CLEVELAND — Case Western Reserve University will soon be looking for a new president. 

On Monday, CWRU President Barbara Snyder announced that she will be departing to take over leadership of the Association of American Universities (AAU), which represents the 63 leading research universities in the U.S., plus two in Canada. 

Snyder will join the AAU by the end of the fall 2020 semester. 

“The opportunity to serve as Case Western Reserve’s president has been the greatest professional privilege of my life,” Snyder said in a statement released by Case Western Reserve. “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.”

Under Snyder's leadership, Case Western Reserve was able to establish key partnerships with Cleveland Clinic, the Cleveland Museum of Art, and with The Temple-Tifereth Israel. The university also exceeded its capital campaign fundraising goal by raising $1.82 billion dollars. The funds were able to help complete the construction of 11 new buildings and renovation projects.

Case Western Reserve’s Board of Trustees chair James C. Wyant said that Fred DiSanto—an alumnus and trustee who begins his term as board chair this June—will lead a national search for Snyder's successor. The university has retained Spencer Stuart to assist in their search. 

“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,” Wyant said. “Her energy, integrity, and powerful commitment to collaboration have led to progress and partnerships that would have been unimaginable when she first arrived.”

The precise timing of Snyder’s fall transition to the AAU will depend on the progress of the search process. DiSanto said that he would provide additional updates regarding the search process later this month. 

The AAU’s members include such public flagship institutions as UCLA, University of Michigan, and the University of Virginia, as well as private ones including Harvard, Yale, MIT, Stanford and Johns Hopkins University. In addition to Case Western Reserve, all of the members of the University Athletic Association are part of the AAU.

I am delighted that the board selected Barbara to lead AAU into our next chapter,” said AAU board chair Michael McRobbie, who is also the 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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