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A Message from the President

berkmanWhen I look at Cleveland State, I see a University where Engaged Learning is redefining higher education for the 21st century. And people are taking notice.

This semester, we welcomed the largest freshman class in our history — more than 1,900 students. We also welcomed 73 new members to our outstanding faculty — men and women who firmly believe CSU is a career-enhancer.

Cleveland State is again one of fewer than 300 institutions on the latest U.S. News & World Report “Best National Universities” list.
And more than a dozen of our programs are featured in the recent U.S. News Best Graduate Schools guide.

While we’re proud of CSU’s growing and glowing reputation, the ultimate measure of the University’s success remains student success.

ENGAGE: The Campaign for Cleveland State University has raised nearly $92 million of its $100 million goal to support student success through scholarships, mentoring, experiential learning, internships and other initiatives. Radiance has raised $4.8 million over five years, providing some 1,500 scholarships to students who need just a bit of financial help to get them over the finish line to graduation.

With innovations such as multi-term registration and demand-driven enrollment, we’ve dedicated ourselves to helping students save time and money while earning degrees that prepare them for career success. In turn, we’ve seen dramatic increases in retention and graduation rates.

Our efforts to improve affordability and degree attainment will help ensure a larger pool of qualified graduates to meet the state’s workforce needs. That’s good news for Ohio, which faces a severe talent gap that threatens economic competitiveness and growth.
By 2020, 65 percent of all jobs will require postsecondary education. Yet less than 40 percent of Ohio’s current workforce has an associate’s degree or higher.

While this talent gap looms, concerns about college affordability persist, amid declining financial aid. Ohio ranks 45 out of 50 states for college affordability, based on the percentage of family income needed to pay for college. Ohio also falls well below the national average for state funding per student.

Closing the talent gap and funding higher education must become priorities for Ohio. State investment is critical if Ohio is to maintain one of the finest public university systems in the nation.

This summer, I began serving a two-year term as chair of the Inter-University Council of Ohio, a consortium of the state’s public universities. As chair, I will strongly advocate for increased state support for higher education and collaborate with my fellow university presidents to better inform our state leaders and the general public about the value of a college education as an engine for economic growth.

The message is clear. Higher education is a sound, essential, high-value investment — an investment that pays substantial economic and noneconomic dividends to individuals and the state.


Ronald M. Berkman

The Recipe for Student Success

In an era where barely half of the nation’s college students obtain a degree within six years, Cleveland State is all about student success — and innovative ways to help them graduate on time and with as little debt as possible. And students are responding in record numbers. Read more >>

Also in this Issue...

CSU helps Cleveland shine during RNC

A historic Republican National Convention and the Cavaliers winning the city’s first professional sports title in 52 years drew unprecedented media attention that cast our resurgent metropolis in a new light. Read more >>

Be Amazing Symposium is Amazing

Be Amazing...The Second Annual Women’s Leadership Symposium drew some 800 women (and a few men) to Cleveland’s Public Auditorium for a day of inspirational, thought-provoking talks; shared meals and conversations; and renewal of drive and spirit. Read more >>

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