Mara J. Biggs

April 3, 2014

CSU Trustees pass new policy on discrimination and harassment

ASC 101 to include new interactive training modules to raise awareness about non-consensual sexual contact 

By Mara Biggs

Cleveland State University’s Board of Trustees approved a new policy on discrimination and harassment March 25, which defines and denounces forms of sexual violence, including relationship violence and non-consensual sexual contact, among other things. Sexual assault occurs epidemically, with one in four American women and one in six American men being victims in their lifetimes. 

The university is even going a step further to address the issues surrounding the culture of violence by implementing sexual violence training modules into new students’ curriculums starting this fall. The training modules are intended to raise awareness of sexual violence and prevent it. 

"It’s a very interactive training," said Yulanda McCarty-Harris, director of the Office of Institutional Equity. 

Training modules will be incorporated in ASC 101, a required course for all freshmen. The Office of Institutional Equity will work independently with transfer students and incoming law school and graduate students to ensure that anyone beginning a program at Cleveland State receives the training. 

To get students to understand the issues surrounding the culture of violence, the training needs to be “closer to an experience,” and must be gone about sensitively, perhaps individually, said Brian Orlando, an electrical engineering major who is close to people who have been victims of dating violence. 

Mike Conroy, also a senior studying electrical engineering, agreed with Orlando, saying that he doesn’t think sexual violence training is something that should be presented in a student orientation-type setting, as McCarty-Harris said it likely would be for law school students. Conroy said he feels that students won’t pay attention or be involved in the training if it’s taught before a large group. 

"I don’t know if you can get [the training] in a classroom," he added. "Unfortunately it’s an issue that you can’t dance around."

McCarty-Harris said she hopes that putting the training out there will compel people to actually file reports of sexual assault. Only 12 percent of these crimes ever get reported, as victims of assault often fear biases and unfair judgment from the judicial system.

"I think if [the training] is something they’re going to include, it should be very interactive and something students can relate to," said Melissa Bresnahan, who is working on a Masters of Social Work at Cleveland State. "I think it should be something where students understand why it’s important."

The Office of Institutional Equity is currently getting quotes from outside companies that have been contracted with other Ohio universities to provide sexual violence training. McCarty-Harris said that the company Campus Clarity is a top prospect. 

Campus Clarity provides comprehensive online training containing student focus group-tested storytelling and interactions to maximize user engagement and retention, as stated on the company website, 

The company claims to take a nonjudgmental approach to helping students navigate difficult and risky situations and to empowering students to make informed decisions. 

Campus Clarity’s training program has two courses for students, called “Think About It: Part I” and “Think About It: Part II.”

"Think About It: Part I" covers sexual violence, healthy relationships, sex in college and partying smart. "Think About It: Part II" is a sexual assault and substance abuse prevention program that immerses students in scenarios relevant to their college experience so that they can take the knowledge they gain from the course and apply it to real life. 

McCarty-Harris also said her office has been talking to Athletic Director John Parry about possibly doing a sexual violence training session for athletes.

"We certainly could and will add a session about sexual violence," which would be part of the athletic department’s "Welcome Back" program that kicks off at the beginning of every new school year, said Parry. 

According to McCarty-Harris, not many comments were made on the new discrimination/harassment policy while it was in the comment period, but some contained positive feedback for the inclusion of gender identity and/or expression as a basis on which discrimination and harassment will not be tolerated. 

Other comments raised concerns that the policy is too broad and may be an infringement on First Amendment rights, McCarty-Harris reported. 

The Office of Institutional Equity is looking to put together pamphlets with information on sexual violence and assault as well.

March 20, 2014

CSU eliminates geology major

Geology program ranked third-most cost-effective arts and sciences degree at CSU

By Mara Biggs

Cleveland State University has done away with the geology major due to declining enrollment and a lack of faculty with the expertise to teach geology coursework.

However, the environmental science major at Cleveland State is essentially the same as the traditional geology major, according to geology professor Dr. Pete Clapham. 

Clapham, who is one of three remaining geology professors at the university, said, “There were some important faculty retirements, and they were not replaced. I think if they had replaced the faculty who were retiring, [the geology program] would not have been declining.”

One of the three geology professors remaining plans to retire at the end of this school year.

Clapham said that students will get the same information and skills as environmental science majors that they would as geology majors — the only difference is the name of the major.

