Cleveland State University [d] NCA 2000 Self-Study Report [d]


Final Self-Study Report Chapter 1: 15 Aug 2000

Chapter 1: Introduction


Cleveland State University was established in 1964 by the Ohio General Assembly as the first free-standing, state-assisted university in Cleveland with a mission to provide higher education opportunities for citizens of the metropolitan area. The University opened in 1965 by absorbing the buildings, programs, faculty, and staff of Fenn College, a private institution on Euclid Avenue in downtown Cleveland. In its first year, Cleveland State enrolled 5,589 undergraduate students in the Colleges of Arts and Sciences, Business, and Engineering. Since then, Cleveland State has grown into a comprehensive university of approximately 16,000 students on an 83-acre, 37-building campus. The University offers more than 60 bachelor’s degree programs, 37 master’s degrees, and doctoral degrees in Biology, Business Administration, Chemistry, Education, Engineering, Law, and Urban Affairs. In addition, more than 1,000 continuing education seminars and workshops are offered to some 14,000 adult learners each year.

Fenn College’s undergraduate degree accreditation was transferred to Cleveland State in 1966, and the University received doctoral degree accreditation by the Commission on Institutions of Higher Education in 1973 with the establishment of a Ph.D. program in Clinical and Analytical Chemistry. Doctoral level accreditation was continued in 1979 and again in 1989. At the University’s request, the next site visit by the Commission was rescheduled from 1999 to 2000 while the transition of the academic calendar from quarters to semesters was completed.

Considerable change has occurred since the last review by the Commission. There was complete turnover in the senior administration from the level of the President, appointed in 1993, down through the ranks of Vice-Presidents and collegiate Deans. Two new Divisions were created — University Studies and Enrollment Services — each with a Dean of its own. Four important campus-wide initiatives were approved and implemented: 1) the Functional Mission Statement in 1994, 2) the Master Plan for Campus and Facilities Development in 1995, 3) the Strategic Plan for Information Technology, also in 1995, and 4) the conversion of the academic calendar from the quarter system to the semester system in 1998. The faculty (except for the College of Law) and the professional staff voted to unionize under provisions of the State of Ohio’s collective bargaining law. The University’s headcount enrollment peaked at about 19,000 at the beginning of the decade then declined before stabilizing at its present level of about 16,000. Despite tight budgetary conditions in the state for public higher education, educational quality and institutional stability were maintained by careful planning, prudent financial management, and cooperation among campus constituencies. In response to community needs for enhanced academic programming, doctoral programs were strengthened and several new master’s degrees and a variety of certificate programs were added to the curriculum. New educational and programmatic partnerships were formed with other leading institutions in the Cleveland area, including the Cleveland Clinic Foundation, the Cleveland Public Schools, and the Visiting Nurses Association. Many of the initiatives and actions taken to address the decade’s challenges also addressed concerns expressed by the last review team. Those concerns and the University’s responses are reviewed in detail in the remainder of this chapter.

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