CSU 2.0 unveiled, what does it mean for students?

By: Connor Mahon

Cleveland State University President Harlan Sands unveiled plans for CSU 2.0 on Friday morning to the CSU community, By: Molly Bregar

Friday morning, Cleveland State University President Harlan Sands presented the blueprint for CSU 2.0 which is “an aggressive, growth-oriented plan for emerging from the global pandemic a stronger, more-focused institution.” 

CSU 2.0 was first announced in July 2020, when five task forces were created in the areas of academics, administration, diversity/inclusion, athletics, and growth/innovation. Final recommendations were delivered in November, and made available in January. Seven themes, originally from a December 2018 “Statement of Strategic Priorities,” were altered to reflect the findings of the task forces, and consolidated into four: “setting the university apart for student success/engaged learning, distinction as a leading public research university, strengthening its role as an anchor institution/becoming a “beacon” institution and building financial strength.”

The bulk of information and the 23 page final document can be a lot to process. In a series of upcoming articles, “The Cauldron” will be breaking down each of the four themes and what it means for you, the student. 

Highlights of the ambitious plan are a target of 20,000 students by 2025 (up from the current student body of approximately 16,500), 200 new faculty members, and investments in research. 

Also notable are increased financial aid, expanded residential opportunities, and plans to improve retention rates and close the achievement gap for under-represented minority students. 

One slide included artistic renderings of two possibilities for the future of Rhodes tower, as well as improvements to the student center. Sands commented, “This is an aspirational slide; I wanted to give you some sense of where transformation could happen.”

Concepts for Rhodes Tower on the left and top right, a Starbucks and patio seating in front of the student center, and more indoor dining options, Screenshot by: Connor Mahon

“CSU 2.0 is a bold, forward-thinking, aspirational vision for our future. This is about growth, not retrenchment. We’ve set ambitious, achievable goals. We’ll be serving more students, distinguishing ourselves as a leading urban public research institution, and expanding our role as an anchor institution in the region to better serve and support greater Cleveland,” Sands said in the Facebook Live event.

In the near future, students can learn more and weigh in in discussions with university vice presidents and deans, and continued town hall meetings with President Sands. An exact timeline for the implementation of these plans is still uncertain, with many elements having a goal date of 2025.

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