Search begins for new university president

By Anna Toth


After the announcement of  President Ronald Berkman’s retirement, Cleveland State University selected a Presidential Search Committee to look for a new president. The Committee – comprised of 22 members from the CSU and greater downtown Cleveland communities – will spend the next few weeks hearing thoughts from the students, faculty and staff about what our next president should be like.

Rob Spademan, chief  marketing  officer at Cleveland State, staffed the search for the Presidential Search Committee. He explains that the committee is very purposely selected to represent the best interests of the school and pick the right candidate for the university.

“There will be tremendous interest in this position because of the way Cleveland State has advanced itself in its position in this community,” Spademan said.

There are many steps to finding the perfect president for Cleveland State. Spademan explained that one of the first steps is to gather information about what the community and university want from the next president.

First, they contacted the “movers and shakers” of Cleveland – such as Mayor Frank Jackson and other community leaders – to learn what the city wanted to see from Cleveland State in the coming years.

On September 6 and 7, the committee will host a series of forums aimed at students and faculty to get direct input from the Cleveland State Community itself. Not only is this one of the main and only ways that students can get involved in the presidential search process, but it sets the tone for what the Committee will search for and write in the job description.

“This phase of the search is used to determine the qualities and priorities of the next President,” Spademan said.

After that, the committee will begin reviewing resumes and conducting interviews with potential candidates.

In the interest of the candidate and making the process smooth as possible, students and faculty will not meet individual candidates, but rather their new president once they have been chosen.

“We don’t want to lose someone really good because they think they’re only one candidate out of two or three,” Spademan said. He also explained that publicity could also put candidates in an awkward position with their current employers, and force the candidate to decline any offers made by CSU.

However, students and faculty can still give their suggestions. The Presidential Search Committee website has a suggestions box, where people can anonymously send their comments – and some people have already written in with their suggestions.

Spademan explained that most of the comments they’ve received from the suggestion box are things that the university is already working on, such as making sure that the next president puts students first and can create “creative partnerships that lead to opportunities for students.” These are all things that the committee will take into consideration.

“We have tremendous momentum as a university,” Spademan said, “And we don’t want to lose that.”