News & Announcements

CSU Board of Trustees Reviews Plans for Fall Semester, President’s Performance

CLEVELAND (July 28, 2020) – Cleveland State University’s Board of Trustees met today to review and discuss CSU’s fall semester repopulation plan, receive an update on “CSU 2.0”, the University plan to reimagine its future, evaluate President Sands’ performance, and set goals and objectives for the coming year.  In unanimously passing a resolution in support of President Sands’ performance and approving his goals for FY21, the trustees voiced strong approval and confidence in the President and his leadership team and praised the way CSU has approached the current pandemic crisis. ​​​​​​​

The Trustees expressed confidence in the University’s plan to repopulate campus beginning Aug. 24, commending the administration for its data-driven approach to providing a safe teaching and learning environment. It also expressed public support for the way President Sands and the leadership team have advanced a spirit of collaboration and partnership at CSU, working closely with faculty, staff and students to transition teaching and learning to remote delivery, establish thorough campus repopulation protocols, and promote shared approaches to campus health and safety and financial challenges.

In providing the president’s annual evaluation, the Board cited his firm leadership both before and during the pandemic crisis and his demonstrated ability to build partnerships, recruit talent, forge relationships, and advance CSU’s standing locally, nationally, and globally.

“Harlan Sands has done a tremendous job in his first two years. He was the right leader for CSU before the pandemic, and now there is no one our trustees would rather have leading us during an especially challenging time,” said David Gunning, chair of the CSU Board of Trustees. “His experience, keen insight and ability to collaborate across our university and community has kept CSU on an upward trajectory.”

Overall enrollments and progression rates at CSU are stronger than ever, with the largest fall freshmen class in history last year, an increase in graduate enrollments this year, and increases in retention and graduation rates across the board for all student groups.

Under Sands leadership, CSU strengthened its financial statement and balance sheet, implemented new recruitment and marketing strategies, established three new enrollment partnership pipelines with Cuyahoga Community College, Lorain County Community College, and Lakeland Community College, established a ground-breaking Living Learning Community for CMSD students (through a partnership with Parker Hannifin), and secured additional multi-million dollar gifts from several major contributors including The NRP Group and The Millennia Companies, Lee and Ageleke Zapis, and The Kelvin and Eleanor Smith Foundation. During this past year, overall fundraising increased 2.5% to $8.3M, and annual Giving Day contributions to CSU increased over 50% with more than $460,000 raised from 2,500 plus donors, setting new records in both giving and donor totals.

About Cleveland State University

Founded in 1964, Cleveland State University is a public research institution that provides a dynamic setting for Engaged Learning. With 17,000-plus students, ten colleges and schools and more than 175 academic programs, CSU was again chosen for 2020 as one of America’s best universities by U.S. News & World Report. Find more information at