Cleveland State University

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"Cleveland State" redirects here. For the institution in Tennessee, see Cleveland State Community College.
Not to be confused with Cleveland University.
Cleveland State University
Cleveland State University logo.png
Former names
Cleveland Y.M.C.A. School of Technology
Fenn College
Established 1923 (Fenn College)
December 18, 1964 (Cleveland State University)[1]
Type Public (state university)
Endowment $66.2 Million[2]
President Ronald M. Berkman
Provost Deirdre M. Mageean
Academic staff
Administrative staff
Students 17,730[4]
Location Cleveland, Ohio, U.S.
Campus Urban, More than 85 acres, 40-plus buildings (largest footprint in downtown Cleveland)[4]
Colors Forest Green and White
Athletics NCAA Division IHorizon League
Eastern Wrestling League
Sports 17 varsity teams
Nickname Vikings
Affiliations University System of Ohio
Urban 13
Cleveland State logo.png

Cleveland State University (also known as Cleveland State or CSU) is a public university located in downtown Cleveland, Ohio. It was established in 1964 when the state of Ohio assumed control of Fenn College and absorbed the Cleveland-Marshall College of Law in 1969.[1] Today it is part of the University System of Ohio, has more than 120,000 alumni, and offers over 200 academic programs.[3] Its mission is to "encourage excellence, diversity, and engaged learning by providing a contemporary and accessible education in the arts, sciences, humanities and professions, and by conducting research, scholarship, and creative activity across these branches of knowledge."[5]


Fenn College Seal
Further information: History of Fenn College
  • 1870: Cleveland YMCA offered free classes
  • 1881: YMCA program formalized
  • 1906: Reorganized as the Association Institute and later the Cleveland Y.M.C.A. School of Technology
  • 1923: The claimed founding date of what would become Fenn College. First classes towards a bachelor's degree offered. It was originally claimed as 1881.[6]
  • 1929: Renamed Fenn College after Sereno Peck Fenn.[1] Fenn College took over several buildings in the area including Fenn Tower, Stilwell Hall, and Foster Hall.[1]
  • 1964: The state of Ohio founded The Cleveland State University
  • 1965: On August 1, 1965 CSU assumed Fenn College.[1][7]

Industrialist James J. Nance served as Chair of the first Board of Trustees. The name would later be changed to Cleveland State University.

President Michael Schwartz ended open admissions and implemented a vision to move from a U.S. News & World Report fourth tier university to a second tier university.


Fenn College[edit]

Person Years Person Years
Dr. Cecil V. Thomas
Dr. Edward Hodnett
Dr. Joseph C. Nichols
Dr. G. Brooks Earnest

Cleveland State University[edit]

Person Years Person Years
Harry Newburn
Interim President
John Flower
Harold Enarson
Claire Van Ummersen
Harry Newburn
Interim President
Michael Schwartz
Walter Waetjen
Ronald M. Berkman

Board of Trustees[edit]

The Cleveland State University Board consists of nine trustees, a Secretary to the Board, two faculty representatives, and two student representatives.[10] The board members, along with the University President, are charged with fulfilling the goals set forth in the University Mission Statement as well as acting as the governing body in all policy matters of the University requiring attention. In January 2006 the Board of Trustees amended their bylaws so that they could restructure board committees as well as include Community members on the Board. Community members serve as non-voting advisers and are appointed by the Board Chairman for a term approved by the Board.

