The CSU Office of Alumni Relations and the General Alumni Association engage with CSU’s alumni by communicating regularly with the alumni and maintaining contact through use of an alumni directory with physical and electronic addresses and contact telephone information for over 8,500 alumni. The Office of Alumni Relations maintains a website link for CSU alumni through the University website, a Facebook page, and produces a quarterly newsletter called the "The Tower." The Alumni Relations Office also hosts a variety of functions throughout the year to engage alumni, including via its Annual Alumni Weekend meetings each summer, Homecoming events every Fall semester, an Alumni Association Board Meeting in February or March every year, and through the Alumni chapter meetings for the various regions of the country throughout the year. Through the Alumni Association, the University also sponsors Visiting Alumni Day in every Fall semester to engage alumni as speakers for various programs for current students. The Alumni Association awards ten $1000 scholarships annually and raises money for the University. The Office of Institutional Advancement also hosts annual fund-raising receptions for alumni to help CSU students cover the gaps in the cost of attending CSU. In 2009-2012, for example, CSU Alumni helped to raise more than $400,000 for student scholarships.
Central state faculty, staff, and students are well integrated into the local community where they participate in a wide range of community organizations as referenced in section 1.D.1. above. For instance, CSU is home to WCSU-FM radio, the oldest continually operating radio station at Ohio’s only public HBCU and the only minority-owned and operated Public Radio Station in Ohio. WCSU-FM celebrated its 50th broadcast year in 2012. It broadcasts to residents in five counties in the Miami Valley and features jazz music, news, and information. It also broadcasts CSU’s sporting events, and multicultural education programs, and educational and health outreach programs in partnership with local businesses, health and social organizations.
CSU also publishes Marauder Magazine, a glossy quarterly that promotes the University and its programs by highlighting the University's academic collaborations, research, governmental relations and community outreach initiatives. About 500 copies of Marauder Magazine are distributed to internal and external stakeholders in print as well as electronic formats. Copies are also available on the University's website.
State and Federal Governmental Relations
Central State engages leaders in the state and federal government on an ongoing basis. University leaders travel to Columbus to meet with leaders in the legislature and the governor's office. Students and faculty have also visited the legislature to speak with lawmakers about the University. The University employs the Columbus, Ohio-based lobbying firm of Vorys, Sater, Seymour, and Pease to protect and promote the University's interests in Columbus. In recent years, CSU has had notable successes in the legislative arena. For instance, in 2012, both the legislature and Governor John R. Kasich approved a resolution supporting 1890 Land Grant status for CSU, which has been presented for approval by the Congress and President Barack Obama. The 1890 Land Grant designation will allow CSU to attract additional grant funds under the 1890 Morrill Act.
In 2007, the state legislature approved the Speed-to-Scale plan (referenced in the Executive Summary) which provided $10 million over a three-year period to CSU for operational expenses to meet the cost of increasing student enrollment. The plan committed $23 million for a new student union on campus. Normally the state does not provide money for non-academic buildings, but in this instance, the University was able to persuade state officials that the project was essential to the University's success and growth. Construction of the building has begun and should be completed by the end of 2014. University leaders make every effort, when possible, to be responsive to Ohio's political leaders. The state has determined, for example, that it needs more students graduating in the STEM areas and, partly as a result, Central State reorganized the Division of Academic Affairs in 2011 to include a new College of Science and Engineering. The University also worked closely with the Ohio Board of Regents on development of Honoring Ohio’s Historically Black Public University: A Plan for Advancing Progress at CSU, a plan aimed at increasing enrollment, improving course completion, and increasing the number of degrees conferred by Central State. The Ohio General Assembly passed a resolution in 2004 recognizing Central State for its progress and another resolution in 2012 recognizing President Emeritus John W. Garland for his leadership.
In the federal arena, the University has worked closely with the state's congressional delegation on a number of issues. The University and its community development agency, the Tawawa Community Development Corporation, worked with the District 7 congressman to secure federal funding for a gas station and convenience store which were built across from campus in 2008. The University also employs a number of workers, in the Title III office and the Office of Financial Aid, for example, who work closely with federal agencies to insure that the University understands and complies with government regulations.
Higher Education Relations
CSU administrators and faculty members participate in a large number of state and regional associations that promote the interest of the University. University administrators serve on various state as well as regional higher education boards and local city and school boards and committees, such as the Southwestern Ohio Council for Higher Education and Chambers of Commerce. For example, the President serves as a member of the Executive Committee of SOCHE e and the Provost and Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs serve on the SOCHE Committee for Chief Academic Officers. The Associate Vice President for Planning and Assessment serves as a member of the Xenia Area Chamber of Commerce on the Partners in Education Committee.
