December 7, 2015

Housing, bus stop focuses Faculty Senate

Cleveland State University’s nomination to a state commission and the erection of new student housing were major agenda issues during the December Faculty Senate agenda.

The meeting, which took place on Wednesday, Dec. 2, saw President Ronald M. Berkman sharing a swell of major university-related updates. The most prominent was his announcement of Cleveland State’s presence on Ohio Gov. John Kasich’s Capital Funding Commission.

The commission handles management of the state’s roughly $350 million higher education operating budget, and is comprised of eight college and university presidents.

“We are going through an exercise similar to the one we went through two years ago,” Berkman said, “in which responsibility of budget allocation and recommendations for allocation will be given to a commission of [university] presidents.”

Each member will help determine funding and set policy for the state’s entire operating budget, of which 50 percent is tied directly to graduation rates. The University of Cincinnati, Ohio University and Miami University are the three remaining four-year institutions that will sit with Cleveland State on the commission. Four community college presidents will also serve on the commission.

During the meeting, Berkman also shared news of the Jewish Federation Building’s demolition, which will be the site of additional student housing. The structure, which housed the Jewish Federation of Cleveland until 2010, sits at the corner of Euclid Avenue and East 18th Street.

The property will be leveled Saturday, Dec. 12 and replaced with a privately owned 500-bed apartment structure. A single-story, 215 space parking structure will be built on the Prospect Avenue side of the property. The projected completion date is September 2017.

The campus can expect construction for a new Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority structure to begin this winter as well. According to Student Government Association President Emily Halasah, who spoke at the meeting, GCRTA is erecting a new bus shelter on the corner on East 22nd Street and Euclid Avenue.

Several bus lines, including Cleveland State’s own sponsored route, stop at this location. The shelter will feature heat lamps and provide a space for student riders who now wait under and around the main classroom garage.

Discussion at the senate meeting also suggests students can look forward to a modification in the multi-term registration process, as well as how internship credit is granted.

Cleveland State Interim Provost Jianping Zhu said the registration process, which rolled out last spring, allowed students to register for courses up to a full year in advance.

Like Cleveland State’s Grad Express Degree Audit, multi-term registration attempts to increase the number of students graduating with their bachelor’s degree within four years. Though many students took advantage of the new process, it presents problems if they fall out of good academic standing.

Those enrolled in courses for future semesters remain registered until the term’s payment or incomplete deadline, closing off classes to other students who may be able to pay and need the course to graduate.
To address the issue, the Provost’s office is changing the dates for the beginning of multi-term registration, providing the opportunity to find a solution to a student’s enrollment ineligibility earlier, and continue to ensure those in good academic eligibility can register.

“While students are still here on campus, advisors and faculty can reach out during the spring if they haven’t registered for the fall,” Zhu said.

The original plan was to release the upcoming schedule to students on CampusNet by Feb. 26 and begin registration on Feb. 28. The dates have been moved up a week to Feb. 12, allowing students and advisors to review course options.

Zhu also noted that the university is studying how internship credit is offered. The growing number of unpaid opportunities and degree programs requiring practical experience presents a dilemma, Zhu said, particularly when students pay for a three-credit hour course, but don’t receive any faculty assistance, meaningful academic experience or pay.

Zhu and Cleveland State University’s Academic Steering Committee are in the early stages of generating potential no-credit and modified credit options for student internships.


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