Who’s new and who’s who in 2022: Recapping CSU’s recent hirings, firings, and more

High turnover continues within the administration of Cleveland State University. Here is everything you need to know about recent hirings, firings, retirements, and more among CSU leadership.

Harlan Sands out as president, Dr. Laura Bloomberg promoted

Dr. Laura Bloomberg. Photo courtesy of Cleveland State University.

Cleveland State University announced in late April that “the Cleveland State University Board of Trustees and President Harlan Sands have mutually agreed to part ways over differences regarding how the university should be led in the future.”

The same day, Dr. Laura Bloomberg was appointed as CSU’s eighth president, following an 8 month tenure as CSU’s Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs. Read our dedicated coverage here.

Sands was awarded a controversial severance package that included nearly $1 million and a highly paid faculty position at the Cleveland-Marshall College of Law. He will teach courses beginning this fall.

Dennis Gates departs, Daniyal Robinson joins as new men’s basketball coach

New head coach Daniyal Robinson during his tenure with Iowa State University. Photo courtesy of Vikings Athletics.

Just over two weeks after Coach Dennis Gates left Cleveland State, a new head coach was hired to lead the men’s basketball team. Daniyal Robinson is coming off a Sweet Sixteen appearance as the assistant coach for Iowa State University, and has over 20 years of experience in coaching NCAA Division I basketball.

Robinson comes to Cleveland State boasting a large contract, $325,000 a year for the next five years according to cleveland.com. Should Robinson bring this team to the NCAA tournament, his base salary will increase to $400,000 a year. Read our dedicated coverage here.

Dr. Nigamanth Sridhar fills provost role

Dr. Sridhar. Photo courtesy of Cleveland State University.

Shortly after being appointed as president, Bloomberg announced who would be taking on her previous role as interim Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs. Dr. Nigamanth Sridhar, professor of computer science and former Dean of CSU’s College of Graduate Studies began the role on May 9th.

Sridhar was on leave from the university since April 2020, when he began as a Program Director in the Directorate for Education and Human Resources for the National Science Foundation.

Director of Residence Life and Housing removed

Following a chaotic beginning to the year, Residence Life seemed to find its footing throughout the fall semester, it’s first with new housing operator Greystar. Residence Life is expected to continue expanding as part of the CSU 2.0 plan, with sources saying an acquisition of The Edge on Euclid or The Langston are imminent.

However, Director of Residence Life Allison Heuring was terminated in mid-February. Details about the decision are unknown. Abbas Hill, recently chosen as Executive Director of Residence Life and Housing, brings 16 years of Residence Life experience to the role.

Three Deans to step down, replacements expected this summer

Left to right: Dr. Elizabeth Lehfeldt, Dr. Meredith Bond, and Dr. Allyson Robichaud. Photos courtesy of Cleveland State University.

Searches are underway for three deans across CSU’s colleges. Dean of the Jack, Joseph, and Morton Mandel Honors College Dr. Elizabeth Lehfeldt announced in March that she would be stepping down from her role as Dean to rejoin the History Department as a faculty member.

Update: Dr. Rachel Carnell, a professor of English, has been selected as Interim Dean of the Honors College. “The Honors College is a key part of our plans to establish CSU students as leaders in the Northeast Ohio community and I look forward to working with Dr. Carnell to build upon the strong foundation of the college and elevate it to the next level,” said Provost Sridhar in an email to the campus community.

Following the CSU 2.0 college realignment, two other dean positions are also soon to be filled, for the College of Health and the College of Arts & Sciences. The new deans are expected to begin in July.

Dr. Meredith Bond, current Dean of the College of Sciences and Health professions will step down from her role as Dean, but additionally holds the title of Interim Vice President for Research and Innovation.

Dr. Allyson Robichaud, current Interim Dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences, is set to retire following the selection of the new dean, but will stay on to assist with the transition.

Several other colleges have also seen recent changes. A new dean for the Washkewicz College of Engineering, Dr. Richard Schoephoerster, began the role in February. Additionally, the newly organized College of Education and Public Affairs will be led by Dean Roland Anglin.

CSU PD gets new Chief of Police

CSU PD Chief of Police Anthony Traska departed the university in February. He is now Chief of Police for Mercy Health in Lorain, Ohio. Taking his place Captain Beverly Pettrey, who is serving as Acting Chief. Pettrey has been with the department since 2006.

The CSU police department also saw the addition of two new members to the team: Rune and Thor, therapy dogs. Rune, paired with Officer Toni Jones, can be seen frequently on campus and has taken over the department’s social media.

Trustee’s appointment ends

Business executive Thomas Adler’s term on the Board of Trustees ended on May 1st, 2022. He was appointed in 2009. The positions are appointed by the governor for nine-year terms. The annual selection of a new Board of Trustees Student Representative is also expected to be announced soon, as student Arlindo Ahmetaj’s term expired the same day.

Student supports see vacancies filled

The Office of Disability Services lost their director, Grace Clifford, in March. Marcos Rivera, previously of Case Western Reserve University, began as interim director shortly after.

After a year of being led by a graduate assistant, a professional staff member for the Mareyjoyce Green Women’s Center has been hired. Evie DuVernay, an adjunct faculty member in the Women & Gender Studies department, will take on the role of Assistant Director. They have experience working at the Cleveland Leadership Center, LGBT Center of Greater Cleveland, and The Diversity Center of Northeast Ohio.

In the Office of Institutional Equity, LaJuan Flores was promoted to Director after nearly 4 years with CSU as OIE’s Associate Director.

Positions yet to be filled include coordinator for the Lift Up Vikes! Food Pantry & Resource Center, which was entirely student run this year, and two Assistant Vice Presidents for Campus Engagement and Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion.

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