A big investment in science and engineering, at last.
The last new building to rise on Case Quad, Nord Hall, opened nearly 25 years ago. Before Nord, you have to go back to 1969 and the dedication of Crawford Hall to recall a towering investment in science and engineering at Case Western Reserve.
That’s one reason plans for a new flagship on Case Quad are so refreshing. An investment in a research building for the Case School of Engineering and the College of Arts and Sciences is sorely needed and overdue.
In an interview with Case Alumnus and think[box] Radio, University President Eric Kaler shares his vision for a $300 million complex that will feature flexible labs, state of the art equipment, and workspace for up to 100 principal investigators.
Many of Case’s peer institutions already have such a building, as do schools not even up to our standards. What took so long? Kaler suggests a vaunted research university may have grown complacent and rested too long on its laurels. Of course, he also inherited a university in far stronger financial shape than the one Barbara Snyder assumed command of in 2007. Kaler can thank Snyder for putting CWRU in a position to launch an exciting capital project focused on research. And we can thank Kaler for moving full speed ahead.
The Interdisciplinary Science and Engineering Building, as it’s being called, is scheduled to open in fall of 2026. Much planning and fundraising awaits between now and then. But with Kaler, you get the impression it’s going to happen. He moves like the engineer he is, collecting facts, making assessments, and adopting action plans.
He’s proposing more than a new building. Kaler wants to expand the research investment by $200 million. Why? Because he thinks he can. He grew the research enterprise at the University Minnesota, he notes. And he’s going have handsome new labs to attract new faculty and to outfit the world-class researchers already here.
Kaler’s early moves herald exciting times for Case—and it’s high time for that.
Robert L. Smith