He added, “If you look at jobs in geology in this area, they’re in environmental sciences. If [students] want jobs in the earth sciences, they’re going to be on the environmental side of this.”

Geology courses will still be taught for the geology minor, the Bachelor of Science and the Master of Science in environmental science, and for the PhD in regulatory biology, according to professor and department chair Dr. Crystal Weyman. 

Geology courses will also continue to fulfill general education requirements for the College of Education and Human Services. 

Clapham said that he conducted a study years ago on the cost-effectiveness of the arts and science programs at Cleveland State, and found that the geology program was the third-most cost-effective. Cleveland State’s religion program, which was also in the top-three most cost-effective programs, was eliminated as well.

Clapham said he thinks the university made judgments about the effectiveness of programs and departments based on their size. 

The decision to eliminate the major was supported by the Department of Biological, Geological and Environmental Sciences and by the College of Sciences and Health Professions, said Weyman. 

A forum was held in the fall of 2013 with the support of the dean Meredith Bond’s office to ensure degree completion for current geology majors. 

"I think where we’re going in the future is a goal of a well-developed environmental science program," said Clapham. "I’m optimistic."

March 20, 2014

Local rockers debut single

By Mara Biggs

Cleveland-based rock group Kiss Me Deadly packed the house at Happy Dog for their single-release show on March 15.

The band is fronted by singer/songwriter and guitarist Jen Poland, a teaching assistant in Cleveland State University’s School of Communication. Dr. Evan Lieberman, a professor of Film and the director of the Media Arts and Technology division of the School of Communication at the university, is the bassist and occasionally the second guitarist of the group. 


Kiss Me Deadly is currently putting the finishing touches on a full-length studio album, which will be titled “What You Do In The Dark.” The group plans to try to get radio play once everything is mixed and mastered. 

Lieberman said the band also plans to begin shooting a “futuristic film noir” to accompany the album in late spring or early summer. 

Poland and Lieberman have been playing together in a band for nearly four years. A list of former bandmates grew before Poland and Lieberman found the group’s most recent keyboard player, Daniel Baxter, and drummer Madelyn Hayes.

Baxter has been with the group for about two years and Hayes for about a year and a half.

"When Madelyn joined the band is when everything changed," said Lieberman. "It’s when we became serious." 

The Happy Dog show was the last Baxter will ever play as a member of Kiss Me Deadly, however, as he will be moving out of state for a new job. 

The single-release show was the first show Kiss Me Deadly has played at Happy Dog. The band seemed to enjoy the atmosphere and experience, in spite of having to ask the sound guy to turn up the vocals several times. 

"The cool thing about Happy Dog is that they actually have people who come here and pay a cover to hear bands. That’s very unique," said Poland.

The band also seemed appreciative of the Happy Dog crowd’s character, which Baxter described as musically-educated, mentioning that one audience member was able to detect the Talking Heads influence in his keyboard parts.

"It’s a really sharp audience — a tough crowd," Lieberman added. 

The group said they really like playing gigs at Becky’s and Mahall’s as well, but that the Beachland is their favorite Cleveland music venue. 

"I love the Beachland as a venue," said Lieberman. "It’s like the Cleveland Museum of Art. They’re dedicated to continuing an art form in a very sophisticated way."

Poland said the band usually plays open-mic nights once a week to generate support, network and “touch base with the music community.” She tries to organize shows for the band once a month. 

February 27, 2014 

Brite Winter highlights new face of Cleveland

By Jordan Gonzalez and Mara Biggs

If any foreigners visited Brite Winter festival on Feb. 15, they would have seen a thriving community in Ohio City, full of food, drinks, art, music and thousands of chipper Clevelanders. 

Despite temperatures that flirted with the negatives, the atmosphere wasn’t dampened, and even after the outdoor activities ended, the local bars and restaurants stayed packed until late into the night. 

For a city that rebuilds their sports teams almost every year and has gained national attention for multiple serial killers, diabolical abductors and a ravaging heroin problem, the Cleveland of Brite Winter festival was not what the stereotypes portray. 


Local entrepreneurs and residents see a different Cleveland — one that doesn’t accept that the only positive part of Cleveland is a museum dedicated to old musicians. 

