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February 26, 2007

Interim President Eastwood updates campus community on recommendations of original Branding Task Group, next steps in the branding review process

Dear Friend,

I write to tell you about the recommendations of the Brand Task Group (BTG) that I convened last summer. I believe these recommendations address concerns that you have expressed. Before I arrived in June 2006 and since, as I visited with alumni from both Case Institute of Technology and Western Reserve University, as well as others, I heard much dissatisfaction with the nomenclature and graphic representations of the university. Despite the many opinions and ideas on this subject, one theme came through: The university had misplaced its own history and traditions.

The BTG provided their final report to the Board of Trustees and to me during the recent Board meeting, February 23-24. The Board of Trustees reaffirmed "that there has been no change to the name of the University, which remains Case Western Reserve University" and ratified and supported the recommendations of the BTG. The key recommendation, which honors our historical and traditional roots, is that "The University's official self-identification program should acknowledge Western Reserve as an equal partner with Case and formally represent itself in the market as Case Western Reserve University." The BTG also recommended that "the University should revise or recreate a logo and graphic identity" but continue with branding guidelines that "sustain and reinforce a comprehensive, consistent and recognizable university identity."

In accepting the BTG's recommendations, the Board of Trustees reviewed the extensive research that was done by Lipman Hearne. Guided by the Task Group, Lipman Hearne representatives conducted surveys, one-on-one interviews and focus groups with many campus stakeholders. Alumni, students, staff and faculty were given the opportunity to provide information and express opinions. Their outstanding response to our requests for input was heartening. Thanks to their commitment to the university, we can truly say we have heard from our community. A summary of the results of both the alumni and campus surveys is available on the BTG webpage at http://www.case.edu/president/btg/

In the coming days, the university will form an implementation group comprised of campus–based clients and users of the graphic identity. The group will be charged with developing and instituting a three-month process for the re-creation and adaptation of the university's graphic identity guidelines. Their work will be informed by the recommendations of the BTG and will be facilitated by University Marketing and Communications. Two other key elements will guide the group's work – the graphic and nomenclature solutions proposed must be of minimal cost and must also be consistent with the emerging elements of university-wide and school-based strategic plans. During the time the implementation group is working on new graphics and guidelines, the current logo and mark will be used in accordance with existing policy.

I want to thank all who served on the BTG, but especially the co-chairs, Trustees Ted Schroeder and Tim Callahan. Their dedication to Case Western Reserve University provides a model of commitment for all who care deeply about our university.

Sincerely,

Gregory L. Eastwood, M.D.
Interim President