Case & REI - Case University and their Center for Regional Economic Issues
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Rest in Peace,
President Hundert Speaks at Graduate Student Senate Meeting
Submitted by Evelyn Kiefer on Thu, 03/09/2006 - 18:42.
Thursday at 12:15 p.m. Case President Edward Hundert and Provost John Anderson spoke to graduate students after a graduate student senate meeting. Hundert began by thanking the group of approximately 40 students for giving him the opportunity to answer their questions and address their concerns.
Case Provost, John Anderson
Hundert discussed several important issues; the reason for the budget deficit, actions being taken to reduce the deficit, and long term goals for the University.
In 2002/2003 the University began an agressive investment campaign that necessitated working with a budget deficit. When Hundert first came to the University many forums were held to find out what people wanted for the future of Case. Two ideas dominated the forums: the need for greater national visibility and the need to take greater risks because Case had long been under invested. Hunderts administration made investments like hiring many new faculty (Hundert said the new chair of the art history department, Charles Burroughs, was a major hire), building new dorms and acquiring the Triangle property. While these investments have made Case strong in intellectual capital, Case is week in financial capital. Of Case's 4 sources of income: endowment, tuition, unrestricted philanthropy, and research, two sources of income did not meet expectations. Expected income from research and philanthropy have fallen short for various unforeseen reasons. Despite this the deficit is still close to what was planned for this year in 2002/2003.
To make up for the shortfall, 17 million is being cut from central administrative costs. Hundert explained that he wants to cut only what is "not core to the student experience."
Some may question why the University is using credit when it has an endowment of over one billion; Hundert explained that the endowment earns significantly higher interest (12-15%) than the interest on the debt (3-4%) therefore paying the deficit with the endowment would not make financial sense.
While most would not argue that the intentions are good; Case needed to invest for the future and a stronger presence on the world stage is necessary, some students voiced concern in the way achieving those large goals effects more intimate aspects of the University. Case's Shakespeare scholar, Tom Bishop is leaving and will not be replaced. English majors are understandabley upset and feel that the new cognitive science department is being favored. The Dean of Arts and Sciences, Mark Turner, is a cognivitive scientist who was hired to develop this department. Hundert explained that it is up to the departments to decide what positions to fill with the funds that are available (essentially, it is not his decision whether Case has a Shakespeare scholar or not).
Hundert's response to the no confidence vote is to build relationships person by person. He stated that his goal for a year from now is that no one would think of having a no confidence vote. Hundert said he met with Lawrence Krauss the professor who initiated the no confidence vote on Sunday and had a productive meeting. He joked that it is very hard to get good news printed in the press. The Plain Dealer has been receiving daily updates from Hundert's office, but they chose not to run the information about Hundert and Krauss's meeting.
Although I was impressed by President Hundert and found the discussion informative, I was disappointed by the low turnout for this important and well publicized event. Drawing only 40 graduate students , in a university where 2/3 of the student body are graduate students is pathetic. Earlier in the week I was surprised that many of the students I spoke to knew very little about the no confidence vote and had not even read about it in the newspaper. Case students seem to be on the way to making Case the most uninformed, lazy and apathetic learning environment in the world.
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