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P. Kelly Tompkins appointed to CSU Board of Trustees

TompkinsP. Kelly Tompkins appointed to Cleveland State University Board of Trustees

CLEVELAND (February 28, 2023) – P. Kelly Tompkins, an attorney and experienced C-suite executive with a broad range of expertise in legal, finance, compliance and governance issues has been appointed to the Cleveland State University Board of Trustees by Governor Mike DeWine. 

“Kelly is an outstanding addition to the board as we continue to implement our strategic plan and the University’s aggressive vision for growth,” said David Reynolds, chair of the CSU Board of Trustees. “In addition to his legal and business expertise, he has a deep understanding of the University from his long-time involvement with our law school.”

An alumnus of the CSU College of Law, Tompkins currently serves the college as Leader-in-Residence. In that role, he advises current and prospective students and co-teaches a leadership and law class. As the former Chair of the Board of Visitors, Tompkins provided counsel to the Dean on a myriad of strategic priorities and issues. In 2018, Mr. Tompkins made a significant donation to the law school to establish one of the country’s first leadership and law education programs.

Tompkins is also a senior advisor with Dix & Eaton, a Cleveland-based communications firm, where he provides C-suite counsel to board chairs, CEOs, CFOs and other corporate officers on governance, investor relations, transactions, enterprise risk management, sustainability, capital markets, finance, government and public affairs, corporate communications and other issues.

Additionally, Tompkins serves as an independent director of First American Funds, a money market fund affiliated with U.S. Bancorp Asset Management in Minneapolis, with fiduciary responsibility for a $120+ billion complex of taxable and tax-free money market funds.

“Kelly Tompkins is the embodiment of what you can achieve with a CSU degree, and I can’t think of a better role model for our students,” said CSU President Laura Bloomberg. “His broad breadth of experience will be invaluable to our Board of Trustees and to me personally.”

Tompkins’ impressive legal and corporate career has included stints as Executive Vice President & Chief Operating Officer, Cleveland Cliffs, and Executive Vice President & Chief Financial Officer, RPM International. During his career at both Cleveland Cliffs and RPM, Kelly served as Chief Legal Officer. He also served as President of the Cleveland Bar Association in 2005-2006.

“CSU took a chance on me nearly 45 years ago which I will never forget,” Tompkins said. “Our university is on the rise and every day I see the passion, perseverance and resilience of our students. I am grateful for Governor DeWine’s support and am eager to get to work with my colleagues to lead and serve all of the stakeholders of this great institution.”

In addition to his J.D. degree from CSU, Tompkins holds a bachelor’s degree from Mercyhurst University. An active member of the community, he currently serves as a trustee of the Ohio Access to Justice Foundation. For nearly ten years, Tompkins was Chair of the Advisory Council of the Baldwin Wallace University Center for Innovation & Growth and is a former trustee of Mercyhurst University in Erie, PA.

He is a past recipient of the CSU George B. Davis Service Award and a CSU Law Alumni Association Alumnus of the Year. 

Kelly and his wife Christi reside in Rocky River and together have six adult children and four grandchildren all of whom live and work in NE Ohio.

His term on the board runs through May 2031.


About Cleveland State University

Founded in 1964, Cleveland State University is a public research institution that provides a dynamic setting for Engaged Learning. With nearly 16,000 students, ten colleges and schools and more than 175 academic programs, CSU was again chosen for 2022 as one of America’s best universities by U.S. News & World Report, including the #1 university in Ohio for social mobility. Find more information at