CLEVELAND—In a surprising public announcement Tuesday, Case Western Reserve University has announced that the university will be taking academic year 2017-2018 off. The decision to take a gap was reached unanimously and independently by every faculty, staff and administration employee.
Some employees supported the move so they could unwind from the stresses of collegiate education and recharge. Others were excited to travel to foreign locales like the White Cliffs of Dover, the back streets of Singapore or Mather Quad. Many faculty cited the ability to really reflect on all the biochemistry, nursing, philosophy and everything else learned so far in the 2016-2017 academic year as the primary reason to take a gap year.
President Barbara R. Snyder explained what drove her own personal support for the decision: “We see other universities like Carnegie Mellon University or California Institute of Technology taking the traditional path and going straight into the new school year. But that’s just not for us. The narrow, sheltered world of Cleveland can only prepare you for so much, so we wanted a chance to expand our perspectives and discover who we want to be before college starts again.”
After the Faculty Senate proposed the resolution on April 23 to take the gap year, the entire University unanimously upheld the decision in a rushed vote last Tuesday.
Promptly after the decision, admissions rescinded the acceptances of the entire class of 2022.
“It’s not that we thought that it would be a tremendous mistake to accept the class as is,” explained Bob McCullough, Director of Undergraduate Admission. “We just wanted time to focus on relaxation and personal growth to better form our identity before taking on the rigors of a first-year class.”
Finally, Director of University Financial Aid Venus Puliafico explained that the move would also benefit the university fiscally, as it could take the year to set aside money to not spend on student financial aid.