Faculty also serves in various capacities in a number of academic organizations and associations. For example, in 2004, the state of Ohio adopted a plan to make it easier for students to transfer credits from one public institution in Ohio to another. The Board of Regents established discipline-specific committees to consider what courses an institution must offer in a given degree program and what content the courses should include. Central State faculty is well represented on the Transfer Assurance Guide committees. CSU faculty is also represented on the Ohio Faculty Council. A number of CSU departments are accredited by discipline-specific bodies in whose professional conferences CSU faculty members participate.. CSU faculty also participate in the annual conference and other activities sponsored by the HLC of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, as well as activities sponsored by the American Association of University Professors (AAUP) which represents full-time CSU faculty. Furthermore, the University maintains memberships in a variety of higher education organizations, including the Southwestern Ohio Council for Higher Education(SOCHE) the Interlink Alliance, the Thurgood Marshall College Fund, and the Inter-University Council of Ohio, all of which offer numerous opportunities for CSU faculty participation.
Summary of Criterion One Evidence
CSU’s mission is broadly communicated to its constituents and the public through the University website, the University Catalog, a variety of mission documents, handbooks, and AAUP agreement for faculty, and print materials that can be requested at any time from the University. The Student Right to Know on the University website specifically informs students and parents about CSU’s academic programs, tuition and fees, crime statistics and other campus community information of interest. CSU discloses information to students, prospective students and the public via its website through the Student Right to Know, posted on the University website under the Office of Student Affairs. CSU’s Fact Book is posted on the University website annually, and contains institutional enrollment and financial data as well as information on educational outcomes including retention and graduation rates. The Course Catalog, posted on the University website every two years provides information about admission, financial aid, and information on all academic programs offered at CSU. CSU recognizes the fact that students and families need to make careful and informed decisions about which institution is the best fit because of the rising costs of higher education and recently became a member of the Voluntary System of Accountability (VSA), which is managed by the Association of Public and Land Grant Universities and the American Association of State Colleges and Universities. CSU uses this system to disclose to the public its cost of attendance, enrollment, retention and graduation rates. The VSA College Affordability Estimator meets the requirements of the Higher Education Opportunity Act and is designed for public 4-year universities. Information on the College Portrait further informs students and families seeking trustworthy data on campus safety, cost of attendance, academic programs, retention and graduation rates, admissions requirements, and other campus community details. Using this system, CSU is now able to help prospective students and their families to make informed decisions about attending CSU as the University of their choice.
CSU has engages in several strategic initiatives to support its mission since the 2003 HLC visit. The most recent of these initiatives have included the implementation of phase three of CSU’s University-wide Master Plan, CSU’s Strategic Academic Enrollment Management, Honoring Ohio’s Historically Black Public University – A Plan for Advancing Progress at Central State University, and CSU Plan to Seek 1890 Land Grant Status. Implementation of the Master plan has continued throughout the last 10 years with construction of the CSU Student Center to begin in July 2013. Implementation of the SAEM and Plan to Advance CSU has continued throughout the Self-Study process.
Challenges and Areas for Improvement
A survey of the administrators, faculty, staff, and students during the Self-Study process revealed about 10.4% of the campus community were not sure about the mission on the University even though eighty-seven percent (87.2%) of the administrators, faculty, staff and students also stated that the University’s mission is well publicized in one or more of the institutional documents. The high percentage of those unsure indicates a need for intentional and open discussions about the University’s mission and development of institution-wide strategic initiatives that promote the mission. It also indicates need for clarity in the articulation of the mission.
CSU is addressed this by discussing the mission of the University with all campus constituencies at Town Hall meetings, Senate meetings, departmental, Division, Cabinet and board meetings and through use of newsletters. It has also been recommended during the Self-Study process that CSU Board members and members of the president’s cabinet periodically discuss and reaffirmed their commitment to CSU’s mission, should do so as part of a Board Resolution during the Self-Study process in preparation for the comprehensive visit by the HLC.
INTEGRITY: ETHICAL AND RESPONSIBLE CONDUCT
The institution acts with integrity; its conduct is ethical and responsible.
Integrity is a core value that guides all operations at CSU, including financial, academic, personnel, and auxiliary functions. All operations are guided by ethical policies and procedures developed to guide the behavior of members of the Board of Trustees, administrative leadership, the faculty, staff, and the student body.
