CIM is in a period of remarkable success. With the help of our stakeholders, we have made tremendous strides towards CIM’s shared goal to remove financial barriers for our students, enabling them to thrive in their careers, and ensuring that the institute continues to prosper for years to come.

Recently, there has been a significant amount of misleading information circulating about CIM. We are disappointed by this and, as it has begun to affect our students, it is necessary for us to respond to ensure that our many supporters have an accurate representation of the claims that have been made.


MYTH: Faculty decide if and when administrators or their peers are fired from CIM.

FACT: As with all institutions of higher education, hiring and firing decisions are and will remain a fully administrative function at CIM. However, the president (who serves at the pleasure of the board) and provost continue to welcome, embrace, and seek the input of the faculty in hiring decisions. In fact, two years ago, the provost, dean and 13 faculty members reviewed and updated CIM’s faculty hiring procedures to ensure robust faculty participation during the search committee process. As the faculty senate is an advisory body, authorized by the CIM Board of Trustees, they will not make hiring and firing decisions on behalf of CIM.

 

MYTH: Former Title IX Officer Vivian Scott was fired to silence those reporting allegations.

FACT: In 2022, CIM and the Cleveland Institute of Art hired a Title IX officer as a resource shared between the two organizations. CIM is not immune to the financial challenges facing educational institutions and, regrettably, found that this approach to a dedicated Title IX employee at CIM was not sustainable. In July 2023, CIM made the difficult decision to eliminate several positions (including the dedicated Title IX position) and restructure 15% of the administrative staff. The restructuring decision was made as part of the Institute’s moonshot vision, investing in the preservation of CIM’s exceptional training environment for its students, while continuing to ensure that cost is not a barrier to their education. A valued CIM employee has assumed Title IX responsibilities as part of CIM’s organizational restructuring, and robust Title IX training, education and reporting mechanisms remain in place.

 

MYTH: CIM faculty and students had no input and did not advocate for the hiring of Carlos Kalmar.

FACT: Throughout the four-year search process, CIM leadership benefited from the advice and counsel of two iterations of search committees, including 10 faculty members, two administrators and two trustees, as well as wide-ranging student surveys. Ultimately, the feedback and encouragement sought from and provided by members of the search committee, student body, staff and board of trustees informed the hiring decision.

Following Mr. Kalmar’s guest engagement with the CIM orchestra in 2021, faculty, search committee members, students, staff and trustees expressed resolute support for the hiring of Mr. Kalmar, as is corroborated by email and text transcripts of their endorsements.

When negotiations began with Mr. Kalmar, CIM orchestra faculty leadership—many of whom served on the search committees—again expressed support for his hire, including the comments, “Great news! Thank you to everyone who helped make this happen...This is indeed very exciting news for the future of our orchestral program and the school altogether.”

As is the case with any extended search process, some individuals preferred other candidates. However, CIM students, faculty, staff, trustees, and search committee members were overwhelmingly positive in the feedback they provided to CIM’s leadership about Mr. Kalmar during the search process.

 

MYTH: CIM is not an educationally sound institution and is not moving in the right direction.

FACT: Over the past seven years, CIM has experienced a significant and continuing transformation toward its moonshot vision to provide students with a tuition-free education and reduce the size of the conservatory to ensure its long-term success.

Under President Hogle’s and Provost Harrison’s leadership, CIM has made tremendous strides toward its goal of becoming tuition-free by the end of this decade, while continuing to create exceptional educational opportunities to prepare students for the future.

Hired in 2016, President Hogle was immediately tasked by the board of trustees to institutionalize remedies for significant issues that threatened CIM’s accreditation, which emerged following a Higher Learning Commission (HLC) review in 2015. Since that time, HLC (an independent corporation that accredits degree-granting post-secondary educational institutions) has repeatedly lauded CIM’s efforts to remediate areas of concern. 

Under Hogle’s leadership, CIM passed a comprehensive institutional accreditation review (2018); and, in 2022, HLC commended the work of CIM’s provost and the vice president and dean of the institute for their continued efforts to ensure students are advancing.

CIM has also experienced unprecedented success throughout the institution, including historic fundraising gifts and tremendous endowment growth; student and alumni professional achievements; world-class artists appointed to its faculty; partnerships with renowned institutions; and programs expanding access to musical opportunity, instruction and support for underserved communities. Learn more about the CIM Advantage.

 

MYTH: CIM’s senior leadership has repeatedly ignored student concerns.

FACT: Both student concerns and positive feedback are regularly sought and elevated to CIM leadership, to help ensure the organization continues to provide its students with exceptional educational opportunities in a safe and healthy environment. A student representative on the board of trustees also ensures that student sentiments are represented at the highest level of CIM leadership.  

Administrative leaders present students with frequent opportunities to provide feedback through regular meetings between the provost, academic leadership and student government leaders, who listen to and address concerns quickly, whenever possible. Anonymous student survey feedback, meetings and forums have led to significant scheduling and logistical changes to the orchestra 2.0 program, as well as changes to recital scheduling, practice room access, collaborative piano assignments, procedures and policies for gender inclusivity, wellness programming and access to counseling services.

In addition, the provost holds open office hours twice weekly; a second career advisor was added; student group funding has increased; and the Student Affairs and Services team has been reorganized to consolidate staff and increase resources that serve students, including 24/7 access to virtual mental health care resources, expedited access to crisis counseling at CWRU, and a variety of preventative physical and mental wellness activities designed for the performing musician via CIM 360. There is always room for improvement in our efforts, and CIM is committed to continually evaluating and enhancing the ways we serve our students.


Historic philanthropic support.

Exceptional alumni and student success.

Partnerships with world-class organizations.

Expanded access to musical opportunity, instruction and support for underserved communities.

The future is bright at the Cleveland Institute of Music. Learn more about the CIM Advantage.