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Case Western Reserve University

Faculty Senate Newsletter

Synopsis of the September 25, 2013 Faculty Senate meeting

This newsletter is dedicated to the memory of Steven Garverick, Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science in the Case School of Engineering and chair of the Faculty Senate, who passed away suddenly on September 26, 2013. Professor Garverick was an outstanding teacher, mentor and leader. He will be missed.

This newsletter will be sent out monthly and will provide you with a snapshot of what took place at the most recent Faculty Senate meeting. To learn more about any issue, click on the item and it will take you to more information further down the page; the numbers below correspond with the numbers above. If you have any questions, please contact one of the senators for your school or college. The list of senators can be found on the Faculty Senate website.

President's and Provost's Announcements

  1. Plans were announced in June to build a new medical education building with the Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine. It had been anticipated that groundbreaking for the new CWRU medical building would take place in July of 2016, but the new partnership with the Clinic will allow for a groundbreaking in Spring of 2014 and the plans are to complete the building by July of 2016.
  2. The preliminary budget results from the 2013 fiscal year show a surplus of $8.4 million, which is approximately $2 million above last year's total and $3 million more than what had been budgeted.
  3. The Board of Trustees approved changes in the way that the university handles student billing. The changes were designed by John Sideras, Chief Financial Officer. Students are still permitted to pay tuition by the semester, but tuition will be due sooner in the semester than in the past. Students will have the ability to pay tuition with several different types of credit cards and will have multiple different payment plans from which to choose.
  4. The university surpassed its all-time record for fundraising attainment this year (new cash and pledges). 2013 results include record-setting attainment from trustees, foundation grants, and from the annual fund. The SOM, CSE and MSASS surpassed their fundraising efforts as well. On June 18 the university held the first-ever Day of Giving, which was extremely successful. The goal was 618 donations, and 795 were actually received. Many of these donations came from younger donors. Total donations on the Day of Giving exceeded $200,000.
  5. Three Distinguished University Professors were introduced at Convocation on August 28. They are Maxwell Mehlman (LAW), Stanton Gerson (SOM), and Robert Savinell (CSE).

Chair's Announcements

  1. Prof. Sandra Russ, vice-chair, reported that communication between senators and their faculties is critical and each senator should determine the most effective way to disseminate information. Newsletters are sent to the University Faculty following each Faculty Senate meeting. Prof. Russ asked senators to encourage their colleagues to read the newsletter.
  2. An Annual Meeting of the University Faculty will be held on October 25 following the President’s State of the University address. The meeting is being held to approve an amendment to the Constitution of the University Faculty changing the name and charge of the Faculty Senate Budget Committee.
  3. The Faculty Handbook and By-Laws provide that the Committee on By-Laws is to carry out a review of the Constitution of the University Faculty and the Faculty Senate By-Laws at least once every 5 years. The review will take place this academic year. If senators or faculty in their respective college or schools have comments or changes they should be forwarded to Prof. Russ and Rebecca Weiss by the end of November.

Report from the Executive Committee

  1. Prof. Russ reported that at its September 16 meeting, the Faculty Senate Executive Committee approved the appointment of Professor John Ruhl as vice-chair of the Faculty Senate Committee on Undergraduate Education (FSCUE).

Report from the Secretary of the Corporation

  1. Ms. Colleen Treml, deputy counsel, reported that CWRU Trustees met four times since the last Faculty Senate meeting in April of 2013. The Board approved 21 new endowments totaling $3.895 million and 9 amendments to endowments. They approved 117 junior and senior faculty appointments, 105 junior and senior faculty promotions, 20 new faculty appointments and reappointments to professorships, and three Distinguished University Professors (Mehlman, Gerson and Savinell). The Trustees authorized the granting of 352 degrees.
  2. The Trustees also approved the following, which had been recommended by the President and the Faculty Senate: Amendment to the Faculty Handbook re: the pretenure period; Undergraduate Minor in Social Work; and name change to the Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences.
  3. The Trustees granted VP Emeritus to Glenn Nicholls, former Vice President for Student Affairs, and approved the appointment of Louis Stark as Vice President for Student Affairs. They acknowledged the service and dedication of Joseph Callahan and twelve staff for 35 years of service and one staffperson for 50 years of service.
  4. The Trustees also approved an AT&T contract for ERP hosting of HCM, SIS, Data Warehouse and Budget Module.

Agenda Items

  1. School of Dental Medicine: Department Closure and Renaming
  2. Date Change: Fall Break 2014


  1. Interim Sexual Misconduct Policy
  2. Development Update
  3. CWRU Wellness Initiative and Benelect Open Enrollment
  4. Enrollment Update
  5. Strategic Plan Update

More Information

  1. Dean Jerry Goldberg, SODM, presented the proposal to close the Department of Oral Pathology and to rename the existing Department of Oral Diagnosis and Radiology the Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Medicine and Diagnostic Sciences. The newly named department will subsume the activities of the Department of Oral Pathology. The Department of Oral Pathology has only one faculty member and cannot accomplish the departmental roles of teaching, scholarship, and service. A formal petition for this change signed by five faculty members was unanimously supported by the SODM Executive Board and approved by the SODM faculty. The Faculty Senate voted to approve the closing of the Department of Pathology and the renaming of the department of Oral Diagnosis and Radiology.