"People that love Cleveland the most are very often folks who were born elsewhere and came here," said Sam McNulty, Cleveland State University graduate and owner of multiple bars, including Bier Markt, Bar Cento and Market Garden Brewery. "We haven’t done a great job at telling the world what we’re about, we tend to be humble and self-deprecating."

The new face of Cleveland is one of cheap housing, craft beer, high-spirited night life and thriving festivals, according to the ones that have played a part in its creation. 

Recently Cleveland has gained some positive national attention for its craft beer and its nightlife, even getting a nod from Fortune Magazine, who said it has a “63 percent chance of being a new Brooklyn” due to Ohio City, Tremont and Gordon Square. 

McNulty, who started off with a cafe in the basement of Cleveland State’s old student center, has played a major role in making Ohio City’s West 25th Street what it is today, with his string of bars that line the street.

While he said he takes the article as a compliment, he doesn’t think Cleveland will be a new Brooklyn, nor should it be a goal. 

"We all know people to try to be like others instead of just being themselves," McNulty said. "I think Cleveland is great at being a really good Cleveland. Can we be a better Cleveland? Absolutely." 

Thomas Fox, a Cleveland native and Program and Marketing Director for Brite Winter festival, shares McNulty’s hesitation for the idea of Cleveland being a new Brooklyn. 

"I like Brooklyn but that headline [in Fortune Magazine] is a little empty to me," Fox said. "There are good things and bad things about both Cleveland and Brooklyn."

Fox said both cities share excellent qualities, including creativity, original thought, thriving art communities, hard workers and “a culture built on an ethnic melting pot.”

Then there are some differences. While Brooklyn has more people and a better public transportation system, Cleveland has more space and is much more affordable. 

One of the keys to Cleveland’s continued success will be how it spreads its new developments said McNulty. Instead of “spreading development out like peanut butter,” Cleveland needs to focus its development from its core. 

"From there we start connecting these nodes and once we hit saturation levels in those areas, it’s going to kind of spill out and grow organically," said McNulty. 

But not all are on board with the modern apartments and craft beer. 

An older man clad in a superhero costume strode around the festival from the first act through the last act with a red acoustic guitar, occasionally stopping to strum a few chords for curious festival-goers. 

The self-proclaimed “Guitar Man” and Ohio City legend, who was later identified by local shop owner Alex Nosse as Eli Fletcher, said,”I’m not part of the organized entertainment. I’m an outlaw.”

Fletcher, who has lived in Ohio City since 1960 and claims to have “toured with everyone from Ella Fitzgerald to the Rolling Stones,” said he believes his neighborhood has changed for the worse. 

"This place used to be fine," said Fletcher. "[Now] it’s a class issue. Now it’s a bunch of alcohol and rich people." 

Many don’t share Fletcher’s thoughts, however. 

Alex Nosse, whose Joy Machines Bike Shop hosted one of the ten music stages, acknowledged the class shift in the community, but had a slightly different take on the repercussions of it.

Nosse spent the day amiably greeting festival attendees from behind the counter of his store. Born and raised in Ohio City, he said it’s hard to find an empty storefront in the neighborhood nowadays, unlike when he was growing up. He said Ohio City has become more high-end, and its commodities higher quality. 

Although the area is attracting younger, single people, Nosse said Ohio City has always been, and still is, welcoming to families. 

Fox pointed out that a lot of the entertainment, especially in a festival like Brite Winter, is family friendly. 

"We’ve put together diverse entertainment at Brite Winter. People come with their families, play games and watch the fire twirlers," Fox said. "We sold out of hot chocolate, we also sold out of beer."

Nosse, who is involved with several neighborhood civic groups, said it’s a back and forth balance for the community to keep offering high-end products and services without becoming too expensive for long-time residents to afford. 

McNulty said he understands where Fletcher is coming from, even though he supports the new face of Cleveland.

A healthy city is ethnically, racially, economically and culturally diverse, he said, with the ultimate goal being a high amount of choice in the smallest amount of area, said McNulty. He doesn’t think Cleveland is there yet, but he believes Cleveland is on the right track. 

"Some people think of gentrification as a bad word, and it can be if it gets out of control," McNulty said, who recently purchased land in Ohio City to build seven townhouses. "But I would say Cleveland has years to go before we start losing this tremendous asset that is our affordability."

