By Jenna Thomas
In his first speech as president of Cleveland State University in mid Oct. 2018, Harlan Sands laid out some of his intentions in the coming years.
“Building teams around core missions, putting talent in the right places, and creating environments where achieving difficult objectives is possible– that is what drives me, and that is what I look forward to doing at CSU,” Sands said.
Now in his third academic year as president, Sands has not stopped his efforts to make a mark on the university. Even a worldwide pandemic has not pumped the brakes. In July, the Office of the President announced the commission of five task forces to address academics, administration, diversity/inclusion, athletics, and growth/innovation. This is another part of the university’s plan to stay competitive and assert themselves as a vital institution in the region. In their press release, the university defined the scope of the task forces.
“…to prioritize and hone in on more specific recommendations that will further refine our future strategic priorities, teaching and learning pedagogies, alignment of resources, and investments.”
The changes that come out of these task forces may not be overt to a student’s eye―instead, they might be subtle changes over the next few years in the school’s budget, curriculum, and investments. Will CSU put more money and resources into certain colleges, programs, and athletics? Will research become more of a priority? How will the university fare in the diversity and inclusion of its leadership?
These questions and more will hopefully be answered over the course of this academic year. Taskforce leaders are to have their recommendations by November 16. It is not yet clear if the recommendations will be made public, but we can expect more town halls and a “CSU 2.0” dedicated web page in the coming months.