Thank you all for joining us to celebrate the gala inaugural of the Cleveland State University School of Communication. It means a lot to us that you took time to join us on this occasion. I want to thank President Schwartz, Provost Kuo, and Dean Anderson for their generous and always-enthusiastic support. I thank our many alumni for their good will. Today we are honored to have as our keynote speaker Alex Machaskee -- distinguished publisher of The Plain Dealer and a tireless champion of news and the Cleveland community.
It is fitting that Mr. Machaskee is our speaker. Despite all the changes going on in mass media, the newspaper remains a critical voice for communicating democratic values. We know that reading the local paper makes it more likely that people will take an active role in their neighborhoods and participate in civic events.
Newspapers, television, Internet, cell phones, ipods -- the media and technology have instantaneous and pervasive effects. Within moments, news of the election of the pope flashed across the world. Vivid images of disasters in Sudan and Indonesia moved people to action.
Communication has great power and immense potential. This is particularly true in northeast Ohio, where communication problems cry out for solution. Doctors and patients from different cultural backgrounds fail to connect. School union leaders and administrators, with similar goals, talk past each other. Opportunities to harness technology in the classroom never get to square one.
A School of Communication has much to contribute. Imagine the impact that innovative ideas could have on communication between doctors and patients, in schools, and in the workplace. What's more, employers tell us the number one trait they look for in employees is the ability to communicate effectively. We have the challenge and opportunity to train students so they can write well, speak persuasively and use their knowledge of digital technology to bring more dollars into Ohio.
The School of Communication is poised to meet these challenges. We have outstanding faculty, recently ranked 8th in the country in research productivity, bright energetic students bursting at the seems to launch their careers, and a state of the art Communication Research Center, Digital Video Communication Center, and Picture This Independent Film School.
Shortly, pending Ohio Board of Regents approval, we will have three new majors in Communication Management, Journalism and Promotional Communication, and Film and Digital Media. And we have many other steps to take and mountains to climb as we embark on our goal of creating communicators in the 21st century.
It now gives me great pleasure to introduce our president, Michael Schwartz. Thanks to his support, we have a full-fledged School of Communication. As president, Dr. Schwartz has been a dynamic force in this university -- a champion of a campus climate of service to students, a strong advocate of academic innovation, and a bold spokesperson for higher education. His vision to bring Cleveland State to the suburbs and to promote the diverse missions of this university have benefited all involved. As president, he has harnessed our values and nurtured our creative spirit.
Ladies and gentlemen, Michael Schwartz.