Looking forward, McNulty and Fox both agree there is still much to be done. Although he didn’t single out any politicians, McNulty bemoaned those that seek for tax dollars to be spent on the Cleveland sports teams instead of schools and potholes. Fox criticized former politicians who missed opportunity after opportunity in the past decades. 

But for now, they plan on working with the assets that Cleveland already has. 

"[Cleveland’s] authenticity speaks for itself," McNulty said. "We’re not Brooklyn, we’re not trying to be Brooklyn, we’re going to be a really good Cleveland." 

February 27, 2014

Fifth year of festival extremely successful, thousands once again celebrate in Ohio City with music, art and food

By Jordan Gonzalez and Mara Biggs


What began in 2010 as a graduate student project from Case Western Reserve University that attracted around 800 people and three local bands has expanded into a rocking festival that attracts thousands (an estimated 20,000 last year and similar numbers this year) of attendees and over 70 bands from all over the U.S. 

The 2014 Brite Winter Festival took place on Feb. 15 in Ohio City. The festival attracted a diverse crowd of all ages and ethnicities. For each group of beer-toting students rocking skinny jeans and hipster sweaters there was an older couple or a family. 

Every bar and restaurant on West 25th Street was packed. Without a seat left in a single establishment, bodies stood wedged together, and even spilled into the street outside of Great Lakes Brewing Company and Bier Markt. 

Thousands of attendees participated in the outdoor activities, playing games, watching the concerts and waiting in line for $5 beers courtesy of Great Lakes Brewing Company and Willoughby Brewing Company. 

The crowds in Market Square Park and the main stage area in the parking lot of West 26th and Market Avenue grew larger as the night rolled on. People danced and huddled around a number of roaring fire pits to keep from freezing in the continually dropping temperature of the evening, which peaked at 9 degrees (with around -7 degree wind chill). 

"Dance with us to get warm," bassist and back-up singer Casey Sullivan from Boston-based indie-pop band Air Traffic Controller said to the crowd. 

"Cleveland is more used to cold weather, so they get enough people to come because we’re used to it," said Rachel Murar, a Cleveland State student. "We’re used to freezing our ass off all the time. We go to Browns games and sit through it and they lose all the time. This has at least more incentive."


It was a little more challenging for some musicians to stay warm. Almost all musicians at Brite reported numb fingers, but none let the cold affect their energy and performance. 

"I thought it would be a lot worse, and for the first three songs I couldn’t really feel my fingers," said Michael LoPresti, lead singer from Cleveland-based indie-folk band The Lighthouse and the Whaler. "I kept having to blow on them and try and keep them warm. I thought it would affect my voice a lot more, but it didn’t really."

Dave Munro, lead singer-songwriter from Boston-based indie-pop band Air Traffic Controller, said it was the coldest outdoor performance they’ve ever played. 

"You actually have to look and make sure [your fingers are] doing what you normally just think they’re doing," Munro said. "You actually have to make sure that’s happening. All that muscle memory just goes away." 

Despite the challenging cold, he praised the fans for their energy. 
"I don’t know if it’s the weather or what, but people were just going crazy out here tonight," Munro said. "I think having this festival seems crazy but I think there is something brilliant about it, because it gives some people something to look forward to in the wintertime. It’s kind of unheard of."

Case Western Reserve student Andrew Gerst enjoyed the festival for its unique treatment of winter. 

"It is fantastic," Gerst said. "I really like the idea of a festival that says you know what, the winter sucks, but we’re going to have fun anyway. [It is] kind of like a screw you to winter, you can’t stop us."

Gerst, who is from California, also praised the refreshments at Brite, which included many local gourmet food trucks and of course, lots of beer. 

"Cleveland spoils me in beer," Gerst said. "I go back home and it’s all IPAs. Great Lakes is one of the few breweries I’ve encountered where nearly ever beer they do is fantastic."

The Lighthouse and the Whaler’s performance, which was second to last at the Brite Winter Stage, drew the biggest crowd, filling most of the parking lot outside of Great Lakes Brewing Company. 

Their fans were very responsive, dancing, singing and waving their hands throughout the entire concert, something which LoPresti said is a huge benefit of performing at festivals (especially when they are at home). 

"I think that festivals like this just help to build your confidence because you’re in front of a hometown crowd, so it’s like a little less pressure," LoPresti said. "You can just do more, experiment more, play new songs."


