University launches Bright Ideas initiative, requests input on improvements to CWRU

To the Case Western Reserve University Community:

This is a special time on our campus. The Huffington Post considers us one of the nation’s nine “trendiest colleges.” The Washington Monthly puts us among the top 10 in its list of universities that contribute to the common good. This fall we announced our $1 billion capital campaign with more than $660 million already committed. And we look forward to starting construction on the Tinkham Veale University Center this spring.

Each of these developments, and many more, are reason for pride and optimism. Yet one of our greatest strengths as a university is our dedication to doing more. Thanks to you, “think beyond the possible” is more than a tagline. It is what we do, every single day.

I write this morning to announce a new initiative designed to draw on your extraordinary expertise—not in a particular subject, but rather the university itself. Bright Ideas ( aims to capture your creativity and insight regarding ways that we can become an even more efficient and innovative institution. Specifically, we seek your suggestions on how we can reduce expenses, create new revenue, enhance productivity and improve services. It’s an ambitious list, to be sure, but I know you will respond to the challenge. First, you care about this institution and its people. Second, you see firsthand the things we do well, and the ones we can do better.

You will find more information about the program at We have modeled it on successful programs at other universities, but the extent of its impact here depends on your participation. The best suggestions will qualify for prizes—and we’re seeking your recommendations on those, too.

Please visit the site and think about what Bright Ideas you can submit. I have enormous confidence in your ability to identify opportunities and offer ways to seize them. No one knows the workings of Case Western Reserve as directly as you; I cannot wait to see the results of your collective wisdom.

As always, thank you for everything you do for our university.

Barbara R. Snyder