Dec 17, 2014

Dear Faculty and Staff:

At each Commencement ceremony, we find inspiration in the unique journeys of our graduates. Many are the first in their families to go to college and many balanced academics with work and other important commitments. It is a privilege to witness dreams of a college education being realized after years of hard work. As we near the end of another productive year at CSU, thank you for all you do to help our students realize the promise of higher education.

Before we break to enjoy time with family and friends, I have just a few important updates to share.

Sullivan/Deckard Opportunity Scholarship

We recently announced a tremendous $2.3 million combined gift from Frank and Barbara Sullivan and Jenniffer and Daryl Deckard to provide high school seniors aging out of foster care with scholarships and support to attend CSU. Many young people in Ohio experience an abrupt end to foster care services and familial support when they turn 18. Through the new Sullivan/Deckard Opportunity Scholarship Program, these young people will be guided on a pathway to earn a college degree at CSU. The first cohort will be enrolled in the summer of 2015.

CSU Student Success Initiatives Garner National Attention

Our collective efforts to promote students' success and streamline students' path to graduation have received recent national attention. The Wall Street Journal featured our student success initiatives in the December 6-7, 2014, weekend edition, highlighting our multi-term registration. And, in November, I had an opportunity to discuss college affordability and our Graduation Incentive Plan, which reduces costs for students, on CNN Newsroom.

Welcoming James Bennett

On December 1, the University welcomed James Bennett as Chief of Staff and Special Advisor to the President. Mr. Bennett spent 30 years at McKinsey & Company and brings to CSU significant expertise in strategy, operations, and organizational effectiveness. I look forward to having him on our management team as we work to advance the goals of the University.

50th Anniversary Commemorative Book Available
for Pre-Order

Cleveland State University: 50 Years, our 50th anniversary commemorative book, is now available for pre-order. This hardcover edition authored by alumna and faculty member Dr. Regennia Williams explores our anniversary theme, "Proud past, unlimited future," and captures the first five decades of life at CSU. I invite you to reserve your copy.

CSU Efforts to Fight Ebola in Liberia

The University continues to raise funds to provide critically needed medical supplies to Liberia to aid in the continuing fight against Ebola. I believe our University family can make a real difference through this effort and am grateful to those who have joined me in donating. In this season of giving, I ask that you consider making a contribution.

I wish you and your loved ones a wonderful holiday season.


Ronald M. Berkman

Cleveland State University

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