March 28, 2017

(Editor's Note: March 30, 2017) Some of the information included in the story, “Some CSU programs may face mandatory cuts,” which appears below, needs clarification.

Three parts of the story were unclear.

First, the five programs that need additional supporting material for their continuation as is are: Art History Criticism and Conservation, French Language and Literature, Physics General, Sport and Fitness Administration/Management, and Physical Education Teaching and Coaching.

Second, the evaluating committee recommended six programs be added to the list of continued majors despite duplication. These six programs failed to meet the initial criteria of robust enrollment over a three year-period, 2012 to 2015: African-American/Black Studies, Religion/Religious Studies, Drama and Dramatics/Theatre Arts General, Philosophy, Business/Managerial Economics, and Economics General.

Third, six people made up the program evaluating committee, not the two mentioned by name. These six members are Nigamanth Sridhar, Ph.D., faculty senate president; Jeff Karem, Ph.D., English professor; Marian Bleeke, Ph.D.; art department chair;   Marius Boboc, Ed. D., curriculum and foundations department chair; Peter Meiksins, honors program director; and Barbara Margolius, Ph.D., mathematics professor.  All members of the committee participated in developing a procedure to assess the programs for continuation as is or additional evaluation for possible continuation. 

The Cleveland State board of trustees must approve the final lists of programs for continuation or reevaluation that will be sent to the Ohio Department of Education.

The final decision must be submitted to the state by Dec. 31, 2017.


Some CSU programs may face mandated cuts

Six bachelor’s degree programs at Cleveland State will need further justification to stay at the university under a new report from the Ohio Department of Education (ODHE). These programs are African-American/Black Studies, Religion/Religious Studies, Drama and Dramatics/Theatre Arts, Philosophy, Business/Managerial Economics, and Economics.

At the Cleveland State University faculty senate meeting Wednesday, March 8, members discussed a duplicate program report based on the possibility that the state is cutting programs offered at more than one public university in the region. Cleveland State, the University of Akron, Kent State University and Youngstown State University make up one group.

ODHE requested that each university review the list of undergraduate programs and divide them into two lists. List One should include programs that the university decided to keep as normal even if it’s being offered at the other state universities in the region.

List Two should include programs that need further review before the university makes a final decision to continue it as normal, create a joint program with another state university, or suspend it.

The original list of duplicate programs from ODHE was sent to Cleveland State’s board of trustees, and it is the board that must approve finalized List One and List Two and send them back to the state. It is the faculty senate that must collaborate and rationalize why duplicated programs are good for the students and the state, and answer questions from the board for a finalized version.

A committee was put together by the faculty senate to review Cleveland State’s list of duplicate programs and decided on recommendations that decide if a program should continue normally.

Jeff Karem, Ph.D., an English professor at Cleveland State, and Nigamanth Sridhar, Ph.D., the faculty senate president, put together Cleveland State’s duplicate programs list. Karem introduced the list at the faculty senate meeting to explain the reasons for it.

Programs on List One will not be affected. The committee made List One of duplicate programs to keep as normal based on the rationale that it graduated 40 or more students over the three-year period of 2012-2015, the time frame given by ODHE to create the duplicate program list. Enrollment numbers show robust matriculation in the program and market demand to keep it in place.

Karem and Sridhar further divided the rest of the duplicate programs that did not meet the benchmark of 40 or more graduates into two lists.

The committee put the six programs that produced fewer than 40 graduating students in the last three years, African-American/Black Studies, Religion/Religious Studies, Drama and Dramatics/Theatre Arts, Philosophy, Business/Managerial Economics, and Economics, in a separate list and decided on four reasons to show the state it is necessary to keep the programs at the university, which would add them to List One. Those reasons are the program: has been identified by Cleveland State as a priority program to invest or enhance; or has made significant efforts to reduce program cost; or has no dedicated program faculty; or has just missed the cut-off line of 40 graduates and has potential to grow above it in the near future.

Of the final 11 programs put on List Two, six have already been suspended or consolidated. Those suspended are Industrial Engineering and Geology/Earth Science. Programs eliminated through consolidation by program prioritization are Printmaking, Sculpture, Painting, and Fine/Studio Arts.

The last five programs the committee recommended going on List Two are Art History, Criticism and Conservation; French Language and Literature; Physics; Sports and Fitness Administration/Management; and Physical Education Teaching and Coaching.

After Karem and Sridhar introduced their duplicate program report to the faculty senate, some members spoke up with their thoughts on the process.

Jeremy Genovese, Ph.D., an associate professor in Curriculum & Foundations at Cleveland State thought it would be a good idea to get input from students.

“I just want to put forward the idea that it’s really important that we involve students in this process,” Genovese said. “I think this document should be circulated to students, including students who are in some of these programs. I think the state is operating under assumptions that limit the realities of students’ lives.”

Discussion also arose that faculty senate shouldn’t be divided on the list selections, but should rather exhibit unity and agreement.

“This should be a brainstorming session of all these great ideas that will help us rationalize things,” Said Vickie Gallagher, faculty senate secretary.

Karem said that it will take work to reach a final decision, but the senate needs to get there.

“I think we [need to] make the case for why, in this duplication, we think [Cleveland State is] the strong place for [the programs],” Karem said. “But to do that, we have to do our homework.”

In his report to the senate, Cleveland State President Ronald Berkman presented his views on the state’s duplicate program request and why it was sent directly to the board of trustees.

“There’s a different dynamic in place here that I haven’t seen before,” Berkman said. “I think the dynamic is in place because the governor’s office believes the boards of trustees have not been aggressive enough in exercising their [production] and [structure] responsibility in terms of program and university oversight. That’s my suspicion and I think there is an attempt to put the university boards of trustees on the hot seat about these issues.”


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