The Cleveland Stater is published online and in print by students enrolled in the School of Communication at Cleveland State University.
The Innerlink: A CLASS Publication
Since starting as president of Cleveland State University, Dr. Michael Schwartz has said that, “the giant is about to wake up.” In his eight years as president, Schwartz created quite the commotion in that giant’s back yard.
The giant he refers to, of course, is the university. It was no easy task to open up the giant’s lair and let the light of day shine in, but Schwartz somehow found a way to do it. Through academic, aesthetic and attitudinal overhauls, Schwartz made waves throughout the city of Cleveland and the northeast Ohio region.
In his last stint as a university president, he went toe-to-toe with a state government that has repeatedly slashed the higher education budget, forcing our state universities to continually raise tuition. Schwartz never stood for that, indicating that every time the university raises its tuition, it prices another student out of the higher education market.
Some of us came to CSU because of the low tuition and proximity to our homes. Before we knew who Michael Schwartz was, we saw evidence of his work and his vision.
Friendly staff, helpful signage and professors who not only teach their own classes, but care about the material and their students populate Cleveland State. Michael Schwartz had a large hand in making that happen in the five years prior to my arrival. He also led the charge to imbue the university with fundamental elements that have made it easy for us to genuinely love this university and all that it stands for.
Most of the time, Schwartz is credited for all of the new buildings that are going up on campus. We don’t want him to be remembered solely as a builder of physical things. Schwartz is a builder of pride, confidence and a sense of identity in an institution, a mission and a set of ideals. These are things Cleveland State has lacked for years, but no longer will that be the case.
However, it should also be noted that Schwartz couldn’t do these things alone. Many people have trusted in his vision and his leadership and are still hard at work making those things more real every day.
Today, our faculty is changing the world through innovative research and outstanding teaching. Our fellow students and I are poised for much of the same. Even our sports teams and other athletics caught the spark and are starting to blaze their own trails, bolstering our national identity and visibility. People aren’t just here because they have to be; they’re here because they want to be and that speaks volumes.
When speaking of Schwartz, it’s easy to get lost in talking about the university rather than the man himself. We think that’s the way he’d prefer it to be and is clear evidence of the success his tenure has brought.
The colossus that has the power to lift the city on its shoulders and carry it into the next era is now prepared to tackle that challenge. This is truly an exciting time to be at Cleveland State and no longer will it remain a well-kept secret.
To harp on an administrative cliché, the state of Cleveland depends on Cleveland State. If Schwartz didn’t wake that giant up during his eight years, we don’t know what will.
Editor’s Note: Vince Fratiani wrote this editorial on behalf of The Stater.
Journalist's mission: To present the facts, tell the truth
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