2. A. The institutionoperates with integrity in its financial, academic, personnel, and auxiliary functions; it establishes and follows fair and ethical policies and processes for its governing board, administration, faculty, and staff.
Because Central State is a public, state-supported institution of higher education, all members serving on the Board of Trustees, including student representatives, are approved and appointed by the Governor of the State of Ohio. All Board meetings are publicized and public hearings are held to discuss policy changes before the policies are approved. The Board meets four times per year to approve new or revised policies. Once approved, new or revised policies and procedures are publicized through a wide variety of media and publications, including the University website, the Library, University Catalog, Faculty and Student Handbooks.
Hard copies of University policies are maintained in the Hallie Q. Brown Library, and access to public records is maintained in the University library as required by the Ohio Public Records Act. Requests for public records can be made or referred to the Office of General Counsel. It should be noted, however, that the University adheres to state and federal regulations regarding health, educational, and personnel records.
Members of the CSU community conduct themselves lawfully and adhere to local, state, and federal laws and regulations. The Office of the University Counsel ensures that the University lawfully implements employee agreements and business contracts the University has negotiated. The Office of the University Counsel works with employees in the administrative, academic, and federal grant offices, including Title III, and with students to ensure compliance with state and federal regulations during implementation of policies that relate to any of the members of the University community.
The organizational structure of CSU allows for effective, ethical and responsible operations of the various departments of the University. The president is accountable to the Board and has oversight of administrative functions of the University. Members of the president’s Cabinet serve as Vice Presidents of the units they lead. For instance, the Vice President for Administration and Finance serves as the Chief Financial Officer and chair of the Policy Review Group which is responsible for developing the various policies and procedures used to guide University functions. Members of the Policy Review Group are representatives of various offices on the campus. The Group meets regularly and as needed to draft and review policies before the policies are approved by the President and presented to the Board of Trustees for approval. The organizational charts for the University's governance structure for the various units are provided in Criterion Five.
Integrity in Financial Functions
CSU maintains integrity in all financial functions by adhering to policies and procedures that promote internal controls for all financial transactions and activities. The University adheres to standards described in the government auditing documents issued by the Comptroller General of the United States. The University conducts all businesses in the open and adheres to the Ohio Open Meetings Act and the Ohio Public Records Act. The CSU Board of Trustees provides oversight of the overall operations of the University as described under Chapter 3343 of the Ohio Revised Code. The Board operates in a transparent manner. All Board meetings are open to the public and transcribed in writing by the Secretary to the Board. The Board Secretary keeps records for all open and closed meetings, Board resolutions and actions. In addition to providing oversight for all financial functions, CSU's President works closely with the Board of Trustees to ensure that the University remains in compliance with Title IV and other federal requirements, remains financially viable, and acts ethically and responsibly is all fiscal matters.
As the Chief Fiscal Officer of the University, the Vice President for Administration works with his team, which includes the University Controller, Budget Director, and Directors of Financial Aid, to manage day-to-day financial operations. The University’s Budget Office submits monthly revenue and expenditure reports to the University Board of Trustees, and it submits quarterly financial reports to the Ohio Board of Regents within 30 days of the end of each fiscal quarter as required by the Ohio Revised Code Section 3345.72. The University posts comprehensive and consolidated financial reports online, including development reports. Independent auditors review the University’s financial performance annually. The University has adopted best practices recommended by the National Association of College and University Business Officers in setting standards for these audits. Over the last 10 years, Central State has received unqualified audit reports.
The University’s Office of Human Resources conducts a background check on all prospective employees. This investigation includes a check on business licenses to determine whether the applicant has a current or past financial relationship with the University. Faculty members who engage in externally funded research must complete a conflict of interest screening form under University policy. The University has been able to achieve financial integrity by developing and implementing a comprehensive set of policies and procedures that guide all aspects of the University’s financial well-being. All requisitions for purchases of goods and services require multiple reviews and approvals based on delegated signature authority. The Board of Trustees must approve any requisitions above $25,000. All purchase requisitions are managed through electronic approval queues, which are maintained by the University Controller’s Office.
Members of the CSU community follow established University regulations and policies to avoid personal or business conflicts of interest in financial matters. Article 1.3 of the Board of Trustees' Code of Regulations says that no member of the Board, the President, faculty, or staff may participate in any business undertaking that places the person(s) in conflict with any matter in which he/she is engaged on behalf of the University. Every member of the Board and all University employees are required to disclose to the Board any matter which a person might reasonably believe to present a conflict of interest. The Board of Trustees ultimately determines whether a conflict exists. Members of the Board of Trustees are not compensated for their services, but they are reimbursed for travel, food, lodging and other reasonable expenses while engaged in their duties. The University Chief Fiscal Officer reviews expenses submitted by the president and members of the Board.
