Presidential Transition

Meet President-elect Harlan Sands

Harlan M. Sands

Letter from the Chair, CSU Board of Trustees

Dear Students, Faculty, Staff, Alumni and Friends:

I am pleased to announce that Harlan M. Sands was elected the next president of Cleveland State University in a vote this morning by the CSU Board of Trustees, following an extensive national search. His appointment is effective June 1, 2018.

With nearly two decades of experience as an administrator and faculty member at urban research universities, President-elect Sands is a highly regarded and widely respected higher education leader. He comes to CSU with a proven track record of advancing academic excellence, elevating faculty endeavors, championing research and aligning strategies and operations to meet the emerging needs of higher education in the 21st century. At the heart of all he has accomplished, you’ll find a passion for team-building, a relentless pursuit of innovation and a deep sense of integrity.

President-elect Sands currently is the vice dean of finance and administration, chief financial officer and chief administrative officer at The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, one of the top business schools in the world.

He previously served as the senior vice president of finance and administration, chief financial officer and chief operating officer at the University of Louisville.

From 2007 to 2014, he was vice provost for administration and quality improvement at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. At Florida International University from 1999 to 2007, he held various positions, including faculty member in the Department of Criminal Justice, assistant dean and associate dean of the College of Health and Urban Affairs, executive director of the Applied Research Center and associate vice president for research.

Prior to his distinguished career in higher education, President-elect Sands served more than a decade in the U.S. Navy, culminating with his appointment as a regional director of the Naval Reserve Intelligence Program. He received two Naval Commendation Medals during Operation Desert Storm. He also has served as an assistant public defender in Miami.

He earned a B.S. in economics (finance) from The Wharton School, an MBA with a major in finance from George Washington University and a J.D. from George Mason University.

President-elect Sands is a native of Wantagh, N.Y. He and his wife, Lynn, have two sons, Samson and A.J.

On behalf of the Board of Trustees, I am profoundly grateful to CSU President Ronald M. Berkman for his outstanding leadership over the past nine years. He leaves a legacy of excellence that we look forward to honoring at a special event in April.

I also wish to thank the members of our Presidential Search Committee, whose dedication and diligence ensured that we found the individual best-suited to lead the University going forward; our search firm, Wheless Partners; and all of you at CSU and in the community at large whose input was instrumental in shaping the process. We could not have hoped for a better outcome.

Please join me in welcoming President-elect Harlan M. Sands to Cleveland State University, where the future has never looked brighter. To read the press release, click here. To view Harlan M. Sands' biography, click here

Bernie Moreno
Presidential Search Committee
CSU Board of Trustees 

Press Conference with President-Elect Harlan Sands

Presidential Transition Team

Cleveland State University has created a transition team composed of key University leaders who will facilitate the presidential search process and report to the Board of Trustees on progress. The team will be responsible for overseeing the work of the search committee, coordinating communications with the campus community and the public and managing all additional aspects of the transition. The members of the team are:

Bernie Moreno
Chair, CSU Board of Trustees

Thomas Adler
Member, CSU Board of Trustees

Timothy Cosgrove
Chair, CSU Foundation Executive Committee

William Napier
Secretary, CSU Board of Trustees

Rob Spademan
Associate Vice President, Marketing and Communications, CSU

Maurice Stinnett
Vice President of Engagement and Chief Diversity Officer, CSU 

Deborah Vesy
Member, CSU Board of Trustees 


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