February 26, 2014


As the snow continues to fall in Northeast Ohio, business at Cleveland State University continues at full speed. While all of us look with growing anticipation toward spring, I would like to share with you several updates from the University this winter.

Inaugural Civic Engagement Grants Awarded

Our Office of Civic Engagement awarded the inaugural Civic Engagement Grants to twenty faculty members and four student organizations in late January. These grants — ranging from $2,500 to $5,000 — were made possible through the generosity of the Jack, Joseph, and Morton Mandel Foundation. The important work funded by these grants will benefit our community, student learning, and academic scholarship. Our faculty and student leaders fully share the University's commitment to engaged learning through teaching, research, and service. I note with pride that there was a total of 110 applications for these grants from every discipline at the University, demonstrating each college's strong interest in being actively involved and engaged in the community.

Faculty Research and Scholarship Growing

Cleveland State faculty research and scholarship are thriving, as evidenced by the 2012 expenditure report recently released by the National Science Foundation. From 2005 to 2012, the University grew its federally financed expenditures from $12 million to $42 million. In the same period of time, the University grew its overall expenditures from $22 million to $61 million. The bottom line is that our faculty are commanding research dollars, and, in doing so, strengthening Cleveland State's stature as a research university.

Basketball Teams on Road to a Championship

Both our men's and women's basketball teams are still in the hunt for a championship. After Tuesday night's exciting overtime win against Youngstown, the men's basketball team clinched the No. 2 seed in the upcoming Horizon League Championship, earning them a double bye directly into the tournament semifinals on March 8. With this victory, the team also reached 20 wins for the fifth time in seven seasons. The team closes the regular season on Saturday with a 4 p.m. game at Valparaiso which will be broadcast live on SportsTime Ohio.

Our women's team plays at Oakland on Thursday at 5:00 p.m. and finishes the regular season at home against UIC this Saturday at 2:00 p.m.

Our basketball Vikings need your support as they prepare for tournament play in March. Go Vikes!

The Big Switch

In Fall 2014, the University will launch a number of innovative changes to streamline our students' path to graduation. These initiatives include a conversion of most 4-credit undergraduate classes to 3-credit classes and the establishment of a 120-credit hour standard for graduation. More information about these changes can be found at www.csuohio.edu/bigswitch.

A quick reminder to students: Before registering for Fall 2014 or Spring 2015 classes, you should schedule an appointment to meet with your advisor. Prior to your meeting, I encourage you to check your degree audit so that you can come prepared with specific questions about the upcoming transition. A complete listing of advisors can be found at http://www.csuohio.edu/bigswitch/find-your-advisor.

Athletics Celebrates Coach Wally Morton

After 39 years at Cleveland State, Coach Wally Morton, the head coach of the men's and women's swimming and diving teams, is stepping down at the end of the 2013-2014 season. Coach Morton is the winningest coach in the history of Cleveland State athletics, and has led his teams to 377 wins, including 20 conference titles.

On a personal note, I enjoyed seeing Coach Morton be recognized during the men's basketball game on February 15 in front of many of his student-athletes. The students' palpable admiration for their coach could be felt through their rousing chants of Wally! Wally! as he received a much-deserved standing ovation.

Let's all hope that warmer weather soon descends on Cleveland. In the meantime, best wishes.

Ronald M. Berkman

Cleveland State University

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