Cleveland State's Outgoing President Gives His Final Commencement Speech

May 12, 2018

Cleveland State University's seal

Ronald Berkman participated in his final commencement as president of Cleveland State University this weekend.  Berkman steps down this summer after nine years leading the urban institution.

During his tenure, Berkman implemented policies that he says were meant to help first generation and minority students succeed, like allowing students to enroll in classes for multiple semesters at a time to keep them on track to graduate.

Berkman says with record low-unemployment rates, finding a job after completing an advanced degree is becoming more competitive, and that’s forcing colleges and universities to shift their focus.

“Our task really is to find ways in which we can create bridges between what they are learning inside the classroom and how that learning applies," Berkman says.

Applies to their future career, Berkman says.

Harlan Sands, chief financial officer of the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Business, will take over as CSU’s president on July 1.