Supervisors in the various units are responsible for making sure that policies and procedures are followed by all employees. University staff may be reprimanded, demoted, suspended or terminated for violating University policies related to financial integrity. Corrective actions for the faculty are implemented according to the terms in the collective bargaining American Association of University Professors’ (AAUP) agreement. Corrective actions identified for non-instructional staff are implemented according to the University’s agreement with the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME). Employees belonging to each bargaining unit have the right to file grievances in accordance with the procedures established in their agreements. Employees who are not members of the bargaining unit may file grievances according to established University policies and procedures. All complaints are reviewed by the Human Resources Director and/or University General Counsel.
Integrity in academic functions is, of course, essential for maintaining high quality programs and educational experiences for all students at any given institution of higher education. Central State University appropriately oversees all academic functions to ensure integrity. The Office of the Registrar maintains all academic records at the University and is responsible for informing the University Community regarding policies and procedures related to academic integrity by publishing them in the catalog, which is available in print and electronic format as CDs or posted on the University website. The catalog also contains information on academic programs, course registration, procedures for adding/dropping a course, auditing a course, schedule changes, grades, incompletes, minimum GPA requirements, academic probation, withdrawal from the University, and readmission to the University. The catalog also contains information regarding application for graduation, senior citizen enrollment, nondiscrimination policy, veteran’s regulations, the Family Education Rights and Privacy (FERPA) Act, and residency requirements.
Under the Office of Academic Affairs, the Dean’s Council--which consists of the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, the Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs, Associate Vice President for Planning and Assessment, Deans of the College of Business, Education, Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences, and Science and Engineering, as well as the Associate Dean of the University College and Dean of the Central State-Dayton-- is responsible for reviewing and approving policies that affect academic integrity. The University’s Academic Council, which, consists of members of the Dean’s Council and the Directors of Academic Support Services--develops and implements academic policies that maintain integrity in academic functions. A Chairs’ Council was created in Fall 2012 to reinforce communication between the administration, full-time and part time faculty. Additional details of the functions and various administrative structures are provided in Criterion Five under 5.B. 1.
Integrity in Academic Records including Admissions
Central State is a member of the American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers (AACRAO). The University is represented on AACRAO by administrative staff from the Office of the Registrar, Planning and Assessment, Assessment and Institutional Research, and Admissions. As a member of AACRAO, the University serves as a steward and objective enforcer of institutional policies and practices related to academic integrity. The Registrar ensures that the academic management system used by the University protects and maintains the integrity, confidentiality, and security of institutional academic records. Staff members in the Offices of the Registrar, Planning and Assessment, Institutional Research, and Admissions participate in regular professional development conferences, seminars, and webinars offered by AACRAO. The Office of the Registrar works collaboratively with the Admissions’ Office to reinforce policies on admission requirements to the University. This collaborative process is essential for maintaining academic quality as the University remains committed to providing "equal educational opportunity for all" who qualify to attend CSU. Minimum undergraduate admissions requirements for Ohio students include a high school GPA of 2.0 and an ACT score of 15 or an SAT score of 720. Out-of-state students should have a high school GPA of 2.5 and an ACT score of 19, or an SAT score of 910. The Catalog also provides policies regarding transfer credit from regionally accredited institutions in Ohio through the Ohio Transfer Module, and outside Ohio. All credits accepted may be used to satisfy requirements for graduation. Faculty and staff in academic Departments work with staff in the Registrar’s office to evaluate credits that are accepted for transfer to CSU. Central State also accepts credits earned through the College Level Examination of Proficiency (CLEP) in lieu of the credits earned in 1000 and 2000-level course work in the general education curriculum.
Criteria for admission to the University’s undergraduate programs are described in the 2012-2014 Catalog on pages 21-25. Criteria for admission to the graduate program in the College of Education are described in the 2012-2014 Catalog on pages 110-113. Students applying to the graduate program must have a minimum Grade Point Average (GPA) of 2.5 from a regionally accredited 4-year institution and take the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) or the Millers Analogy Test (MAT). Prospective students with a GPA of 2.8 or higher may be exempt from taking the GRE or MAT. The Office of Student Affairs and Enrollment Management is responsible for enforcing admission policies and procedures, and policies on ethical conduct and other policies that describe students’ rights, responsibilities and conduct.