CSU Student Center
Credit: Kirsten Beard
Cleveland State University's President Laura Bloomberg, Ph.D., told the Faculty Senate that the university was looking to boost state funding as part of CSU's bid to address a $17.4 million budget deficit.

CSU seeks ways to boost funding in face of deficit

Cleveland State University President Dr. Laura Bloomberg says CSU will be looking for more state funding as it seeks ways to overcome a $17.4 million deficit.

Cleveland State University's President Laura Bloomberg, Ph.D. told the Faculty Senate at its Nov. 9 meeting that the university was looking to boost state funding amongst options to top up CSU's finances amid a drop in enrollments and a $17.4 million budget deficit.

Bloomberg said 2022 could be a "fairly healthy budget year for the state," and that she was hopeful that some of that money would come Cleveland State's way.

She told the Faculty Senate that the core of CSU's pitch to the state would be social mobility.

"We create social mobility, we are an economic engine for the state," Bloomberg said. "We should have a larger piece of the pie."

She pointed to two avenues in Supplemental Security Income (SSI) increasing across the state and allowing for students to become eligible for the Ohio College Opportunity Grant (OCOG) which would also lead to an overall increase in state funds. 

"We're hoping to make the case that all students who are Pell eligible should also be eligible for OCOG funds, and that those funds should substantially increase,” Bloomberg said.

The Ohio College of Opportunity Grant is a program that identifies Ohio residents who demonstrate high levels of financial need, predetermined by the student’s FAFSA results. 

Bloomberg noted that the amount of money the state directs towards public institutions has fallen by "hundreds of millions of dollars" since 2008. 

"I don't know if we can get back to that level," Bloomberg said, "but I think we should make the case that this is the year that we do."

Chair of the Senate Budget and Finance Committee Dr Tatyana Guzman reminded the Senate that even with increased state funding, the university still needs to find a way to be self-sufficient. 

“We should not undermine the problem, the budget [deficit] problem, it is still huge, right,” Guzman said. “And it is great, if we could get some state transfers, it would be amazing, right? But we have to be self-sufficient, we have to rely on our own efforts.”

She added that dipping into the university's reserves to cover the funding gap was not viable long term, since it would deplete the reserves within four to five years. 

Will the board of trustees drop "Marshall" from the law school's name?

President Bloomberg's second key topic she took to the Faculty Senate was the upcoming decision the Board of Trustees will make on Nov. 17 whether to drop the name "Marshall” from the CSU law school. 

“I acknowledge that people have differing views about this and that it now comes before our board of trustees,” Bloomberg said.

Adding that though she is confident in the strategy that they have created in their recommendation of removal to the board, she said the final decision was in the hands of the trustees. 

“We have been thoughtful, planful and strategic about the recommendation that we brought to the board,” said Bloomberg. “I also equally honor the fact that the board has the right to make the decision they believe is best.”

Shorelight and CSU Global

Interim Provost Dr. Nigamanth Sridhar told the Faculty Senate of changes in the top leadership at Shorelight, the third-party organization working with CSU Global to expand the university's international enrollments. 

The collaboration got off to a rocky start when Shorelight sent to the university more than double the number of anticipated students, most of whom were interested in a small number of fields.

Sridhar said CSU has asked Shorelight to develop "an organized method by which the team here can actually learn about us as a university, as opposed to them coming to us and saying, 'Here are the students we have. Please take them into the into these programs.'"

"We are a comprehensive university with over 70 undergraduate and 70 graduate programs," Sridhar added. "So take the time to understand what it is our program offering is, and then go out and, and recruit for us." 

The Faculty Senate will next meet on Wednesday, Dec. 7.