Barbara R. Snyder: A Short Biography

Barbara R. Snyder

Barbara R. Snyder became president of Case Western Reserve University on July 1, 2007. A legal scholar who began her academic career on this campus, she returned with a promise to work collaboratively with all constituencies to help the university realize more of its enormous potential.

In Snyder's first two years in office, Case Western Reserve eliminated a multi-million-dollar deficit three years ahead of schedule, set new fundraising records, and completed its first strategic plan in more than a decade. That plan, Forward Thinking, calls on the university to build on existing strengths through interdisciplinary partnerships. It also urges development of a community culture that nurtures the inherent possibility of all of its members—one that is welcoming, inclusive, and committed to transparency and integrity.

As part of initiatives related to the strategic plan, President Snyder in 2008 appointed the university's inaugural Vice President for Inclusion, Diversity and Equal Opportunity, Marilyn S. Mobley, Ph.D. She also led the overhaul of the university's Conflict of Interest policy, along with the revision and web publication of its business policies.

Snyder assumed the Case Western Reserve presidency after serving as Executive Vice President and Provost of The Ohio State University. Over a four-year period (the first year as interim provost), Snyder took steps to raise OSU's academic stature and improve the quality of life for members of its community. Her initiatives included the Targeted Investments in Education program, which devoted $50 million to support 10 innovative proposals in high-impact areas. Awards ranged from less than $500,000 to more than $11 million, and touched on programs involving Climate, Water and Carbon, Mathematical Biosciences and Music, Media and Enterprise. She championed improved benefits for graduate students, and paid parental leave for faculty, staff and graduate students.

Prior to becoming provost, Snyder served as Vice Provost for Academic Policy and Human Resources and spent seven months as the university's Interim Vice President for University Relations. Her service at Ohio State included serving on the University Promotion and Tenure Committee, chairing the university Athletic Council, and twice serving on the NCAA Certification Committee.

As a professor at OSU's Moritz College of Law, she also served as Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and as Director of the Center for Socio-Legal Studies. In 1997, the school's third-year students voted to give Snyder the College of Law Outstanding Professor Award. She held the Joanne W. Murphy / Classes of 1965 and 1973 Professorship.

Snyder joined OSU's Moritz College of Law in 1988, after spending five years as a professor at Case Western Reserve's School of Law. She joined CWRU after serving as an associate at the Sidley & Austin law firm in Chicago. She graduated from the University of Chicago Law School, where she served as executive editor of its law review, and earned her bachelor's degree from Ohio State.

Her husband is Michael J. Snyder, who earned his Master's in Business Administration from the Weatherhead School of Management. They have three adult children.