Letter to the Editor

Diversity is a core value at Case Western Reserve. It is an area where the university has made significant progress in recent years, and one where we are committed to make even greater gains in the future. Because of the importance of this issue to our campus, last week’s editorial in The Observer requires correction and clarification.

First, we want to define terminology. Diversity at Case Western Reserve encompasses factors well beyond race and ethnicity. In the realm of undergraduate admissions, additional diversity considerations include socioeconomic status, academic and extracurricular interests, and geography. The phrase underrepresented minority applicants refers to those who are African American, American Indian or Alaskan Native, Hispanic, and Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander.

The university’s electronic newsletter, The Daily, reported Jan. 24 that the number of applicants for the Class of 2017 from underrepresented minority groups climbed by 21 percent over the previous year. The numbers to support that figure are 2,473 (for the Class of 2018) and 2,052 (for the Class of 2017). For the two years previous to those, the numbers were 1,769 (for the Class of 2016) and 1,451 (for the Class of 2015).

We provide extensive longitudinal enrollment data regarding race and ethnicity, geography and school on the Office of Institutional Research website http://www.case.edu/president/cir/enrollmain.html. The site also includes detailed information regarding that year’s entering undergraduate class.

Finally, The Observer editorial cites two other examples of what it calls “selective transparency.” The university announced the Interim Sexual Misconduct Policy Aug. 18, and it has been available for review and comment since then at http://www.case.edu/diversity/. Last month the university announced the availability of a survey for structured comment, and gave the community 10 days to respond. As reported on page 2 of the same issue of The Observer, two senior university officials met with the Undergraduate Student Government Feb. 4 to hear comment on the policy. This meeting is one of many that have been held throughout the academic year. The second example references Provost W.A. “Bud” Baeslack’s annual forums regarding tuition. That spring event offers information and an opportunity to comment about tuition rates for the following academic year—not the semester when the forum is held.

We welcome discussions about diversity on our campus, and look forward to additional dialogue in the future.

Rick Bischoff
Vice President for Enrollment Management

Editor’s Note: This letter to the editor is in response to last week’s editorial, titled “Selective transparency stains Snyder’s administration.” The editorial in question can be found online. Readers may also find The Observer‘s response here. —Kyle Patterson, Director of Web & Multimedia