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November 10, 2011 / hpclevelandstater

The buzz on the Chronicle of Higher Education article

Writing about the Chronicle of Higher Education article that featured Cleveland State presented a couple problems.
For one, I generally don’t have a desire to write a story about someone else’s story. If the administration or faculty have a problem with the author, that’s between them, not me. I would prefer to not make it my business.
But the talk on campus became too much to ignore, which led to the other problem.
The article was expected to be a topic of discussion at Wednesday’s Faculty Senate meeting. However, the Stater — which comes out every other Thursday — prints on Wednesday afternoon.
Furthermore, at least one interested party I talked to on Monday didn’t want to say anything until everyone had a chance to give their side at the meeting. That’s very professional and noble, but it didn’t do me any good because I had to produce a story by Tuesday morning.
So the story in the print edition was printed based on the Chronicle story, an email from the faculty union and a letter to faculty from Provost Geoffrey S. Mearns. We put a note at the top of the story referring to the recap on the web.
But to me, it was almost like a preemptive strike explaining why the print edition story wasn’t complete even though it hit the racks after the meeting took place.
Thankfully, we can put content on the web now. And if you’ve made it this far, that means you found it. Hopefully it all makes sense now, no time travel required.

October 26, 2011 / hpclevelandstater

You’ll need running shoes to keep up with Provost Geoffrey S. Mearns

Cleveland State provost Geoffrey S. Mearns speaks with enthusiasm when discussing the state the university’s academic affairs. He gets that energy in part from his exercise regimen.

Mearns ran cross country and track at Yale, and he is still active in running. His time of 29 minutes, 50 seconds in the 10,000 meters in 1979 is third on the Elis’ all-time outdoor list. He holds the 50-54 age group record at the Blossom Time Run. He set the record in the 5-mile race with a 31:18 in 2010.

Mearns said he’s staying in shape in case his dream job opens up.

“I told the athletic director and the coach of the women’s cross country coach Joe Jaketic that my real career aspiration is to be the cross country and track coach at Cleveland State,” Mearns said. “Having been an intercollegiate athlete myself, I really enjoyed the interaction with student-athletes.”

Mearns added that he is looking forward to attending the Horizon League cross country meet on Oct. 29 at Squire Valleevue Farm in Hunting Valley.

October 12, 2011 / hpclevelandstater

How do you tell time?

Other than pen and paper, my most-used item while on campus is my watch.

It’s essential for me. It’s how I stay on time. I don’t notice how often I look at it. But I’ve only forgotten it a couple times, and I felt lost.
While working on a story for the Cleveland Stater about the clock tower above the Main Classroom elevators being fixed, I found out I’m apparently one of few who tell time via something other than a cell phone.

I asked 10 people on the plaza that the clock overlooks for their thoughts about it being wrong and what CSU should do about it.
None of the people I asked knew it was wrong. Several didn’t even notice the clock until I pointed it out.

The universal reason was that they all tell time by looking at their cell phones.
This baffles me. I’ll give you two options for telling time:

1. Digging your phone out of your pocket and/or bag and hitting a button to activate it.

2. Looking at your wrist.

The second option sounds a lot easier to me. But I think this illustrates a generation gap.

I didn’t grow up with a cell phone. Using one has only been a part of my life for the past five-plus years.

I don’t live my life through it, and I like it that way.

If you’re someone who does rely heavily on a cell phone, you probably didn’t make it this far in the blog because your attention span lasts as long as it takes to check your email/text messages/twitter feed.

My apologies if that’s blunt and stereotypical. But it’s probably true, so that means you didn’t see it.

If you have made it this far, I wouldn’t be surprised if you’re wearing a watch. It’s a great way to tell time.

September 29, 2011 / hpclevelandstater

CSU-NEOMED partnership won’t have accelerated program

Cleveland State is joining the University of Akron, Kent State and Youngstown State as a feeder school into Northeast Ohio Medical University in Rootstown.

