Volunteer Leaders focused on leveraging CSU’s strengths

Volunteer Leaders focused on leveraging CSU’s strengths Image
Volunteer Leaders focused on leveraging CSU’s strengths April 21, 2016

Cleveland State University’s volunteer leaders gathered in April to hear from a researcher who has devoted his career to studying how universities can benefit from being in thriving cities while at the same time helping their host cities thrive.

The gathering was CSU’s second annual Volunteer Leadership Summit and the guest list was impressive, including members of CSU’s Board of Trustees, its Alumni Association board, the Board of Directors of the CSU Foundation, and members of the Visiting Committees that exist for each college within the University.

The keynote speaker was David Maurrasse, Ph.D., a national authority on the potential for anchor institutions – strongly rooted universities, hospitals, foundations and corporations – to be engaged in their communities. He told CSU’s volunteer leaders he was “very enthused about all the progress you are making here at CSU… I like to see colleges and universities truly prioritizing community engagement.”

Maurrasse’s talk fit beautifully with the theme of this year’s summit:  leveraging CSU’s strength as a top urban university.

CSU President Ronald M. Berkman thanked Maurrasse for his insights and shared a number of indicators that CSU is indeed a thriving urban university. He cited recent increases in enrollment, Brookings Institution findings about the ROI of a Cleveland State education, the Chronicle of Higher Education’s ranking CSU #1 in the nation for growth in sponsored research, and the connectivity that comes from hundreds of student internships and co-op experiences.

Faculty members involved in CSU’s Path to 2020 initiative also spoke to the University’s volunteer leaders, describing their work in focusing on CSU’s core identity in order for the University to thrive in a challenging environment.

Significantly, in addition to hearing from Maurrasse, Berkman and other presenters, the volunteer leaders had opportunities to meet one another in common cause and consider their own roles as advocates of the University.

“We are so grateful for all that our volunteer leaders do to help CSU build a best-in-class urban university in one of the best cities in the United States,” said Brian Breittholz, assistant vice president, alumni relations and executive director, CSU Alumni Association. Breittholz, who organized the summit, said the event helped provide context for the University’s role in the continued revitalization of Cleveland.

Pictured at the 2016 Volunteer Leadership Summit are, left to right, CSU Foundation Board of Directors members Daria L. Roebuck and G. William Evarts; David Fornari, a member of the Visiting Committee of the Monte Ahuja College of Business; and Robert H. Rawson, Jr., chair of the CSU Board of Trustees. Both Roebuck and Fornari are currently executives in residence at the Ahuja College of Business.