Air Traffic Controller, who was the last band to play on the Brite Winter Stage, drew a large crowd that also featured constant dancing and singing. Their fans braved the cold until the last song, incidentally a song about playing one last song called “Bad Axe, Mia” and then scattered back to their cars or to the toasty but overcrowded bars on West 25th. 

Several bars held music stages well past 1 a.m., but the crowds left the outdoors immediately after the last outdoor concerts, and food trucks and games were closed down. 

February 27, 2014

New harassment policy open for comment

By Mara Biggs

Cleveland State University’s discrimination/harassment draft policy is currently in the comment period. During the comment period, the university community may provide feedback on draft policies via email to 

The proposed policy would advance the prohibition of sexual harassment by delineating it in terms of sexual violence and exploitation. Sexual violence and exploitation are defined by non-consensual sexual activity and instances of incapacitation during sexual activity within the draft. 

"I am totally supportive of allowing the university community to comment on important policies as [they relate] to the university," said Yulanda McCarty-Harris, director of the Office of Institutional Equity. "The more inclusive, the better implementation and also adherence." 

Comments will be accepted for the discrimination/harassment draft policy until March 15. 

The discrimination/harassment draft policy, along with other policies up for comment, can be viewed at 

The ordinances concerning sexual violence and exploitation would comply with recent White House initiatives to better police sexual assault on university campuses, and to raise awareness and prevention of sexual assault and sexual violence among the college-age population.

McCarty-Harris said the proposed discrimination/harassment policy is “a step in the right direction regarding educational awareness and prevention.”

McCarty-Harris reported that the Office of Institutional Equity is also pushing to make sexual violence education part of the curriculum for the Introduction to University Life course (ASC 101), which is required for freshmen. 

The discrimination/harassment draft policy also prohibits discrimination and harassment toward individuals of the university community on the basis of race, sex (including pregnancy), religion, gender identity and expression, color, age, national origin, veteran or military status, genetic information or disability, marital status and parental status. 

February 13, 2014

Federal authorities, universities focus on sexual assault

By Mara Biggs

In January, President Obama created a task force of senior administration officials to work with colleges and universities on better policing and preventing rape and sexual assault.

One in five college students have been sexually assaulted, but only 12 percent of them file reports.

One in four American women are sexually assaulted in their lifetimes. 
Few offenders are prosecuted because victims fear biases and judgment of the judicial system. 

Obama has given the task force 90 days to recommend the best practices for preventing and responding to assaults on campuses and to check that universities are complying with legal obligations. 

The task force was also asked to propose raising awareness of colleges’ records on assaults and officials’ responses, and to see that federal authorities get involved when colleges do not properly confront and deal with assaults. 

In 2013, only one forcible sex offense was reported on Cleveland State University’s campus.

Although there are few reported sexual assaults on campus, studies prove that sexual assault occurs epidemically off campus in the personal lives of students and staff. 

Vice President Joe Biden, who won the passage of the Violence Against Women Act 20 years ago and was seated next to the president as he signed a memorandum creating the task force, had this to say: 

"Our daughters, our sisters, our wives, our mothers, our grandmothers have every single right to expect to be free from violence and sexual abuse. No matter what she’s wearing, no matter whether she’s in a bar, in a dormitory, in the back seat of a car, on a street, drunk or sober, no man has a right to go beyond the word ‘no’. And if she can’t consent, it also means no."

The president said a priority is to encourage more men to intervene when they see an attack and to report assaults.

"Men have to take more responsibility, men have to intervene," Vice President Biden added. "The measure of manhood is willingness to speak up and speak out, and begin to change the culture."

Men are also victims of sexual assault. One in six men report being sexually assaulted. 

Yulanda McCarty-Harris, director of the Office of Institutional Equity at Cleveland State, said “I believe the best prevention [for sexual assault] is training.”

McCarty-Harris reported that the Office of Institutional Equity is pushing to make sexual violence education part of the curriculum for the Introduction to University Life course (ASC 101), which is required for freshman. 

McCarty-Harris said her department’s goals for the sexual violence education module of ASC 101, should it be implemented, are to teach students what consent truly is and what rape and sexual assault are by legal definitions. 

