A New Dean at Case

Submitted by Evelyn Kiefer on Wed, 06/28/2006 - 01:40.

You may have read in the PD a few days ago that Mark Turner, Case's Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, resigned. I don't think this story has gotten as much press, but it is big news and not just to the Case community; Case has hired a new dean of undergraduate studies... CASE NAMES NEW DEAN FOR UNDERGRADUATE STUDIES

Jeffrey Wolcowitz, who served as associate dean for undergraduate education at Harvard University and as former associate dean and chief planning officer of Harvard College, has been named dean of undergraduate studies at Case Western Reserve University. He begins his new duties August 1.

"My first order of business will be to listen and learn," said Wolcowitz, who has either been a student, faculty member or administrator at Harvard for 30 years. "It is one thing to read about a university and quite another to see its processes and culture in person and begin to participate in them."

The new dean, Wolcowitz, who was a senior lecturer in economics at Harvard, also will hold the title of adjunct professor of economics at Case. To learn more about this, go to: http://blog.case.edu/case-news/2006/06/27/case_western_reserve_university_names_new_dean_for_undergraduate_studies


I'm very interested in future of Case and so new dean

Thanks for posting this, Evelyn, as I believe you are one of the only members of the Case community who really communicates openly, publicly and on record about the issues and changes at Case, as student and staff, and that is critical to the future of this region.

My two primary associations with Case have been with Economic Development Incorporated (EDI) and the Center for Regional Economic Issues (REI) - two important past community integration initiatives of Case killed by current and recent past leadership - so my personal experiences with Case went from very good to nonexistent, and that is of great concern to me - I'd pursue further studies at Case otherwise. My parents both have advanced degrees from Case (M.D., Masters and Ph.D.) so I would lke to continue the legacy, some day.

If and when that time may come will depend on the success of people like this new dean (an economist), and who Case Trustees select as their new Dean of Arts and Sciences, and their next President, and how they approach development of their physical community, which has historically been a disgrace, and continues trending poorly, with the disintegrated context and design of the new Case dorms and sport facilities that turn a back to East Cleveland, and the even worse plans to uproot the Hessler Street community gardens to complete their assault an an historic neighborhood to build some non-profit studies support building, for which the design is pathetic. On a bright note, Case and UCI chose MRN, LLC, to develop the Triangle and Beach properties on Euclid, preventing the WalMarting of University Circle by Wolstein... and I'm hopeful that UCI President Chris Ronayne will have a good influence on Case development in the future... so I'm hopeful in general.

Regarding incoming Undergrad Dean Wolcowitz, who I would not interact with as a grad student, I look to his current and long term (30 years) home of Harvard for clues on if this is a great leader for Case. I find especially interesting that he is an educator in economics who at Harvard has chosen to continuing teaching, as well as serving as Associate Dean, and leading curriculum review and other aspect of planning. While I studied economics at Tulane we gained new President Eamon Kelly, who had been President of the Ford Foundation, and he likewise was an economist and he chose to teach as well as lead - I took an advanced economics seminar with Dr. Kelly that was extremely insightful and I'm sure Dean Wolcowitz could bring interesting insight of all sorts from his career at the elite of education, from leading at Harvard, and from living in the vibrant Boston-area economy during the last 30 remarkable years of global economic evolution. I hope he really spreads his wings here as a unique educator, and as a community economic development resource, if he is able, as that would be great for the region.

The read I get on Dean Wolcowitz from reviewing postings on him from Harvard is not one of a visionary in economic theory, but of an impactful and effective leader at one of the world's great learning institutions. From the student independent newspaper at Harvard, they report on his role in curriculum review there that he and a peer, Dr. Gross, "occupy rather significant positions in the development of the Review proceedings, which, although not completely opaque, have been descried by some as transparent at best." Of course, the word "transparent" is key, as Case has had significant problems recently that have been attributed to a lack of transparency. On the bright side, for a transparent future at Case, The Harvard Independent reports "students have had the chance to see the two in person, as Gross and Wolcowitz have made the rounds of undergraduate dining halls this semester to field questions concerning the Curricular Review."

Most REALNEO readers probably know Case followed Harvard's lead with the faculty of Arts and Sciences issuing no-confidence votes that removed their respective Presidents. It seems Dean Wolcowitz was  very impacted by that while at Harvard, as he seems to have been harmed by the past administration, several years ago, and then brought forward in key roles to help solve the problems the past President of Harvard left in his wake upon termination. Having such experience at Harvard could well make him a perfect choice as a leader in his fields for Case and for Northeast Ohio. We welcome you, Dean Wolcowitz, to REALNEO.



Introducing Dean Wolcowitz to NEO

Thank you Norm, for your research and insightful comments. I doubt there is a better place than Realneo to get to know Dean Wolcowitz. Knowing more about him and his work at Harvard, I'm definitely excited that he is now part of our community! I'm not sure who the other candidates for the job were, but I can't imagine a better fit.