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A Sense of Community: A Message from the Dean

During my first three years as dean, I have been especially gratified to see so many of our alumni reaffirm their connection to the College of Arts and Sciences. Their involvement and support remind us that we must think of the "university community" in the broadest possible terms. That community is multigenerational. It has members in every state and in countries throughout the world. It includes many thousands of people whose lives have been shaped by the education they received at Case Western Reserve and its predecessor institutions.

When I talk with our alumni, they are always eager to hear about the latest achievements of our current faculty and students—achievements that are never in short supply. They share my excitement over the initiatives set forth in our strategic plan. Naturally, however, they are concerned about the college's prospects in these difficult economic times.

We have all read about severe budget cuts in higher education. Having examined the situations of our peer institutions, I can tell you that I would not change places with the dean of arts and sciences at any other major research university. Recognizing the possibility of an economic downturn, the college has been running small operating surpluses for several years. As a result, we had reserves on hand when stock values started to fall.

We do expect to face financial challenges in the near term, driven by a decline in payouts from our endowment. But if we proceed wisely, the college can address these challenges and emerge from the global economic crisis with even greater preeminence than before.

The support of our alumni and friends will be more critical than ever as we seek to maintain the quality of research, education and student life in the college and to realize the vision articulated in our strategic plan. The achievements celebrated in this issue of art/sci remind us why these goals are so compelling.

Cyrus C. Taylor
Dean and Albert A. Michelson Professor in Physics

Photo: Robert Muller Footer