She said that sexual assault “is not something to be mediated” — that as a criminal offense, students must prevent a situation from reaching that point by understanding the culture of sexual violence and how to rise above it. 

McCarty-Harris also said that she hopes the sexual violence education module will empower students to talk about these issues, which continue to silently plague America. 

January 31, 2014

CM-Law to launch solo practice incubator

By Mara Biggs

On Feb. 4 at 5 p.m. Cleveland-Marshall College of Law will hold the grand opening of its solo practice incubator. It will be the first law school-based incubator in Ohio and one of about 10 in the U.S.

Recent CM graduates are eligible to become tenants at the newly-constructed, state-of-the-art incubator in the law library. The incubator will help them establish private firms in an area of law that interests them and serve any client population they choose.

"Our whole goal is to give start-up firms a better chance to get started and get on their feet during the hardest times in the life of a small firm — the beginning," said incubator project leader Professor Chris Sagers. "We do this through significantly subsidized rent and other services, through the unequaled atmosphere of law practice within the walls of one’s own law school in the company of faculty and fellow graduates, and with the support of the entire Cleveland-Marshall alumni community."

According to Dean of Law Craig Boise, solo practices have traditionally been fallback options for law school graduates who don’t obtain a position with a firm. The resources being offered by Cleveland-Marshall to recent graduates will make solo practices more viable. 

Sagers said that they’re aiming to maintain around 10 tenants per year but that the incubator space can accommodate up to 15. 

Tenants will be selected based on the quality of their proposed business plan and evidence of promise as a solo practitioner, Sagers said. 

"Prior experience, training and success in law school will also be considered," he added. 

Each tenant will sign a two-year lease contract with discounted rent and 24-hour secure access. Tenants will also have access to Cleveland State University’s wireless internet network, filing space and business amenities, professional liability insurance, health and life insurance, marketing materials, financial services and free continuing legal education opportunities. 

Though there is not yet a rule against lease renewals after tenants’ two-year contracts are up, Sagers said that he expects renewals will be strongly disfavored since the goal is to continue helping new start-ups, and since the law school “probably can’t justify offering substantially subsidized rent to tenants indefinitely.”

Tenants will receive guidance in the management of their firms and the handling of cases from coordinators from established law firms in Cleveland. The coordinators will be compensated by Cleveland State as independent consultants. 

The incubator will have some transparent walls so that students studying in the law library can view live-operating firms throughout the day. 

Cleveland-Marshall staff believe the solo practice incubator will help along the evolution of legal education by offering more practice-oriented, experience-based training.

The incubator should also encourage a new model for the delivery of legal services, with current models being inflexible, expensive and unavailable to many Americans, staff said.

"This is a tremendously important project for Cleveland’s legal community," said Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association president and CM alum Carter Strang. 

The Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association is Cleveland-Marshall’s key partner in the incubator project. 

Strang said he believes the partnership will cultivate a new group of entrepreneurial professionals “with the potential to create more growth in our community.”

December 5, 2013

Law school professors join faculty union

By Mara Biggs

Until this year, none of the Cleveland-Marshall College of Law faculty belonged to the American Association of University Professors, a union that ensures academic freedom, shared governance and faculty voice across college campuses. Cleveland-Marshall Law professors are among a minority of law faculty in the country that have unionized. 

Cleveland State’s faculty voted to form a chapter of the AAUP in 1993 and secured their first contract in 1995. 

According to Sheldon Gelman, a professor of law at Cleveland State and a union organizer, support and numbers are growing for the union, with about 35 members from the law faculty currently after a marginally close vote of 17 to 14 to start it. Gelman said everyone has their own personal reasons for joining the AAUP, but he thinks the union’s success has been influential in law professors’ decisions to join. 

Gelman said that the drop in law school applicants, which hasn’t had much public discussion, could also be influencing law professors to join the AAUP. The law faculty’s unionization may even be attributed to the Senate Bill 5 referendum, which repealed an Ohio law in 2011 that would have limited collective bargaining, said Gelman.

Law professor Claire Robinson May stated that she joined the AAUP because she strongly believes in having a seat at the bargaining table when it comes to the terms and conditions of one’s job.

"Before the union, the law school had the only full-time faculty at Cleveland State that lacked collective bargaining rights," said Robinson May. "That made us increasingly vulnerable to the possibility of unilaterally imposed changes to the terms of our employment."

