50 Years and Still Going Strong
Andrew Gross, professor of marketing and international business, has been a CSU faculty member since 1968. As he prepares to retire in June, he shares some reflections on his career.
When I came to CSU, my years in the labor force already exceeded a decade. As an electrical engineer, I worked at Ohio Edison (now First Energy), Standard Oil of Ohio (now BP) and the Ohio Department of Transportation. Lehigh University in Pennsylvania was my first academic job.
In 1968, I came to CSU. Did I know that I would stay and stay? Of course not! One reason I stayed was the collegial spirit. Another was the generosity of chairmen and deans who allowed me to take not just sabbaticals, but unpaid leaves of absence. Thus, I was able to be a visiting professor in Australia, Canada (from coast to coast), France, and my native Hungary with two Fulbright awards in 1989 and 1992. In each nation, I proudly waved the CSU flag.
I’ve probably taught 200 classes and 4,000 students. I make clear my criteria for all courses: conversational English, solid facts and figures, use of varied sources and analysis, organization and logical thinking. My exams are always open book, open notebook, emphasizing analysis and logical thinking, not memorization. I also advise all my students to have their priorities in this order — physical health, mental health and time management.
I have served on numerous committees at all levels and on the Faculty Senate for at least 25 of my 50 years. I managed to bring in several grants with fellow faculty members, always contribute to CSU campaigns and with my wife Lois, donated a five-figure sum to establish an endowed scholarship for business students. I worked with the Cleveland World Trade Association in the past and am now involved with the Northeast Ohio International Business Network and the Cleveland Council on World Affairs.
I’ve served on numerous editorial boards of academic and practitioner journals, and published four books, over 15 monographs, and well over 150 papers – I trust some ideas were of use! I’m still doing research, writing and publishing, especially on international business topics.
Life Beyond CSU
I’m a strong believer in work-life balance and 365 is the number of days per year for my workout. At CSU, it is fitness room and swimming three times per week; running — now jogging and walking — in the Heights on other days; then kayak, cycle or ski on weekends. My jogging path takes me around the Shaker Lakes which is psychic income as well as a workout, since a group of us saved this lovely area from the Clark Freeway back in the late 1960s. I read a lot of fiction and nonfiction (I prefer print to electronic), watch occasional old-time movies, and attend community theater and concerts downtown, including at CSU, and in my neighborhood.
I plan to stay around, offering to substitute pro bono for my fellow faculty when on sick leave or at academic conferences. I wish to remain active physically and mentally, do some traveling, kayak and ski in the Cuyahoga Valley National Park, catch up with several English and Hungarian language books that have been put aside and perhaps do some volunteering or entrepreneurial ventures. I look forward to my emeritus status with free parking!
My credo going forward in my 80s is the same as for all previous decades, per the writing of one of my favorite composers, Gustav Mahler: “The point is not to take the world’s opinion as a guiding star, but to go one’s way in life and to work unfalteringly, neither depressed by failure nor seduced by applause.” My wife has been most supportive in my career and we plan now on going forward together, with even more visits with our three daughters and their families.
I was able to be a visiting professor in Australia, Canada (from coast to coast), France, and my native Hungary with two Fulbright awards in 1989 and 1992. In each nation, I proudly waved the CSU flag.
Join Us On Campus
SAVE THE DATE
Do you have great memories of your days at CSU? Do you cherish the friendships you made? Did a favorite faculty member help guide you to career success?
Celebrate CSU and all it means to you by attending Homecoming September 26-29. Activities to reconnect alumni with one another, their Colleges and the University are being planned.
Highlights will include the investiture of President Harlan Sands, a Homecoming parade celebrating CSU’s new First Family, VikeFest with a Silver Anniversary reunion for the class of 1993, the Distinguished Alumni Awards, the Golden Apple Awards honoring faculty and staff nominated by alumni, and a Golden Anniversary reunion brunch saluting the Class of 1968.
If you are a ’68 or ’93 graduate, we need your help in contacting classmates and planning 50th and 25th reunions to remember. To get involved, call 216-687-2078. And visit csualumni.com for Homecoming updates.