CASE Votes No-confidence in President Hundert and Provost Anderson

Submitted by Evelyn Kiefer on Fri, 03/03/2006 - 09:15.

The faculty of the College of Arts and Sciences at Case Western Reserve University has rendered a non-binding vote for no confidence in President Edward M. Hundert, M.D., and a separate vote for no confidence in Provost John L. Anderson during a special meeting today at Amasa Stone Chapel on the Case campus.

The final vote tally was 131-44 for no confidence in the president and 97-68 for no confidence in the provost, according to David Singer, professor of mathematics, who chaired the meeting.

The meeting was called by the Executive Committee of the College of Arts and Sciences in response to a petition by at least 10 percent of the faculty who had asked for the vote.

"The opinions of all of our faculty are important to me. I am grateful for the strong expressions of support I have received regarding the direction of the university, and have also learned from the criticism I have heard," Hundert said following the meeting. "John [Anderson, Provost and University Vice President] and I are resolved to lead Case; we are committed to meeting the challenges that face us. With the continued input of faculty, students, staff and alumni, together we will make the necessary decisions to build an even stronger university now and for the future."

The College of Arts and Sciences is one of eight schools at Case. The College is composed of 221 full-time faculty, or 8.8 percent of the total of 2,523 full-time faculty university-wide.  A total of 175 faculty, or 79 percent, from arts and sciences participated in the vote.

"Case is a strong university, built on discussion and debate. The Board is aware of and listens to the many voices on campus. As an alumnus and Chair of the Board, I am proud that Case is challenging itself to become a greater university," said Frank N. Linsalata, chair of Case's Board of Trustees. "The Board and I support President Hundert and Provost Anderson. We are committed to working with the leadership team and the rest of the Case community to resolve the budget issues and other challenges before us."

Anderson, Case's provost and university vice president since April 2004, stressed the importance of a unified effort in the wake of the vote and as the university works toward a balanced budget for fiscal year 2007.

"Now that the faculty have met, it is more important than ever for this university to come together," Anderson said. "We have known we were going to have a budget challenge ahead of us, and we can and will meet it. I look forward to further discussion on this and other matters. While I cannot guarantee that we will always agree with constituents of the university, we will always listen."

(this sent in an email yesterday afternoon to all CASE faculty, staff and student)

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Tale of two Cases in transition

I went to a university very much like Case, but in New Orleans - Tulane - and recently got the alumni magazine describing the post-Katrina changes the President of Tulane has had to make in response to having been wiped out in a hurricane, in a city and region wiped out by a hurricane. Massize change - eliminating the School of Engineering, Computer Science, it seems like dozens of departments - releasing 100s of faculty. All this lead by the former dean of the Case Business school, I believe. To plan the complete reinvention of Tulane he formed a board of other university presidents and other really world-class outside leaders - he didn't go it alone - and he is being very open in his communication with me - and alumni - and I suspect he's doing a good job communication with whoever is left at the university. Heroic, masterful effort.

 

New Orleans was wiped out overnight, and will never be the same again, so Tulane, which had very little damage, will still never be the same. Cleveland and our region has been going through slower change, but in some ways that are as dramatic as New Orleans. I don't see the current CASE administration and leadership being as inclusive with the community as Tulane.

 

In fact, Tulane is reinventing itself in many ways to be a perfect fit with the needs of its city and region, and making that a distinctive competency.  Case could do the same - right now, Case has very low profile of engagement with the community. I suggest the Case Administration take this vote as their primary current indicator of the health of their university, and it is too poor to sustain. So the Board must take the serious steps of firing Hundert, which they do not want to do, or the Board must demonstrate great leadership themselves. One or the other or ideally all must now get off campus and hit the streets of NEO rallying enthusiastic support for Case - in the process, they can build a better institution. I don't see any inidication they will... but they may.

CASE Leaders Need to Think as Part of NEO First

From my perspective I do see CASE as having very little engagement with the city and the region. I have been part of the CASE community for approximately 7 years as a graduate student, a research assistant and staff member. There may be programs here that are very successfully involved, but I am unaware of them. The "ivory tower" university model hurts everyone. A lot of what we do here has a feeling of detachment from the real word. If programs were shaped by the needs and assets of our region students would n't be as inclined to question what is the purpose of what I am studying and do I do with my degree? They would already know and experience the rewards of contributing to society.

In some ways improving, in some ways unclear...

I agree Case is not well integrated into the community - we could do much better opening up all University Circle assets to the community, and that is a major opportunity ahead.

 

East Cleveland is working with Case and UCI on a complete trsnaformation of their relationships and so the integration of important neighbors. Case has already been working hard to meld with other adjoining neighbors, even as demonstrating little sensitivity to enighbors in design of facilities, like the now housing around E.115...

 

With Chris Ronayne in charge at UCI, major change ahead with Case, the museum community and CIA, among dozens of involved institutions, all working more closely together, new mayors in East Cleveland and Cleveland... acres to develop just in UCI alone... everything about this corner of NEO is in flux, and it is up to people like Krauss, and Hundert, and Ronayne, and YOU and ME to all be part of the planning process.

 

I'm posting my thoughts - feel free to comment and add your own - get others engaged.