April 23, 2014

I hope that all of you enjoyed a wonderful Spring Break in March. As Spring Semester continues, we are quickly nearing the end of what has been a very successful academic year at Cleveland State University.


On March 29, the University welcomed 650 admitted and prospective students, along with their family members, to campus for Spring Open House. This was a unique opportunity for these students to experience life at Cleveland State: They went on guided campus tours, had an opportunity to meet and speak with academic advisors and current students, and visited the residence halls, among many other activities. I look forward to welcoming many of these students back to campus as official Vikings.


I had the privilege of speaking at The City Club of Cleveland on March 28 about our University's efforts to address the many current challenges of higher education. The full text of my speech is available online: http://www.csuohio.edu/president/creating-new-paradigm-for-higher-education


My central goal regarding the "Big Switch"—the University's transition from a 4-credit hour system to a 3-credit hour system—is that it's completed without harm to students. Of course, this requires our students' participation in meeting with their advisor to plan their coursework. I am very pleased to note that, as I write this, more than 2,600 students of the 7,500 total affected by the transition have already met with their advisors. Another 3,400 students have had their degree record reviewed by a transition advisor. In total, 88% of students have been advised or reviewed thus far, and our efforts are ongoing. If students have not yet done so, I strongly encourage them to visit www.csuohio.edu/bigswitch and make an appointment with their advisor as soon as possible.


Energy continues to radiate around our vibrant campus neighborhood. And, as the momentum at Cleveland State grows, developers continue to express interest in properties around our campus to build and create new residential, dining, and shopping opportunities—namely for our students. It is for this reason that Cleveland State recently made the decision to put Heritage Hall up for sale. And, last December, Clayco Realty Group of Chicago announced plans to buy the Jewish Federation of Cleveland building to create a new 217-unit apartment complex with 509 total beds for students. This investment from outside developers is a strong vote of confidence in what is happening at Cleveland State.


Across every sport, our Cleveland State student-athletes devote much time, effort, and dedication to representing our University. One-hundred and fifty-four of our student-athletes were recently honored for having a grade point average of 3.0 or better. Senior men's swimmer Alex Lewis was named the Horizon League Swimmer of the Year after helping his team to a runner-up finish at the league championship. Sophomore fencer Paul Duchow competed at the NCAA Championships and won five bouts in the epee. Our softball team has already won 19 games under first-year head coach Becky Norris, including a 9-2 record at home. I could go on and on—the successes of our athletes and teams abound.


Summer is a perfect time for our students to get ahead and make progress toward graduation, or to catch up and raise their grade point average. It is also a good opportunity for non-Cleveland State students who might be coming home for the summer and are interested in taking classes—the credits are easily transferable. There are five different summer sessions available offering a selection of approximately 900 courses, affordable tuition, and flexible scheduling. For those interested, more details are available here: http://www.csuohio.edu/enrollment-services/summer


From September 2014 to June 2015, the University will celebrate its 50th anniversary year—and we do intend to celebrate! Let me be the first to invite you to the opening celebration, an outdoor block party to be held on Friday, September 19, 2014, from 4 p.m. – 9 p.m. The details will be released over the next several months, but I assure you it will be a celebration to remember. This opening party will kick off our 2014 Homecoming Weekend, with a full slate of activities and alumni class reunions to follow on Saturday, September 20, 2014. In the meantime, let's enjoy a wonderful spring at Cleveland State University.

Ronald M. Berkman

Cleveland State University


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