A Message from the President
Just days remain until June 1, when I will retire as president of Cleveland State University and my successor, Harlan Sands, will begin his tenure. Reflecting on the past nine years, I am so proud of all that we have achieved — together. There is a tremendous “sense of place” surrounding CSU. The community, alumni and donors believe in CSU and are incredibly engaged. This embrace has helped Cleveland State become one of the nation’s top universities.
When I came to CSU in 2009, I saw a university with the potential to reinvent higher education. Today, we’re doing just that. We’ve established new programs, including the Partnership for Urban Health that is training primary care doctors to serve urban areas, and a School of Film & Media Arts to meet the growing demand for professionals in this burgeoning industry. We’ve built incredible new facilities, including the Center for Innovation in Medical Professions and Donald Washkewicz Hall, our new engineering building.
More than 250 partnerships are flourishing. With Parker Hannifin, our faculty researchers are making life-changing advances in human motion and control. With the Cleveland Metropolitan School District, we’ve created an Education Park that includes Campus International School and MC2STEM High School on our campus. These collaborations, and so many others, are making Greater Cleveland even greater.
Perhaps most importantly, bright, talented students are selecting CSU as their school of choice. Our nationally acclaimed student success initiatives and increased private support for scholarships are helping them stay on track to graduation. This year, our December and May commencement ceremonies produced the largest graduating class ever — with nearly 4,000 students earning undergraduate or graduate degrees.
Our graduates are CSU’s greatest success story and the engine for this area’s future growth. With their degrees they are telling future employers that they are well-educated, hard-working, high-achieving individuals who are ready to roll up their sleeves, dig in and do what is needed to be successful on day one.
As I retire, I am experiencing an incredible array of emotions — the greatest of which is gratitude. More than anything, I will miss our students and the soul and commitment they display every day. To have had a role in their success and in taking the University to where it is today has been the privilege of a lifetime.
Thank you for helping to make CSU the great university that it is and for helping our students succeed. And thank you for making my presidency the pinnacle of my career. I will forever be grateful for the privilege of serving as president. And I will forever be a proud Viking.
Ronald M. Berkman