CSU faculty senate addresses Notre Dame College acquisition talks, high-level departures
Cleveland State University’s faculty senate hosted its first meeting of the spring semester at the Student Center Glasscock Ballroom on Jan. 31, with the reported talks about CSU possibly acquiring Notre Dame College top of the agenda.
CSU President Laura Bloomberg, Ph.D., addressed reports that CSU officials have discussed acquiring Notre Dame College, a small and financially struggling private Catholic school located in South Euclid.
Bloomberg acknowledged that she has met with Notre Dame College officials three times.
Notre Dame College and Cleveland State have both engaged Ernst Young-Parthenon, a strategy consulting firm, to investigate the fiscal situations at the financially strapped schools. But Bloomberg told the senate that potential scenarios for the future did not include any acquisitions at this point.
Bloomberg said she saw Notre Dame's situation as an opportunity to explore future revenue sharing models.
“We decided as we worked with EY that we would think of Notre Dame College as something of a test case to help us come up with a rubric,” Bloomberg said. “What would be the things that we would think about if we were to consider a different kind of relationship whether it’s a merger, or an acquisition or a strategic partnership with some revenue sharing model.”
Bloomberg said that if the university were close to an acquisition of Notre Dame that there would be different types of conversations occurring. She did not specify what those different types of conversations would be.
Bloomberg was then asked about the resignation of four people from leadership positions, some of which went on to work jobs at Instacart and as graduate assistants. Only one of the resignations, that of the athletic director, was made public. Bloomberg said that the reasoning for the resignations was protocol and personal reasons.
Bloomberg discussed the importance of continuing to strive for student success despite the resignations.
“It’s a collective campus responsibility to actually create a sense of student belonging and success," Bloomberg said. "So I imagine there’s far more conversations and that forum that is gathering now may be a good spot for some of that to happen."
CSU’s core curriculum committee addressed the university’s transition from general education courses to a core curriculum, where students will have to complete 36 credit hours of classwork in a more integrated form.
Inquiry pathways will attempt to provide students a better understanding of course material and community through students completing three courses around a similar theme. Dr. Shelley Rose, a member of the core curriculum committee, spoke on the impact of general education moving to core curriculum and how pathways will play an important role in courses.
“We need to make sure students can complete the 36 credits as we played them out, they will complete them in pathways,” Rose said. “We’ll have some pathways ready… but the pathways will be the innovation that makes CSU a little different.”
The faculty senate approved a motion supporting the shift to a core curriculum. The university core curriculum committee expects to start implementing the transition in the fall 2025 semester.
Faculty senate President Anup Kumar, Ph.D., spoke about core curriculum and the university’s continued curricular innovations.
“I think we have done a lot. I think not doing anything was not an option for us,” Kumar said. “We have to move on and continuous improvement and innovation is what we should aspire (to), and so this core curriculum is that.”
Class cancellations, budget
CSU’s Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Nigamanth Sridhar, Ph.D., discussed class cancellations and how the university is trying to lessen disruption to students’ schedules.
“We want to minimize those kinds of things, which is why we’re putting the work in now to say, how can we build a curriculum that we can actually afford,” Sridhar said.
Student Government Association (SGA) President Kayland Morris addressed student and professor concerns about canceled classes leading to delayed graduations.
“I know we’ve heard from professors that they want to help their students grow in their classes and getting classes cut is obviously hurting all of us,” Morris said.
The budget and finance committee highlighted VikeNet, a program on myCSU that allows users with CSU credentials to access monthly budget reports for different colleges at CSU.
Cleveland State’s faculty senate will host its next meeting on Feb. 28 at 3 p.m. in the Student Center Glasscock Ballroom.