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April 17, 2014

Administration seeks input on new master plan

By Jordan Gonzalez

Cleveland State University is currently working on a master plan to make improvements to the campus, and is asking students and faculty to voice their opinions on this matter in both online forums and several upcoming meetings.

Cleveland State architects have appointed architectural and planning firm SmithGroupJJR. (see article "Firm seeking feedback on master plan") to assist the university with creating the plan.

Cleveland State provost Deirdre Mageen, in a recent email sent out to faculty, said how Cleveland State implemented its last master “with great success,” noting the Student Center, Recreation Center, Residential Halls, parking facilities, the development of private apartments (the Langston) and Julka Hall – all which were a part of the last master plan.

Mageen said the master plan is necessary to create “context for future investment” at Cleveland State.

“This CSU master planning process will provide us with a context for evaluating proposed projects on or near campus, given our relatively scarce capital and land resources,” Mageen said in the email.

The master plan was discussed at the end of April 9 faculty senate meeting, where the newly-appointed faculty senate representative for the master plan, Dr. Rachel Carnell, professor of English, brought up the topic. There were several questions that were brought up, including questions on the allegedly rushed timeline.

Carnell was surprised she was recommended by the provost’s office since she has no formal training in the subject.

“It’s not that I shouldn’t be doing [the role], it’s just it was very out of the blue for me,” Carnell said. “I’m not in urban planning, I don’t have any training in this yet.”

She said it is unfortunate that “a process that normally takes more than a year” will be condensed into several months, as there is a June 30 deadline for the master plan to be finished.

“The last month and a half of the process will occur after the spring semester ends, when there will be less opportunity for faculty and student input,” she said.

A 20-year Cleveland State faculty member, she also said she has many good qualifications for the job, and she said she is looking forward to working with the rest of the faculty.

“I think it is wonderful that the Provost chose a faculty member whose office is in Rhodes Tower and who teaches many courses in Main Classroom,” Carnell said. “I have a strong sense of students’ discomfort, for example, in the RT elevators, especially in elevator #1, which vibrates.”

Carnell said there will be three meetings that will be occurring from April 24-25 on the subject of the master plan (the meeting times were mentioned in Mageen’s email, too).

The first two meetings will be on April 24 from 10:30-11:30 a.m. for a select group of faculty. This will be followed by an open forum for the public from noon to 1 p.m. in the Main Classroom auditorium. The final meeting, for department chairs, will be held on April 25 from 10:30-11:30 a.m.