What does the CSU board of trustees do, and who are its members?
Cleveland State University’s board of trustees is a group of nine people, or trustees, appointed by the Ohio governor whose main goal is to, alongside the university’s president, make decisions on the school’s programs, finances and the university as a whole that align with the University Mission Statement.
In addition to the nine trustees, CSU’s board of trustees also includes two faculty representatives, two student representatives and a secretary to the board. Each trustee is appointed by the Governor to serve on the board for nine years. The two student representatives, who are also appointed by the Governor, serve on the board for two years.
Although the university’s board of trustees comprises more than the nine trustees, only those nine trustees have the authority to vote.
Yet, despite the powerful role those nine members play at CSU, the average member of the university community probably knows next to nothing about them.
Who are the trustees?
David M. Reynolds is the chair of the CSU board of trustees and has been serving as the chair since May 2016. Reynolds previously served as a community board member on Cleveland State’s board of trustees from 2015 to 2016. He is a private banking executive as well as a national director of channel management and client acquisition for Key Private Bank. He is a board director for both the Great Lakes Science Center and University Hospitals’ Cleveland Medical Center as well.
Timothy J. Cosgrove is the Vice Chair of Cleveland State’s board of trustees and has been serving in this position since May 2019. Cosgrove, a second-term member of the board, is a government relations professional and a law partner at Squire Patton Boggs, which is a global law firm. Additionally, Cosgrove is an alumnus of CSU, where he attended for both his undergraduate education as well as for law school. He is an Ohio Lobbying Association member in addition to being a member of both the Greater Cleveland Partnership’s and the Ohio Chamber of Commerce’s Public Affairs Committee respectively.
Lisa K. Kunkle is the treasurer of the university’s board of trustees and has been serving in this position since May 2015. Kunkle is currently the Senior Vice President of General Counsel and Secretary at Avient Corporation outside of the CSU board of trustees. Kunkle is also a board member at Magnificat High School and the Cleveland Leadership Center.
Patricia M. DePompei is the executive committee member of CSU’s board of trustees and has been serving in the position since May 2018. DePompei is the president of both University Hospitals’ MacDonald’s Women’s Hospital and Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital. Additionally, DePompei has previously served as a Ronald McDonald House of Cleveland board member and as a cabinet member for Greater Cleveland Health Care.
Paul J. Dolan is a member of the university’s board of trustees who’s been serving in this position since June 2021. Dolan, who is the Chief Executive Officer, owner and chairman of the Cleveland Guardians, is also involved with several businesses in the Greater Cleveland area. Dolan is currently a board member for the Playhouse Square Foundation, Cleveland Clinic, Unify Labs, Greater Cleveland Partnership and Evergreen Cooperatives. Dolan is also a United Way of Greater Cleveland chairman.
Stephen F. Kirk is a member of Cleveland State’s board of trustees and has been serving as a board member since May 2014. Kirk, who previously served on the university’s board of trustees as a non-voting community member from 2013 to 2015, was the former Chief Operating Officer at Lubrizol prior to his retirement, ending his 43 years at Lubrizol in December 2011. Kirk now serves on the board of directors for ICM Products Inc., Ashland Inc., Robbins & Meyers and is a Boy Scouts Greater Western Reserve Advisory Council member. Kirk is also an alumnus of CSU’s Monte Ahuja College of Business, where he earned his Master of Business Administration in addition to receiving an Honorary Doctor of Business degree. Along with serving on Cleveland State’s board of trustees, Kirk is also the chair on CSU’s Foundation Board and previously served as a chair on CSU’s Monte Ahuja College of Business Advisory Board from 2007 to 2012.
Alan G. Starkoff is a member of CSU’s board of trustees and has been serving on the board since May 2017. Starkoff is an attorney and senior counsel at Ice Miller LLP, a law firm based in Columbus, and is a senior fellow of the Litigation Counsel of America: an invitation-only honor society. In addition to the CSU board of trustees, Starkoff, who is also an alumnus of the Cleveland State University College of Law, is a board member of The Honey Baked Ham Company and was previously a board member of the Columbus Symphony Orchestra.
P. Kelly Tompkins is the newest member of Cleveland State University’s board of trustees and was appointed by Gov. Mike DeWine on February 24, 2023. Tompkins, who is an alumnus of the CSU College of Law, filled the vacancy on the board, which had previously remained open since May 2022. Tompkins is also a Leader-in-Residence at the university’s College of Law in addition to serving as a senior advisor at Dix & Eaton and an independent director of First American Funds. Prior to his current position with CSU’s board of trustees, Tompkins previously served as a board of trustees member at his undergraduate alma mater, Mercyhurst University located in Erie, Pennsylvania, and a Chair of the Advisory Council for the Baldwin Wallace University Center for Innovation & Growth.
Vanessa L. Whiting has been a member of CSU’s board of trustees since September 2020. Whiting serves as president of A.E.S. Management Corp., which is a franchisee of Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen. Additionally, she works as an attorney at the Cleveland law firm she founded and which carries her name. Whiting is also the chair of the board of trustees at the MetroHealth system, a member of Tri-C’s board of trustees and a Life Member of the NAACP. Whiting was a member of Gov. DeWine’s Business Advisory Committee for COVID-19.
Board of trustees meetings are open to the public, except when the board meets in executive session. You can find out more about the CSU board of trustees here, and its next meeting is scheduled for May 18, 2023.