August 22, 2016

Dear Faculty and Staff:

I hope you had an enjoyable summer! The past few months were certainly unforgettable in Cleveland, between an NBA championship for the Cavaliers and a Republican National Convention that found our community basking in the international spotlight.

Like the city we've been proud to call home for more than half a century, Cleveland State University is also riding a wave of forward momentum.

Allow me to extend a special welcome to our 73 new faculty members, many of whom come to us from flagship Association of American Universities institutions and whose ranks include 47 tenure/tenure track faculty – by far the largest tenure/tenure track group to join the University in recent memory. CSU will be enriched exponentially by the fresh perspectives and the wealth of experience that you bring to our campus.

Student success remains our top priority, and we continue to earn national attention for forward-thinking initiatives such as multi-term registration and demand-driven enrollment. The Association of Public and Land-grant Universities recently named CSU among five national finalists for the 2016 Project Completion Award, which recognizes innovative approaches to improving retention and degree completion. The winner will be announced in November.

I plan to advocate for increased state support to enhance student success initiatives at universities across the state in my new leadership role with the Inter-University Council of Ohio. I was honored to be appointed to a two-year term as chair of this consortium of the state's public universities, effective July 1.

Here at CSU, another exciting academic year lies ahead:

  • This fall, we'll break ground for a 100,000-square-foot addition to the Washkewicz College of Engineering, complete with research labs, simulation labs, teaching labs and the Dan T. Moore MakerSpace.
  • Spring will bring the debut of our newest NCAA Division I varsity sport – men's lacrosse – although you can get a sneak preview during a team scrimmage at 4 p.m. Thursday, September 29, on Krenzler Field, as part of our Homecoming festivities.
  • For next summer, CSU is planning a new arts festival, in partnership with Playhouse Square, Cleveland Playhouse and the Cleveland International Film Festival.

In the coming months, we'll also put together a budget for the new biennium. Given Ohio's economic climate, we expect the process will be challenging. Nonetheless, the University is in a strong position, and I am confident that we will arrive at a budget that allocates the available resources appropriately.

While you're marking your calendars, you'll also want to check out the schedule of University holidays for 2016-2017. Have a look at the list here.

What a great time to be in Cleveland. What a great time to be at Cleveland State University. I know that we'll continue to accomplish great things together in the year ahead.


Ronald M. Berkman

Cleveland State University


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