University appoints new Senior Vice President of Administration


Courtesy Elizabeth Keefer

Elizabeth Keefer previously served as general counsel to the university before her promotion.

University General Counsel Elizabeth Keefer has undertaken the additional role of senior vice president of administration. She replaced John Wheeler, who announced his retirement in December.

Keefer will continue her duties in the legal office for the university while carrying out more administrative responsibilities. This includes the supervision of the human resources department and management of campus planning and facilities.

“The areas for which I have taken on administrative responsibility are areas I know quite a bit about, having supported John Wheeler and his team as the general counsel,” Keefer said.

Keefer believes that her new position as senior vice president of administration will require a more comprehensive understanding of university policies, programs and offices. The new position will also require her involvement in more policy discussions.

“It is going to be demanding, and I am likely to be working with many more stakeholders on each issue, but I am excited to roll up my sleeves and be part of the process,” Keefer said.

Keefer first came to Case Western Reserve University in 2011 to assume the position of general counsel. She has extensive career experience working with legal matters at a variety of institutions.

Keefer previously served as general counsel at Columbia University for several years after working at a private law practice. She then worked as a legal adviser for the U.S. Department of State and, afterwards, as a deputy under secretary in the U.S. Air Force. Before coming to CWRU, Keefer also worked at TMG Strategies, a nationwide consulting firm.

“I learned something at every job, and I think the variety has given me a healthy understanding of organizations and what makes them work,” Keefer said.

Keefer says that working in higher education is a dynamic and stimulating experience that involves mingling with bright, creative and energetic people.

“I love the challenges of a research university, which is an intellectually and administratively complex place,” Keefer said. “At CWRU specifically, you can also feel the energy and a growing sense of accomplishment at all levels.”

“I hope I can continue to be part of the momentum that was in full swing when I got here,” she added. “I hope that I can contribute to sustaining that momentum.”