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Diversity is CSU's 'greatest strength'

By Brandon Blackwell

December 1, 2011

The Cleveland Stater recently asked students, faculty and staff. After going through more than 130 responses, the four most popular responses were: 1. Diversity, 2. Friendliness, 3. Engaging in CSU, 4. Cheap tuition. To read about what members said about the CSU community see Page 7.

The results are in. The best thing about Cleveland State, according to a Cleveland Stater survey, is the diversity on campus.

A sample of 137 members of the campus community were asked to name their favorite thing about CSU, and the most common answer related to the campus’ wide-range of students, faculty and staff.

“I love the diversity of Cleveland State’s students, faculty, and staff, as well as its connection to our increasingly vibrant downtown,” said Jeff Karem, assistant professor of English and president of CSU-AAUP.

With campus members varying in race, ethnicity, nationality, handicap, socio-economic status, sexual orientation, religion and age—there is no shortage of variety at CSU.

The university offers students more than 100 courses with a cultural and/or ethnic focus. A number of campus organizations provide other ways for members of the CSU community to learn about and become involved in one of CSU’s best assets.

“I think it’s pretty universal that diversity is one of CSU’s greatest strengths,” said Joe Mosbrook, CSU’s director of strategic communications. “There are several advanced efforts by CSU to increase diversity on campus.”

According to the 2011 CSU Book of Trends, the campus saw a 13 percent increase in minority enrollment in the fall of 2010 over the previous year.

Njeri Nuru-Holm, CSU’s vice president for Institutional Diversity, said such an increase is on par with the level of growth she has witnessed across the 19 years she has been with the university. The major difference, she said, is the level of involvement from all members of the CSU community.

“I have seen a major change in that we are not only focused on one office doing quote, unquote diversity,” Nuru-Holm said. “Diversity is now everyone’s business.”

Nuru-Holm added that an increase in diversity would not be possible without the proper, proactive leadership.

“None of this can work if we don’t have support at the top,” said Nuru-Holm. “We have support from President Berkman. He’s not just talking the talk, he’s walking the walk.”

Members of the CSU community have not only expressed that diversity on campus is welcome, but also important.

“I think that anytime you can bring a different perspective to the table, you are adding to the mix,” Mosbrook said. “You are providing an invaluable resource.”

To learn more about diversity at CSU, visit the Division of Institutional Diversity website at www.csuohio.edu/offices/diversity.