Update on changes to undergraduate support and advising

Dear Case Western Reserve University Faculty and Staff:

I write with an update on our continued work on the changes we are making to our undergraduate student support and advising. As I noted in my last communication, we are working to simplify our systems by bringing our student support activities into one office, the Division of Student Affairs. The new VP for Student Affairs, who we are recruiting, will set the metrics, provide coordinated oversight, and oversee a structure with clear roles and responsibilities that is easy to understand for students, faculty and staff.

We have listened to feedback from across the university, and I want to thank all of you for your thoughtful input and perspective. This is key as we build a new and improved structure.

While we continue to design the new structure, I would like to update you on our progress:

  • We have prioritized designing the components of the professional advising office (name TBD). This office of professional experts will provide services and support as currently delivered by staff from Undergraduate Studies, Student Advancement (Navigators), and International Affairs. We hope to soon communicate more about the positions that will be created as part of the office for those interested in transitioning to the new structure.
    • We are also working on how the staff in this office will interact with pre-major advising and major advising in the schools and college.
  • We are designing a customer service function that will be physically housed in the VP for Student Affairs' suite for both calls and walk-ins, as well as a related website where faculty, staff and students can direct any student-related question.
  • The next phase of our work is to transition non-advising functions (undergraduate research, career planning, study abroad, etc.) into the Division of Student Affairs.

We anticipate rolling out changes in phases, with the final phase completed by July 1. I will continue to provide updates.

In closing, I appreciate that this change brings uncertainty, and I am grateful for your support as we design a structure that better serves our students.

Ben Vinson III
Provost and Executive Vice President