Dr. Ronald M. Berkman was introduced as Cleveland State University's sixth president at a news conference Thursday morning, and to the campus community at a reception immediately following where he was greeted with a standing ovation.
In July, Berkman will succeed Dr. Michael Schwartz who will retire on June 30.
Berkman comes to CSU from Florida International University where he has been Provost, Executive Vice President, and Chief Operating Officer. He has also served as Dean of Urban Affairs at the City University of New York (CUNY). He said his entire career up to now has in a way prepared him for the Cleveland State job.
The incoming president said he is happy about the improvements and potential of CSU. In his campus debut, he said he wants to help make Cleveland State University a premier urban research university.
Berkman addressed CSU's ability to provide the Cleveland Clinic with an educated work force, but said health-care programs won't be the school's only focus. He said emphasizing health care should help other programs as well.
Berkman said his background as an urban planner makes him value CSU's place in the "epicenter" of Cleveland. He is interested in current plans to add more housing for students and rental properties for faculty, empty-nesters and young professionals. He also talked about the need for CSU to help lead Cleveland's renewal.
"I feel completely prepared and energized to work with all the constituencies," he said, ďand I underline all of the constituencies to continue CSU's journey toward the goal of becoming a premier urban research university."
He said Cleveland State must continue to give students an infrastructure with which they are comfortable and that keeps them on and around campus. He plans to continue President Schwartz's efforts of further integrating CSU into the downtown environment and the city in general.
"It is clear to me that CSU is a special institution committed to moving forward in its quest to improve teach and learning, research, service, partnerships, and public engagement," Berkman said.