Cleveland State University President Michael Schwartz announced today that he will relinquish the top post at CSU at the end of the 2008-09 academic year. Schwartz will step down as president effective July 1, 2009. After a one-year sabbatical, he will return to CSU to teach.
The University’s Board of Trustees will begin a nationwide search for his replacement. If a permanent replacement is not in place by July of 2009, the Board will appoint an interim president.
“When I came to Cleveland State University in 2001, I set the bar high – for myself and for the University. I expected improvement and accountability, and I fostered the belief that for us to succeed, all of us – as a team – needed to embrace risk and step away from the status quo. The condition of the University was good, but quickly needed to get better,” said Schwartz.
“After serving as president for seven years, I feel that the advancement of CSU and the accomplishments of its faculty, staff and students have far exceeded my expectations. I am confident that the management team that is currently in place is the best I have ever had the privilege of working with, and they will continue to carry on the growth and quality enhancement of CSU with vigor through a seamless transition of leadership. It is with pride that I leave the leadership of this great institution in their capable hands.”
President Schwartz will be remembered as the catalyst that made CSU an integral player and key component in the economic growth of Cleveland, embracing a philosophy that for Cleveland to be good, Cleveland State University must be good. His forward thinking has revitalized the campus in every respect, from restructuring it to run efficiently as a business, to reengineering student services to put the proper emphasis on the “customers” of the university – its students, to more than a quarter billion dollars of new and improved campus buildings.
He has proven to be a leader with vision, not only for the University but for the entire Northeast Ohio region. He is a man of the people, whose easy-going manner, humor and genuine interest in others have endeared him to the campus community, business and civic leaders, and donors.
President Schwartz has accomplished very lofty goals for CSU and for himself personally: providing the highest quality education; improving research efforts and increasing research awards to CSU; attracting more and better prepared students; retaining and graduating students; placing graduates in jobs; and engaging them as alumni. Under his creative leadership, Cleveland State has become known for its teaching, research and service, and continues to be more proactive, collaborative and regionally engaged as a student-focused center of excellence. He has significantly increased scholarship support for deserving students, such as through the Moses Cleaveland scholarship program and under his leadership, the University’s fundraising has reached an all-time high.
“I look at this as an opportunity for me to return to the classroom to once again do what I love so very, very much – working with students who crave knowledge in their quest for better lives,” said Schwartz. “I look forward to not leaving Cleveland State University, but to remaining on this campus that I love in a way that will give me fulfillment and enjoyment and, hopefully, provide a positive impact upon another generation of college students.”
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