
We also marked several milestones in the last year. On Dec. 31, 2018, we concluded our historically successful Forward Thinking capital campaign, raising $1.82 billion. Please know that we have not stopped fundraising—we still have much more to do for our faculty, staff and students. In fact, our attainment for Fiscal Year 2019 was $182.1 million, among the highest annual total in the last decade.
In April, we celebrated the dedication of the Health Education Campus’ main building, the Sheila and Eric Samson Pavilion, and the Dental Clinic. Throughout the summer, faculty, staff and students moved into both buildings, and now, our medical, nursing, dental and physician assistant students are learning, studying, eating and hanging out together and will revolutionize health education through interprofessional education.
we celebrated the dedication of the East Bell Commons— a beautiful temporary
public park that we own jointly with the Cleveland Museum of Art and is
adjacent to the Nord Family Greenway. We are working now with the museum on a
plan for a joint building on that site. It will extend our collaboration focused on a
longstanding joint degree program in art history to one that also includes a
broader and more interdisciplinary approach to object study and public
The following month, we broke ground on phase two of the Maltz Performing Arts Center, which will feature the state-of-the-art Roe Green Proscenium Theater, the Kalberer black box theater, rehearsal studios and a costume and scene shop for students in the Department of Theater. We expect to dedicate this remarkable new space by the end of 2021.
Over the last year, Provost Ben Vinson III has led the university’s strategic planning process, and I want to thank the many faculty, staff and students who participated in it. The result is Think Big, which outlines four pathways to guide us in functioning as a high-impact research university that aspires to be a community where humanity, science and technology meet to create a just and thriving world. Provost Vinson and his team will continue to work with the campus community on the implementation of Think Big, including strategic investments.
In addition, I want to share our continued accomplishments around diversity and inclusion, while also emphasizing the work we still need to do. About 9,500 faculty, staff and students have participated in Diversity 360, our comprehensive diversity education program. For the eighth consecutive year, Case Western Reserve has received the Higher Education Excellence in Diversity Award from INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine for our commitment to diversity and inclusion and implementing comprehensive diversity initiatives across campus.
Finally, I want to reiterate that the university strongly supports the many on our campus and across our nation who face uncertainty because of the U.S. Supreme Court case regarding the future of DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals). Launched in 2012, the program has allowed individuals brought to this country as children, known as Dreamers, the opportunity to remain in the United States on a temporary basis. For more information on this case and other immigration-related updates, please visit the new website we launched last month.
I wish you a
restful, joyful and peaceful winter break, and again thank you for all that you do for
Case Western Reserve.