Board of Trustees Member Listing[11][12]

  • Ronald M. Berkman, President
  • Robert H. Rawson, Chair
  • Bernardo "Bernie" F. Moreno, Vice Chair
  • Thomas W. Adler, Development Officer
  • Morton Q. Levin, Treasurer
  • Richard L. Bowen, Trustee
  • David H. Gunning II, Esq., Trustee
  • Dan T. Moore III, Trustee
  • June E. Taylor, Trustee
  • Ronald E. Weinberg, Trustee
  • Paul E. DiCorleto, PhD., Community Board Member
  • Anand "Bill" Julka, Community Board Member
  • Stephen F. Kirk, Community Board Member
  • Stephen F. Duffy, PhD., Faculty Representative
  • Joanne E. Goodell, PhD., Faculty Representative
  • Allison J. Dumski, Student Trustee
  • David I. Pendleton, Student Trustee

Colleges and academics[edit]

CSU offers many disciplines and research facilities, with 70 academic majors, 27 master's degree programs, two post-master's degrees, six doctoral degrees, and two law degrees. It also has research cooperation agreements with the nearby NASA Glenn Research Center.[13]

In 1965, when The Cleveland State University was formed the colleges were the Fenn College of Engineering (now the Washkewicz College of Engineering),[14] the colleges of business administration, arts and sciences and education.[15] The University is currently organized around ten academic colleges:[16]

College Location
Washkewicz College of Engineering 1960 East 24th Street
Fenn Hall 104
Cleveland–Marshall College of Law 2121 Euclid Avenue
Law Building 138
College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences 1860 East 22nd Street
Rhodes Tower 1822
College of Sciences and Health Professions 2351 Euclid Avenue
Science & Research Center 353
Monte Ahuja College of Business 1860 East 18th Street
Business Building 420
College of Education and Human Services 2485 Euclid Avenue
Julka Hall 210
School of Nursing 2485 Euclid Avenue
Julka Hall 238
Maxine Goodman Levin College of Urban Affairs 1717 Euclid Avenue
Urban Building 335
College of Graduate Studies 2258 Euclid Avenue
Parker Hannifin Hall 227
Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel Honors College 1899 East 22nd Street
Main Classroom 106
School of Music and Communication

The Division of University Studies focuses on academic support services, and the Division of Continuing Education extends academic services beyond the campus.

Notable programs include the Maxine Goodman Levin College of Urban Affairs, whose city management and urban policy program is ranked 2nd in the country by U.S. News and World Report, as well as the recently formed School of Communication, ranked 8th in research productivity and as the top terminal MA-granting program in the United States overall.[17] The Monte Ahuja College of Business is also highly regarded and is ranked in the top ten nationwide in performance of its Certified Public Accountant graduate students. Additionally, CSU is the first university in Ohio to offer a master's degree in software engineering.

Cleveland-Marshall College of Law[edit]

The Cleveland–Marshall College of Law traces its origins to the founding of Cleveland Law School in 1897. One of the most famous alumni of the Cleveland–Marshall College of Law was Tim Russert, host of television program Meet the Press, who graduated in 1976.


With $55 million in annual research and development expenditures, CSU ranks among the top 20 percent of universities in the United States for research and development, according to the National Science Foundation.[18] Cleveland State maintains a variety of research links with the Cleveland community. The following are the University's featured research collaborations:[19]

Science and Research Center
  • Bio Ohio
  • Case Western Reserve University
  • Cleveland Clinic Lerner Research Institute
  • Cleveland MetroHealth Medical Center
  • Council for International Exchange of Scholars (Fulbright Scholar Program)
  • NASA Glenn Research Center
  • Great Lakes Science Center
  • Museum of Natural History
  • International Space University
  • Internet2
  • Ohio College of Podiatric Medicine
  • Ohio Department of Education
  • Ohio Instrumentation, Controls & Electronics (ICE)
  • Ohio Supercomputer Center

Location, campus, and community[edit]

Adam Smith's Spinning Top #2, sculpture by Jim Sanborn at CSU

CSU's main campus in downtown Cleveland is bounded on the east and west by Interstate 90 and East 17th Street, respectively; and by Payne Avenue to the north and Carnegie Avenue on the south. It also has a satellite campus in Westlake, Ohio which is located in the Greater Cleveland metropolitan area in Cuyahoga County. As of spring 2013, the combined student body (undergraduate and graduate students) totaled over 17,000.

