The holiday season is a time for endings and beginnings. Cleveland State University's Class of 2012 embodies this duality. They're turning a page, finished with one chapter of their lives and ready for what comes next.
CSU will confer degrees to nearly 800 graduates at the Fall Commencement on Sunday, December 16, at the Wolstein Center. The procession of graduates and faculty begins at 1 p.m., followed by the ceremony at 1:30 p.m. I especially urge faculty to join us for this very special occasion. Congratulations to the Class of 2012!In the spirit of looking back and looking ahead, it is my pleasure to share with you the latest news from CSU:
CSU Ranks Among Top Fifth of Universities for Research and Development
I am very excited to report that Cleveland State University now ranks among the top 20 percent of universities in the United States for research and development.
CSU has made dramatic progress to improve its standing nationally, according to the latest data from the National Science Foundation. The NSF's Higher Education Research and Development Survey is the primary source of information on Research and Development expenditures at higher-education institutions.
CSU had overall Research and Development expenditures of $55.5 million for the 2011 fiscal year. This puts CSU at No. 193 in the NSF's national rankings, up from No. 220 in 2010 and No. 261 in 2009.
Among universities in Ohio, the NSF currently ranks CSU at No. 6 in federally financed research expenditures, well ahead of many other institutions, including Wright State University, Ohio University, Kent State University, Miami University, the University of Akron and Bowling Green University.
When I arrived here in 2009, the University had $14.3 million in research expenditures. Since then, we have nearly quadrupled that total. In the process, our national and state rankings have risen accordingly.
I expect this wonderful news to pay handsome dividends, too. The increase in research expenditures will have a positive impact on CSU's share of research Incentive appropriations, which the Ohio Board of Regents awards to universities based on their levels of external research support.This is the result of talented, committed and creative faculty at CSU. We are grateful for their continued commitment to research, teaching and service.
New Funding Formula Rewards Student Success
In September, Ohio Governor John Kasich asked the leaders of Ohio's public colleges and universities to collaborate on a revised funding formula for higher education that would reward student success and completion. Led by Ohio State University President Gordon Gee, the Ohio Higher Education Funding Commission presented its recommendations to the governor last month.
The most significant proposal calls for basing 50 percent of the State Share of Instruction (SSI) on degree completion. If this plan is approved by the Ohio General Assembly, Ohio will be at the forefront of a national push to tie higher-education funding into graduation rates rather than enrollment rates.
Such a change could be costly for Cleveland State University in the near term. We stand to lose as much as $2 million in state funds under the new formula, starting in fiscal year 2015.
Nonetheless, I firmly believe that this is a challenge to which CSU must rise, not merely because of the funding incentives, but because it's the right thing to do. As a member of the Inter-University Council of Ohio, I support the commission's plan, as do the presidents of Ohio's other public universities.
We began the quest to address student success two years ago. CSU already has implemented a series of recommendations by our own Faculty-Administration Student Success Committee. CSU is the first university in Ohio to offer multiterm registration, which allows students to plan their entire academic year in advance. We're monitoring the progress of individual students through an assertive new approach to academic advising. Grad Express Degree Audit, our new online tool, makes it easy for students to monitor their progress toward graduation.
Last week, the Faculty Senate unanimously approved the recommendations of the University Curriculum Committee to cap all baccalaureate degrees at 120 credit hours (except for those requiring additional credits for accreditation) and to move all general education courses to three credits. This represents a major step forward in creating a more systematic and defined academic path for our students. I am grateful to the faculty for endorsing these bold reforms.As president of CSU, my top priority is student success. The University is committed to guiding students along a clearly defined path that leads to graduation and fulfilling careers.
Making Way for the Center for Innovation in Health Professions
The demolition of Viking Hall has begun. From the dormitory rubble, Cleveland State University's new Center for Innovation in Health Professions soon will rise.
The University's myriad assets in medical and health-care education will come together dramatically in this iconic building, set to open in 2015 on the corner of Euclid Avenue and East 22nd Street. It will be the home of the Medical School Campus of NEOMED at CSU, as well as the home for our nursing, occupational therapy, physical therapy and other health professions programs.
By design, the Center for Innovation in Health Professions will foster interaction among departments. Collaboration will spark inspiration as future doctors, nurses and health professionals come together, study together and work together.
The Association of American Medical Colleges, the Association of Schools of Public Health, the American Association of Colleges of Nursing and other health-professions organizations have emphasized the value of interprofessional education. With the Center for Innovation in Health Professions, CSU is ready to lead the way with a fully integrated approach to medical and health-care education.
The University will soon announce the architect selected to design the building.
|CSU Salutes Albert Ratner and Steven Minter.|
|Mr. Ratner is co-chairman emeritus of Forest City Enterprises. Under his leadership, the company developed Tower City Center in Cleveland and transformed itself into a national real-estate powerhouse. As founding partner and director of the venture capital firm Glengary LLC, Mr. Ratner nurtured start-up companies to success. He is an outstanding philanthropist. He and his wife Audrey, along with former CSU trustee Sam Miller and his wife Maria, recently donated $2 million to the Cleveland Clinic Wellness Institute to advance research into early diagnosis of chronic and life-threatening diseases. Mr. Ratner was a driving force behind Cleveland's Plan for Transforming Schools, the most progressive urban education statute in the United States. He also has served as a valued advisor to CSU leadership and supported University scholarships.|
Mr. Minter is an executive in residence at CSU. He previously served as president and executive director of the Cleveland Foundation, where he was instrumental in improving the quality of life in Cleveland by revitalizing the city. Mr. Minter also was the founding chair of Cuyahoga Arts and Culture and has served on the boards of Policy Bridge and Knowledge Works, as well as on the boards of numerous corporations. At CSU, Mr. Minter has advised the University administration, strengthened CSU's community ties and helped to advance the University's reputation in the region and across the nation. In addition to serving as chair of the CSU Foundation Board of Directors, Mr. Minter is a popular teacher at the Maxine Goodman Levin College of Urban Affairs, where he is a fellow in the Center for Nonprofit Policy and Practice.
I wish to extend my heartfelt gratitude to Mr. Ratner and Mr. Minter for their invaluable contributions to our University, to our city and to our region. CSU is extremely proud to confer doctorates of humane letters upon these pillars of the community at Fall Commencement.
Fall semester is almost finished. Classes for spring semester begin Saturday, January 12. In between, our Cleveland State University family takes a well-deserved break to catch our collective breath. As a memorable 2012 draws to a close, we look forward to an even more successful 2013. Season's greetings to you and yours, and happy new year!
Ronald M. Berkman
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