2011 Best-in-Class Senior Management Diversity Nonprofit/Government
Cleveland State University (CSU) is a comprehensive metropolitan university committed to providing affordable education of high quality to students with diverse backgrounds, experiences, interests and needs. CSU’s commitment to diversity is imbedded in every aspect of its operation. CSU has the highest percentage of minority faculty of the public four-year universities in Ohio except Central State University (a historically Black university).
CSU also has the highest percentage of minority students among the same group. Its successful commitment to diverse leadership is evidenced by a senior management diversity percentage of 35 percent compared to 16.5 percent average for the nonprofit/government group. Strategies for success include:
- Updating the Board of Trustees annually regarding institutional diversity in accordance with the Board-approved Diversity Action Plan.
- Commitment by CSU President Ronald Berkman, a champion of diversity and inclusion, evidenced by his hiring actions: 66 percent minorities and 33 percent women. He has three formal groups charged with monitoring and making diversity recommendations to the President: President’s Council on Diversity, President’s Commission on the Role and Status of Women, and President’s Advisory Council on Equal Access and Opportunity. He meets annually with each group.
- Utilizing an aggressive hiring process embedded with multiple checks and balances to ensure a fair, thorough search including targeted outreach, requiring search firms to present diverse pools of candidates, and national advertising incorporating diverse resources;
- Requiring a diverse search committee for the hiring process with all members receiving orientation regarding the search and hiring procedures. A review is conducted by the Affirmative Action Office or Human Resources at each stage of the search. In addition, the vice president for institutional diversity participates in a group interview with finalist candidates for the most senior positions.
- Assigning the vice president for institutional diversity university-wide responsibility for diversity. All senior managers have responsibility for diversity within their areas. The vice president is an officer of the University and meets monthly with the president and members of the president’s cabinet.
- Empowering college-based diversity committees and councils to achieve relevant outcomes. This approach includes self-identification of barriers to diversity and development of strategic initiatives to overcome them. Committee focus areas include demographics related to student enrollment and graduation and collecting data and articles related to retention and graduation of minority students in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) fields.
“As the only public university in the Greater Cleveland metropolitan area, the issues of diversity and inclusion are imperatives. Diversity enriches the campus environment and enhances the educational experience of all CSU students, faculty and staff. Our mission to encourage excellence, diversity and engaged learning provides an enriching pathway for our students to a satisfying career in the region and global society.”
Dr. Ronald M. Berkman
Cleveland State University