Campus Expansion[edit]

In 2006, Cleveland State University completed its state-of-the-art student Recreation Center, and a renovation of Parker Hannifan Hall for the College of Graduate Studies.

To make the campus more amenable to residence and increase the number of students living on campus by building thousands of housing units, anchored by a new dormitory, Fenn Tower, a reuse of the school's most historic building. Fenn Tower formerly housed what was at one time the longest Foucault pendulum in the world. However, because the pendulum had been inoperative since 1980 it was removed during the residence hall renovation in 2006. The pendulum is currently kept in the Cleveland State University archives.

The university worked with private developers and the City of Cleveland to develop housing, retail, and "collegetown" amenities around Fenn Tower, particularly along the main thoroughfare of Euclid Avenue. In 2010, Euclid Avenue was upgraded as part of the Euclid Corridor Project which brought bus rapid transit to the university and connected Public Square in downtown Cleveland to University Circle, approximately four miles to the east.[20] Cleveland State University's $65 million construction project, intended to transform the campus from a mostly commuter school into a residential campus,[21] included the new Student Center and Julka Hull, which houses the College of Education and School of Nursing. Both projects were finished in 2010.

In 2011, the new Euclid Commons dorms complex, which features apartment-style living for CSU students, opened. That same year, the university's Dramatic Arts Program moved into the renovated Middough Building and Allen Theatre at Playhouse Square Center in collaboration with the Cleveland Play House.[22]

In 2012, CSU opened the Galleries At CSU on Euclid Avenue. Also in 2012, Cleveland State University partnered with the South China University of Technology allowing students to complete their education and receive joint degrees.[23] During the fall semester of 2012, the first phase of the private Langston apartment and retail complex opened along Chester Avenue across from Rhodes Tower. In the spring semester of 2013, the former Viking Hall dormitory was torn down to make way for the university's new Center for Health Professions. This was opened in the fall of 2015. The University is partnering with Northeast Ohio Medical University or NEOMED to train future health care professionals to specifically work in urban settings.[24]

Student media[edit]

The campus' student-run radio station, 89.3 WCSB-FM, has a 630-Watt transmitter on top of Rhodes Tower (formerly called University Tower). Additionally, Cleveland State is served in print by The Cauldron, an independent student newspaper,[25] The Cleveland Stater,[26] a laboratory newspaper in the School of Communication, The Vindicator, and The Gavel which won the 2005 American Bar Association's -Student Division's first prize for the best law school newspaper in the country. There is no student television station at this time, though the university offers a film production and video production major with courses through its Digital Video Communication Center.

Information technology[edit]

CSU is a member of the OneCommunity (formerly OneCleveland) computer network, an initiative of Case Western Reserve University that connects nonprofit institutions throughout Northeast Ohio, allowing large scale collaborations over a high-speed fiber optic network.


Official Athletics logo

When the school was still known as Fenn College, the sports teams' nickname was the Foxes. When the University was renamed Cleveland State, the nickname changed as well, and CSU's sports teams became the "Vikings". That nickname stands to this day. The school colors are forest green and white. For many years the school mascot was the comic strip character Hägar the Horrible along with his wife Helga, and the couple appeared at sporting events as well as on University literature. A new mascot, "Vike" was introduced in 1997 and Hagar was gradually phased out by 1998. Another new mascot named "Magnus" was introduced in August 2007.

Cleveland State fields varsity teams in seventeen sports. Most of the teams compete in the Horizon League. The men's basketball team was noteworthy in 1986 when seeded 14th in the NCAA tournament, it upset heavily favored 3-seed Indiana and St. Joseph's before being beaten by Navy by one point, an unprecedented achievement for such a low seed. The Vikes made yet another NCAA tournament appearance in 2009, upsetting the highly favored 4th seeded Wake Forest before falling to the University of Arizona in the second round.[27] The school also fields a wrestling team that competes in the Eastern Wrestling League.

