December 3, 2014


Dear Students, Faculty, and Staff:


I am very pleased to announce that Mr. James Bennett has joined Cleveland State University as Chief of Staff and Special Advisor to the President. After extensive discussions, I offered this position to Mr. Bennett, whose first day at CSU was December 1. Michael Artbauer, who served as Chief of Staff, has moved into a similar role in the Office of the Provost.

Mr. Bennett spent 30 years at McKinsey & Company. He joined as an associate and was elected Principal and Director. He served as Managing Partner for the Canadian and Midwest practices. His consulting at McKinsey spanned the areas of strategy, operations and organizational effectiveness. Throughout his career, Mr. Bennett has worked in the fields of economic development, social services, healthcare delivery, education, and the arts. He has been a board member of dozens of organizations, and held leadership positions in most of these. He has led governance examinations for Case Western Reserve University and The Ohio State University, involving three presidents. He directed strategy development assignments for four independent schools in Northeast Ohio, including a just-completed project where important issues and decisions revolved around market demand, strategic segmentation of families and students, tuition levels, financial aid and educational offerings.

He was a member of the Weatherhead School's Visiting Committee and the Chair for a three-year term. While a senior executive at KeyCorp after McKinsey & Company, he was Chair of the Cleveland Initiative for Education, which was then the business community's principal vehicle for engaging with Cleveland public schools. Mr. Bennett also served a three-year term on the Trustee Council of Phillips Exeter Academy.

Mr. Bennett's policy and funding experience is highlighted by his tenure as Director at the Cleveland Foundation for 10 years, where he first chaired the secondary and higher education subcommittees, and later the first Grant Making Committee overall. The Foundation supported a wide range of educational programs and individual institutions.

Mr. Bennett has a bachelor of arts from Cornell University and is a graduate of Harvard Law School. He is widely known and respected in many sectors of the Cleveland community. I am gratified that Mr. Bennett will join the management team as we continue to build our unique urban institution.



Ronald M. Berkman

Cleveland State University


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