About Think Big

Think Big is the strategic plan of Case Western Reserve University. Completed in the fall of 2019, Think Big was developed using a robust and inclusive planning process that depended on broad engagement from the entire university community. Using input from hundreds of meetings, events, surveys and forums, Think Big outlines a new vision, or North Star, for the university. To help reach that North Star, the university community also identified four guiding pathways and associated objectives and measures. Read on to discover more about Think Big.

Who are We? 

Case Western Reserve University, is a high-impact, comprehensive research institution enriched by educational and cultural assets. But we aspire to do more, and to be greater. Through meetings, and reading, and thinking, and learning about each other, we realized that any strategic planning effort has to deal with reconciling and improving our linked and shared sense of self by crafting deep cultural improvements and better tethering our community—carving a vision that gets us to a place where we can see ourselves as ONE Case Western Reserve University, guided by our North Star.

Our North Star

Case Western Reserve is
a high-impact research university
that aspires to be a community
where humanity, science and technology meet
to create a just and thriving world

Learn more about the North Star statement.

Defining our Identity: The Agora Metaphor

A drawing of Agora, courtesy of the Mary Evans Picture Library.

This notion of ONE Case Western Reserve University is found in a place with ancient roots. A common meeting space defined by debate, democracy, philosophy and incredible forward movement in our understanding of the human condition. Agora captures the essence of what it means to have all disciplines meet for the purpose of advancing humanity. We strive to create the agora of the future, one that is inclusive and focused on the critical issues of our time. We are pioneers of Agora Academics

Agora Academics: Pathways to Success

With culture and community identified as core issues, we then looked to find four critical areas for investment that will help lead us toward our North Star.  These four areas are best conceived of as pathways that will guide decision-making and prioritization.  While these pathways can stand alone, they are more impactful as they intersect, enabling the full impact of Agora Academics that is unique to CWRU.

Aerial view of CWRU campus
Ignite Interdisciplinarity

Become known across the world as a leader in interdisciplinary research and education.

Technology and a human hand.
Integrate Humanity and Technology

Define the next level of understanding and knowledge creation at the intersection of humanity and technology.

A group of people talking
Achieve Social Impact

Foster social good through robust engagement of undergraduate and graduate students, faculty, staff and alumni with the local and global community.

Students walk in front of the Kelvin Smith Library.
Shape the Agora

Build a respectful, diverse and effective university community.