Fielding a football team[edit]

On October 14, 2008 CSU President Michael Schwartz stated "he wants a blue ribbon panel to give him a recommendation on the football team before July 1, 2009, when he is scheduled to retire. He also said the program will have to be structured to pay for itself."[28]

The Football establishment issue became an official item on the Cleveland State University, Student Government Association election ballot. From Monday April 12 at 12:01 AM until Friday April 14 the student body voted on the issue. By Friday evening, the results indicated that 68.7% of the student population favored establishment of a football team. Furthermore, the student body was asked if they were willing to pay a fee for Division I non-scholarship football in addition to any potential future tuition increases that may be instituted by the University. The student body responded with 55.6% of the vote being no.[29]

School songs[edit]

Notable alumni and faculty[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e Cleveland Memory Project (2007-11-19). "A Brief History of Cleveland State University.". Cleveland State University. Retrieved 2009-03-19. 
  2. ^
  3. ^ a b "Cleveland State at a Glance". Cleveland State University. Retrieved 2009-03-19. 
  4. ^ a b
  5. ^ "CSU Mission and Vision Statements". Cleveland State University. Retrieved April 9, 2011. 
  6. ^ a b c d e Earnest, G. Brooks (1974). History of Fenn College. Cleveland, Ohio: The Fenn Educational Fund of the Cleveland Foundation. pp. 718 (total). 
  7. ^ "Fenn College OK's New Status". Toledo Blade. July 27, 1965. Retrieved 7 April 2012. 
  8. ^ "News". 
  9. ^ "News Release #14675 - Cleveland State University". 2009-04-26. Retrieved 2011-07-24. 
  10. ^ "Board of Trustees - Cleveland State University". 2006-01-20. Retrieved 2011-07-24. 
  11. ^ "Members of the Board of Trustees - Cleveland State University". Retrieved 2011-07-24. 
  12. ^  Missing or empty |title= (help);
  13. ^ "NASA-Glenn Research Center Minority Engineering Scholarship, sponsored by Cleveland State University". Retrieved 2011-07-24. 
  15. ^ Earnest, G. Brooks (1974). "XIV". A History of Fenn College. Cleveland, Ohio: The Fenn Educational Fund of the Cleveland Foundation. p. 564. 
  16. ^ "Colleges - Cleveland State University". Retrieved 2011-07-24. 
  17. ^ About the School of Communication. Accessed June 13, 2006.
  18. ^ "Powerful new microscope at CSU unlocks cellular-level mysteries". Engaged. Cleveland State University. Retrieved 6 March 2013. 
  19. ^ "Partnerships and Community". 
  20. ^ city.
  21. ^ David I. Andersen, The Plain Dealer (2009-08-24). "Cleveland State University to begin work on $65 million construction project this week". Retrieved 2011-07-24. 
  22. ^ Marvin Fong / Plain Dealer. "Cleveland State University's drama program is booming under director Michael Mauldin". Retrieved 2011-07-24. 
  23. ^ "Cleveland State University partners with Chinese university, which will send students to CSU". 
  24. ^
  25. ^ "The Cauldron Student Newspaper". The Cauldron Student Newspaper. 
  26. ^ "The Cleveland Stater". The Cleveland Stater. Retrieved 2011-07-24. 
  27. ^ "Cleveland State Shocks Wake Forest". Fox News. March 21, 2009. 
  28. ^ [1] Cleveland State considers a new name and a new football team. Accessed October 25, 2008.
  29. ^ Question 1: Are you interested in having Cleveland State University add a Division I non-scholarship football team (e.g. University of Dayton, Butler University) to its intercollegiate athletic program? 1. YES 1,214 Votes 68.7% of the vote, Question 2: Are you willing to pay a fee for Division I non-scholarship football in addition to any potential, future tuition increases that may be instituted by the University? 2. NO 977 Votes 55.6% of the vote.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 41°30′06″N 81°40′30″W / 41.5017°N 81.6751°W / 41.5017; -81.6751