Robinson May also said that “the union puts law faculty in a better position to provide meaningful input regarding the law school’s future direction and priorities,” and that the AAUP supports a mission that will help Cleveland-Marshall students and alumni continue to thrive. 

Gelman reported that the law faculty hope to have a constitution completed soon and that contracts will be negotiated with the university afterwards. 

In July, Cleveland State law professors said that Dean Craig Boise unlawfully issued raises of $0 or $666 as a threat due to his disapproval of their unionization. 

"I think some people thought it would just complicate things," said Gelman. He added, "I think most of the faculty wants to see it work."

Gelman also said, “I think CSU as a whole is benefiting enormously from collective bargaining. I’m personally very happy.” 

December 5, 2013

Cleveland looks to develop the lakefront

By Mara Biggs

In an attempt to make downtown Cleveland a more viable community of at least 20,000 residents and raise the district’s revenue, the city of Cleveland will embark on lakefront development projects.

The city has released information on a few proposals for lakefront development in the Harbor West and North Coast Harbor areas. The city of Cleveland is stressing the importance of continuous public access to water, a waterfront park and pedestrian access to wind-blown property to potential developers. 


Harbor West, north of FirstEnergy Stadium and the Great Lakes Science Center, is currently mostly surface parking and warehouses and stretches over 18.6 acres of land. North Coast Harbor is a 9.7-acre district that already contains the Great Lakes Science Center and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. 

Mark Munsell, a Beachwood real estate investor and developer, and John Goodman, senior managing director of the McDonald Partners investment-advisory firm, formed their own company called Northcoast Harbor LLC to try and bring a film studio and theater college to part of Harbor West. Their team of developers also includes NRP Group, an apartment developer, Vocon, an architecture and design firm based in Cleveland, Turner Construction, the Kohrman, Jackson & Krantz law firm, Bastien and Associates, Inc., an architecture and planning firm that’s worked on major film studio projects, and MBS Media Campus, a California film production center whose president may help manage the studio in Cleveland. 

Trammell Crow Co., a real estate developer and investor, and Cumberland Lakefront LLC, a company that focuses on lakefront projects, have together proposed a concept that would involve a high-performing public school or charter school, but they have not divulged details. Their team includes construction managers Gilbane Inc. and Coleman Spohn Corp., HKS, a Dallas architectural firm, URS Corp., which provides engineering services, the SWA Group, a landscape architectural firm, Bellwether Enterprise, a Cleveland mortgage-banking company, and the Tucker Ellis law firm. 

KUD International and their team of Van Auken Akins Architects and EE&K, another architectural firm, are interested in pursuing multidimensional, multiphase projects in Harbor West and North Coast Harbor and have discussed the sites with hotel developers. 
Executive Caterers proposed to redevelop and relocate the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum’s cafe on North Coast Harbor. Robert P. Madison International, Inc., a Cleveland architecture firm, has teamed up with Executive Caterers.

Wendy Kellogg, an associate dean and professor of urban studies at Cleveland State University, said the developers for Harbor West and North Coast Harbor would need to draw significant numbers of people to the waterfront for hotels, restaurants and other amenities. She said that to bring new dollars to the area, a public space must be created with private supporting amenities that will make people from outside the region want to come and stay a day or more, and that existing attractions must be tied together physically with new attractions.

Kellogg said another thing to think about with proposed developments is how they could build the livability and social and human capital of Cleveland.

"We are in need of more apartments and condominiums to grow downtown to 20,000 residents," said Kellogg. "However, I am not convinced that people would want to live right on the lake in the winter. The design would have to be very, very good because we get direct wind, making Cleveland different than Chicago or Toronto, where the city itself tends to shield the lakefront from the worst winds."

Kellogg said she believes that downtown Cleveland’s strength is the water itself and that anything that gets planned and built along the water should connect directly to the water theme. She said that she thinks the city “goofed” on the Rock Hall location because it isn’t related to the lake, and is therefore concerned about building a film studio and theater college on the waterfront. Cleveland has many vacant areas of land that would be better suited for a film studio and theater college. Even building them near local colleges like Cleveland State, the Cleveland Institute of Art or Cuyahoga Community College would be more practical, according to Kellogg. 

"[Lakefront developments] should be there to leverage the water for its economic, social and spiritual value," Kellogg said.