Unlike the other schools, CSU will not have an accelerated program in which prospective medical students can earn their undergraduate degrees in three years or fewer.

On the surface, that doesn’t sound like much of an endorsement of CSU’s academic standing.

However, Mark A. Penn, special assistant to the president and vice provost for affairs at CSU and special adviser to the president at NEOMED, says otherwise. He cited the following reasons:

– The CSU-NEOMED program will call for students with more life experience.

– If students want to do an accelerated program, they can go to one of those schools.

– Students will have more options in undergrad degrees before entering the CSU-NEOMED medical program. “You can come from just about any major here, B.S. or B.A,” Penn said.

– “We want to diversify the workforce in regard to race and ethnicity,” Penn said. “If you don’t create a system that builds on the strengths Cleveland State has … we want to give all backgrounds an opportunity to succeed.”

The CSU-NEOMED partnership, specifically the 35 seats it’s receiving State Share of Instruction money for, has a goal of producing doctors who will practice primary care in urban communities.

September 15, 2011 / hpclevelandstater

More information on faculty union contract

CSU’s chapter of the American Association of University Professors ratified a three-year contract proposal on Sept. 1. Here are more details on the deal, which the Board of Trustees will vote on Sept. 22:

– Minimum salaries: instructor – $45,000; assistant professor – $51,000; associate professor – $57,500; professor – $70,000.

– Minimum promotion increments: instructor to assistant professor – $3,000; assistant professor to associate professor – $6,000; associate professor to full professor – $9,000

– Across the board cost-of-living adjustments – .75 percent the first two years and 1.25 percent the third

– Merit awards pool: 35 awards of $4,000; 65 awards of $2,000 and 105 awards of $1,000

The changes to faculty pay for summer courses will be of interest to students hoping to catch up or graduate early. Faculty will only be paid at the full-time rate up to six credit hours. Any hours beyond that will be at the part-time rate.

Students who have had classes canceled in summers past probably don’t want to hear about anything that gives professors less incentive to teach during the summer. However, CSU-AAUP President Jeff Karem said that’s not the case.

He said there is no shortage of faculty who want to teach in the summer, and that the union believes having faculty teach summer classes improves retention and graduation rates.

September 6, 2011 / hpclevelandstater

Reminder of years past

For all the building that’s happened on campus in the past five-plus years, there are hints of semesters gone by left behind.

In the case of this sign, quarters past. It’s on a wall in the second floor of the main classroom building, just north of the elevators.

CSU hasn’t been on quarters since 1998. I’m betting this sign is much older than that.
I wonder how many students have walked past and read it in horror – “135 hours!?! I thought I only needed 128!” Back then, you needed 160 to graduate.

Fenn Tower once housed administration offices, and it’s now dorm rooms. Hopefully, the resident in 410 hasn’t found a graduation application in the mail.

July 8, 2011 / hpclevelandstater

CSU-NEOMED: Patience, then patients


A look at the priorities section on the CSU Advancement Office’s website gives you a good idea of where the CSU-Northeast Ohio Medical University partnership stands.

It’s one of five entities the agency has identified as its most important for donations.

The partnership has an enthusiastic leader in Mark Penn, who is splitting time between CSU and the NEOMED campus while getting the program together. He even has double-sided business cards.

Penn is engaging and energetic while promoting the program.

With that said, the public should be patient while waiting for the CSU-NEOMED partnership to produce its first physician.

The first of the 35 students (per year) selected for the CSU-to-NEOMED path won’t be making it to medical school until 2013. They have to takes classes at CSU to prepare for NEOMED first. Then it’s four years of medical school and 3 to 5 years of residency.

CSU will have three students separate from the program enter NEOMED this fall. They won’t receive partnership funding, but they will also have the freedom to choose their emphasis.

Most people know becoming a doctor takes a long time. But the partnernship’s first batch of CSU alums are two years away from getting to NEOMED. So it’s patience first, then patients.