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Our Strategic Plan: Key Goals and Initiatives

Goal One: Impact

Seeking to strengthen our reach in education, research, scholarship and other forms of discovery, Case Western Reserve University will advance our academic programs to increase the university’s impact. To this end, the university will:

Enhance research and discovery

We will establish powerful alliances and enrich our core strengths, focusing university-level attention on select interdisciplinary priorities:

  • Energy and the Environment
    • These two realms are critical to the future of our nation and world, and Case Western Reserve University is uniquely positioned to provide leadership in each. Expanding on our past success in fuel cell technologies, our Great Lakes Institute for Energy Innovation is exploring creation of the first-ever freshwater wind power project, and also aims to advance knowledge regarding more effective ways to store and distribute energy when and where it is needed. The newly created institute already has attracted significant philanthropic and government interest. Similarly, our faculty are advancing international understanding of the connections between environment and society, starting with the efforts of our Center for Business as an Agent of World Benefit and extending across several Schools and the College. Working together, faculty will identify key solutions to some of our most pressing challenges in power and sustainability, even as they enhance our understanding of their cultural, political and economic dimensions.
  • Human Health
    • We offer nationally recognized programs in the health sciences and related disciplines. By emphasizing this priority, we will encourage more dynamic and ambitious partnerships, leading to breakthrough discoveries, innovative technology, more effective health care delivery and progress in addressing community and population health needs.
  • Culture, Creativity and Design
    • The ideas that inspire us as individuals and connect us as a society arise from many disciplines. We will explore the nature of innovation, generating novel approaches that reframe our world view. Activities range from the study of culture, creativity, and design to the practical exercise of skills in these areas, especially in developing solutions to major issues.
  • Social Justice and Ethics
    • Faculty members across the University already are engaged in research related to questions of social justice, as seen, for example, in the work of the Inamori International Center for Ethics and Excellence. By linking these topics and identifying them as a University priority, we expect to accelerate efforts to understand the ways that social systems affect individuals and society – and to explore ways to improve them.
  • Other Strong Areas of Potential Collaboration
    • Along with these four strategic alliances, other strong areas of potential University collaboration include: Informatics, Origins, Infectious Disease, and Child Development. In addition, work on Sustainability can contribute to all of these alliances. Finally, we will work to enhance and expand existing initiatives encouraging Entrepreneurship across the University.

To advance these efforts we will:

  • Launch initiatives in each of the four alliances.
  • Encourage other interdisciplinary activities, in particular for the additional suggested areas.
  • Support advancement of specific college and school priorities.
  • Develop university-level strategies to help the college and schools achieve select objectives identified in their plans.
  • Promote enhanced collaboration in research and teaching.
  • Identify and eliminate existing barriers.
  • Develop a financial model that encourages cooperation.
  • Increase space for teaching and research to accommodate needs, particularly in the strategic alliance areas.

Align educational programs to prepare students for the 21st century

Our undergraduates will develop expertise in at least one field, and acquire familiarity with other disciplines. In particular, Case Western Reserve University will:

  • Encourage the lifelong habits of mind that lead to understanding.
    • Inspire students to view education as more than the acquisition of skills and credentials, but rather preparation for engaged, thoughtful participation in all aspects of their lives.
    • Eliminate administrative and financial barriers to ease students’ exploration of multiple subjects.
  • Teach students to acquire, evaluate, and apply knowledge.
    • Provide every undergraduate opportunities for active and experiential learning, which can include research, community service, civic engagement, or international experiences.
    • Develop a Center on the Learning Experience to coordinate and enhance activities.
  • Organize learning experiences in ethics for all students.
    • Charge the Inamori International Center for Ethics and Excellence to develop shared learning opportunities in ethics.
    • Encourage the Inamori Center director, in consultation with faculty, to identify a major ethics issue each year and suggest ways faculty, students and staff can address it campuswide.
  • Emphasize innovation and excellence in teaching and mentoring.
    • Structure criteria for faculty promotion and tenure to ensure consideration of innovation and excellence in teaching and mentoring.
    • Better prepare faculty and staff who advise students.

Enhance the international character of the university

Case Western Reserve University enrolls students from more than 70 countries across the globe. Our effectiveness as a modern research university, however, demands that we expand our efforts. Accordingly, we will:

  • Create disciplinary and interdisciplinary programs that address global challenges.
    • Explore collaboration with other institutions in the United States and overseas.
    • Identify and promote international opportunities in each of our strategic alliances.
  • Develop an international scholars program.
    • Provide every student the opportunity for a significant international experience.
    • Support development of courses on internationaltopics, as well as development of language and cultural competency for students before travel.
  • Promote enrollment of high-quality students from other nations, including developing countries.
    • Establish internationalization scholarships.

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