Ronald M. Berkman

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Ronald M. Berkman (born April 17, 1947[1][2]) is president of Cleveland State University (CSU), a position he assumed July 1, 2009.[2] Berkman has been a peripatetic academic, working at Princeton's Woodrow Wilson School, the University of California, Berkeley, Brooklyn College, New York University, and the University of Puerto Rico.


He started college as a part-time student at William Paterson College while working to support his mother. He supported himself in college by driving a beer truck and by working in a liquor store and a gypsum factory.[2] He eventually became a full-time student and majored in urban sociology. He received his Ph.D. from Princeton University in 1977.

Florida International University[edit]

Berkman used to be Provost and Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer at Florida International University in Miami, where he was in the C-suite from 1997 through 2007. Berkman began his time at FIU as dean of the College of Urban and Public Affairs. He was later Executive Dean over the Nursing, Health Sciences, Public Health, Social Work, and some other programs. He was also involved with FIU working to open colleges of Law and Medicine.

He has also served as Executive Dean of the College of Health and Urban Affairs at FIU. Prior to his time with FIU, Berkman was a dean at Baruch College and dean of urban affairs for the City University of New York. In 1990, Berkman was the director of the Urban Summit.

Cleveland State University[edit]

It became known on April 24, 2009 that Berkman would be the new president at Cleveland State University.[3] He was voted unanimously as the new president of Cleveland State University on April 26, 2009.[4] He assumed his position there on July 1, 2009.[2] As of 2009 Berkman's initial base salary was $400,000 a year, which is more than all but two public university presidents in Ohio.[5] He was the subject of controversy when it was learned that CSU, a publicly funded university, would be paying up to $85,000 towards Berkman's home.[6] In January 2013 he signed a contract extension through 2017.[7] In April 2013 the Cleveland State Faculty Senate voted 31-11 for a vote of no confidence in Berkman over the transition of CSU from a four credit hour per class university to a three credit hour per class university.[8]

Personal life[edit]

He was born on April 17, 1947 to Sidney and Hannah Berkman.[2] When Berkman was 19 years old, his father Sidney Berkman died from complications from cancer.[2] Berkman currently is married to Patricia "Patsy" Bilbao-Berkman.[2] They are the parents of four children.[2] At the time of his appointment to be president of CSU, his wife was a recruiter for the University of New Mexico, but operating primarily in Florida. He became the first Cleveland State University president to live outside Shaker Heights, Ohio.[9]

He has also written an article for The Huffington Post.[10]


  1. ^ "U.S. Public Records Index, Volume 2 about Ronald M Berkman". Retrieved 26 December 2013. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h Okoben, Janet (31 May 2009). "Incoming Cleveland State University President Ronald Berkman eager to start". Cleveland Plain Dealer. Retrieved 26 December 2013. 
  3. ^ Okoben, Janet (24 April 2009). "Floridian Ronald Berkman will become president of Cleveland State University". Cleveland Plain Dealer. Retrieved 26 December 2013. 
  4. ^ "Ronald M. Berkman Named Sixth President of Cleveland State University". Cleveland, Ohio: 27 April 2009. Retrieved 26 December 2013. 
  5. ^ Kleinerman, Ellen (26 April 2009). "New CSU President Ronald Berkman to get $400,000". Cleveland Plain Dealer. Retrieved 26 December 2013. 
  6. ^ Okoben, Janet (29 May 2009). "Cleveland State University to pay up to $85,000 yearly for a home for President Ronald Berkman". Cleveland Plain Dealer. Retrieved 26 December 2013. 
  7. ^ Farkas, Karen (16 January 2013). "Cleveland State University President Ronald Berkman will remain until 2017 after receiving contract extension". Cleveland Plain Dealer. Retrieved 26 December 2013. 
  8. ^ Farkas, Karen (3 April 2013). "Cleveland State University Faculty Senate votes no confidence in administration". Cleveland Plain Dealer. Retrieved 26 December 2013. 
  9. ^ Farkas, Karen (23 September 2014). "Cleveland State University to sell president's home: Ronald Berkman will move downtown". Plain Dealer. Archived from the original on 24 September 2014. Retrieved 24 September 2014. 
  10. ^ Berkman, Dr. Ronald (14 June 2012). "Delivering Better Health Care to Urban Communities". The Huffington Post. Retrieved 26 December 2013. 

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