  2. The Provost proposed rescheduling Fall Break 2014 from October 20-21 to October 27-28. The best weekend for Homecoming 2014 is October 17-19 but that weekend would precede Fall Break which is not optimal. Homecoming cannot be rescheduled due to the football schedule and the Jewish holidays. The date change is supported by Dan Gallo, president of the Undergraduate Student Government. The Senate approved the date change.

  3. Colleen Treml (Deputy General Counsel), Marilyn Mobley (Vice President for Inclusion, Diversity, and Equal Opportunity and the university's Title IX coordinator) and Louis Stark (Vice President for Student Affairs) reported on the new interim sexual misconduct policy. The U.S. Department of Education (DOE) has mandated that all educational institutions receiving federal funding develop a sexual misconduct policy as detailed in the "Dear Colleague" letter dated April 4, 2011. Chief among the DOE's concerns are underreporting of sexual violence on college campuses, lengthy investigations, inadequacy of action taken and fairness of the grievance process. Representatives from the Office of Inclusion, Diversity and Equal Opportunity, the Office of Student Affairs, and the Office of General Counsel have been meeting on a regular basis to revise and combine the university's current sexual harassment and sexual assault policies. The new interim policy is effective as of August 17, 2013 and will remain in effect until a final policy is adopted.

    Among other key changes, the interim policy expands reporting requirements, clarifies that each member of the university has an obligation to report, and mandates that complaints be investigated and decided on a more timely basis. Feedback on the policy is being sought from multiple university constituents.

    The Senate discussed a number of issues related to the policy. One senator questioned why the standard of proof used in sexual assault cases is a "preponderance of evidence" as opposed to the stricter standard of "clear and convincing evidence". Colleen Treml responded that this is the standard mandated by the DOE. Another senator asked that the policy include language requiring the university to notify the complainant that he/she has the right to bring a criminal complaint outside of the university process. Colleen Treml responded that the university already has an obligation to do this and it is done on a routine basis. Another senator asked what would happen in a case where there are different results in the university proceeding and in a criminal proceeding. Louis Stark said that the university's decision would have to be revisited, but under the Dear Colleague letter an educational institution is not permitted to delay its process while it waits for a decision in a criminal proceeding. Another senator asked whether parties are permitted to have attorneys with them at the university hearing. The Dear Colleague letter doesn't forbid attorneys from attending, but the university has decided that it is not advisable. Some students may be able to afford attorneys and others may not. Allowing attorneys to attend would make for a much more adversarial process which is not desirable. President Snyder said that CWRU must follow the mandates of the Dear Colleague letter or the university could lose its federal funding.

  4. Bruce Loessin, Vice President for Development, reported that the fiscal year ending June 30, 2013 was a record-setting year for fundraising in many areas, such as new cash, pledges and the annual fund. Pledges from trustees, parents and foundations have been record-setting also. Fundraising at the college and schools has been exceptional with MSASS raising a record total of $10 million. 40 new endowed chairs have been established. It has been an extremely successful year.

  5. Medical Director Elizabeth Click stated that the health of faculty and staff at CWRU is extremely important. Starting in 2014, the university will be offering wellness incentives that will reduce the cost of individual health insurance (family members do not qualify for these incentives). In order to qualify for a $25/month health insurance premium credit in 2014, faculty and staff must complete a health risk assessment, a biometric screening and a tobacco attestation form. Additional credits can be obtained by participating in programs such as stress management, weight management/nutrition, physical activity, and tobacco cessation. Jamie Ryan, Director for Benefits in Human Resources, reported that medical plan premiums will increase approximately 4.6 to 6.5% for 2014. This is a less than average increase for CWRU. Approximately 2% of the increase is due to health care reform. Individuals participating in the wellness program will benefit from lower premium costs. Several senators commented that this plan penalizes those who don't participate in the wellness program and that those individuals are subsidizing the wellness plan participants. President Snyder said that in fact, people with healthy lifestyles are subsidizing those without. The university is self-insured and the President anticipates that the wellness programs will reduce the university's costs.

  6. Richard Bischoff, Vice President for Enrollment, reported that there was a significant increase in first year student applications in 2012-13. The admit rate was 42% compared with a rate of approximately 54% last year. The yield rate fell slightly. The number of under-represented students in the class declined slightly but the numbers are still significantly higher than they have been in the past. 147 new international students enrolled this year compared with 90 last year. Average SAT scores increased and 72 new first year students were national merit scholars, which is a record for CWRU. The number of new students who were in the top 10% of their high school class declined but many high schools are beginning to eliminate class rank. U.S. News & World Report, in ranking colleges and universities, puts more weight on SAT scores and less on class rank. The number of new students from Ohio has declined from 37% to approximately 28% which strengthens CWRU's reputation as a national and international institution. The TOEFL scores of first year international students have increased; however, Mr. Bischoff recommends that the university maintain the score requirement of 90 rather than increasing it to 100.

  7. Provost Baeslack reported that a new draft of the strategic plan has been developed incorporating comments from multiple constituents including the Faculty Senate. The strategic plan Steering Committee will review the draft and once it is approved the draft will be made available to senators. The Provost will report on the plan at the October Faculty Senate meeting.

Learn more about the Faculty Senate.

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