CWRU President Barbara Snyder Stepping Down Later This Year

Feb 3, 2020
Originally published on February 3, 2020 4:02 pm

Case Western Reserve University President Barbara Snyder will step down later this year to lead the Association of American Universities.

Snyder is expected to leave Case Western after more than 12 years sometime this fall, but the university said the transition depends on the nationwide search for a new president, to be conducted by trustee Fred DiSanto, who will also become board chairman in June.

"Barbara Snyder arrived at a university facing significant debt, disaffected alumni, and deep concern about its future,” DiSanto said in a Monday press release. “Today we can point to solid finances, record-breaking fundraising, and breakthroughs in research and academic partnerships that have drawn national acclaim. I am confident that Case Western Reserve today is in a position to attract a broad range of outstanding candidates for its presidency.”

Snyder raised $1.82 billion for capital improvements, according to the university, nearly doubling the $1 billion goal, and oversaw construction of 11 new buildings and renovation projects.

Average SAT and ACT scores for incoming classes rose during Snyder's tenure and proportion of underrepresented minority students increased from 8 to nearly 20 percent.

“The opportunity to serve as Case Western Reserve’s president has been the greatest professional privilege of my life,” Snyder said in the release. “But at a time when higher education itself faces such profound challenges across so many fronts, I felt an obligation to answer my peers’ call to work on behalf of all of our institutions.”

The school also highlighted Snyder's work in developing partnerships with the Cleveland Clinic to develop the Health Education Campus; with the Cleveland Museum of Art in its re-launch of a joint doctoral program in art history; and with The Temple-Tifereth Israel, helping acquire and restore its historic Cleveland structure for use as performance spaces.

“Barbara’s impact on this university has been so broad and deep that we will not understand the full extent of her legacy for years and perhaps decades to come,” said current board chairman James Wyant. “Her energy, integrity, and powerful commitment to collaboration have led to progress and partnerships that would have been unimaginable when she first arrived.”

Snyder heads to the AAU, which represents 65 leading research institutions, two in Canada. 

“I am delighted that the board selected Barbara to lead AAU into our next chapter,” said Michael McRobbie, AAU board chair and president of Indiana University. “She has extensive experience in reinforcing Case Western Reserve’s credentials as both a highly regarded research institution and as a place where undergraduate and graduate students alike receive a world-class education. She also understands AAU and the broader university and scientific communities well; Barbara is a perfect fit.”

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