Central State University's New $33.5M University Student Center Opens

Two Iconic Americans Help Celebrate

Central State University will inaugurate its new $33.5M University Student Center on October 9, as part of Homecoming, 2015.  Joining in the Ribbon-Cutting celebration is Mr. Earvin “Magic’’ Johnson, an internationally recognized businessman and NBA sports legend and Mr. James “Shack” Harris, one of the first African American quarterbacks drafted in the 
National Football League.

The ribbon-cutting ceremony will be at 10 am on Friday, Oct. 9. The state-of-the-art Student Center has 85,000 square feet and has amenities that include a 568-seat cafeteria, a convenience store and bookstore, administrative offices and other student-centered services.

Mr. Johnson, who is chairman and CEO of Magic Johnson Enterprises (MJE), has successfully parlayed his skills and tenacity as a former NBA player for the Los Angeles Lakers into the business world. His unprecedented partnership with Starbucks, as the only franchisee in the history of the company, and his alliance with Sony to develop Magic Johnson Theaters have served as catalysts for redevelopment in urban communities.

For over 30 years, Mr. Johnson has developed MJE into a conglomerate that is comprised of multiple business entities and partnerships. Currently, he is a co-owner of the Los Angeles Dodgers, a Major League Baseball Franchise and the Los Angeles Sparks of the WNBA in partnership with Guggenheim Sports and Entertainment. Mr. Johnson has controlling interests in EquiTrust, a $14 billion financial services company; ASPiRE, an African-American television network; and SodexoMAGIC, a food service and facilities management company that is the food service provider for the new student center. Mr. Johnson has also invested in Magic Airport Holdings and Yucaipa-Johnson, a $500 million dollar private equity fund.

Pro Bowl MVP Mr. James “Shack” Harris made history when he opened the 1969 football season as the starting quarterback for the Buffalo Bills after being drafted by the Bills in the eighth round. After playing on several other teams, Mr. Harris joined the front office of NFL organizations including the New York Jets, the Baltimore Ravens and the Jacksonville Jaguars.

Mr. Harris’ post football career includes recognition by Sports Illustrated for two consecutive years (2003 and 2004) as one of the “Top-50 Most Influential Minorities in sports”; and by Black Enterprise in 2005 as “One of the most Powerful African Americans in sports.” In February 2007, William Rhoden featured Mr. Harris as a member of the Field Generals in ESPN's "Third and a Mile: The Trials and Triumphs of the Black Quarterback.” Also Samuel Freedman featured Mr. Harris in his book Breaking The Line: The season in black college football that transformed the sport and changed the course of civil rights. In 2010, this pioneer and fellow quarterback and Super Bowl MVP, Doug Williams established the Black College Football Hall of Fame, created to preserve the legacy of HBCUs by honoring its greatest players, coaches and contributors. Mr. Harris will be the keynote speaker at the Athletic Hall of Fame Luncheon held on Friday afternoon.

For more information about all of Central State’s homecoming events, go to CentralState.edu/homecoming.

Central State University Receives Nearly $600,000 to Create an Ag-STEM Institute

Central State University will create an Ag-STEM Institute to prepare youth and college students for careers in agriculture.

Today, U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown announced an award of $599,997 from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to fund the program. The funds are from the Department of Agriculture’s 1890 Capacity Building Grants Program.

“The agricultural research and education fostered at 1890 land-grant institutions supports farming and production nationwide,” Brown said. “These federal resources will help Central State University continue its long tradition of providing Ohio students with a quality education that allows graduates to obtain jobs in one of Ohio’s leading industries.”

As an 1890 Land-Grant University, Central State University is expanding its highly regarded STEM curriculum to include teaching, research and extension initiatives in the area of sustainable agriculture.

The goals of the Ag-STEM Institute are to:

  • Increase the recruitment and retention of African Americans and minorities into Agriculture-related STEM majors
    at Central State
  • Develop a pipeline of minority graduate workforce with the appropriate technical and professional skills to fulfill the employment requirement for USDA, National Institute of Food and Agriculture and related Agriculture businesses in the nation.
  • Enhance Ag-STEM career awareness and interests for Youth in 6th, 7th, and 8th grades.



Cleveland.com Reports that Central State University is the Least Expensive Public College in Ohio

Central State University is the least expensive public college in Ohio, according to a report today on Cleveland.com. The distinction is based on an analysis of data from the U.S. Department of Education’s College Scorecard.

The updated College Scorecard allows students to search and compare colleges and universities based on a number of factors such as location, size and degrees or programs. Each college or university also has other information listed including financial aid, typical total debt and the percent of the student body receiving federal loans.

The average annual net cost, at Central State, after an in-state student receives all federal, state and college aid, is $11,172. The scorecard does not rank colleges, but the media outlet did.



Central State University’s First-time Freshman Class is 29 percent Larger than Last Year

Central State University’s first-time Freshman Class this Fall is the largest Fall Semester new freshmen class in the past three years. This year’s class of 519 students is a 29 percent increase over Fall 2014, when the first-time freshman class numbered 402.

Total enrollment is up 3 percent over last Fall. Central State’s Fall 2015 total enrollment is 1,804 students. The University’s Fall 2014 enrollment was 1,751.

Dr. Stephanie Krah, CSU’s Vice President for Student Affairs and Enrollment Management, attributed the high number of new freshmen to increased efforts by the Central State’s Admissions Office to follow up with applicants to communicate next steps.

“ I think students had information from us sooner in order to make next step decisions if they wanted to attend Central State,” Dr. Krah said. In addition the staff added some Spring recruiting visits and worked closer with high school counselors to help students get the necessary documents in to complete their applications.

Ohio Controlling Board Increases Land-Grant Funding for Central State University

New Buildings Planned and 55 Jobs Created

Central State University has received an additional $1.625M in state match funding, positioning the University to qualify for federal resources earmarked for 1890 Land-Grant Institutions. This brings the total to $3.825M.

Today, the Ohio Controlling Board voted unanimously to approve the award at the request of Ohio Department of Higher Education Chancellor John Carey.

“Central State is an important part of the fabric of Ohio’s public colleges and universities, and its land-grant designation was a significant milestone,” Carey said.“Our next steps include helping Central State leverage the land-grant funding available to them.”

The $1.625M was moved from the FY17 budget to the FY16 budget to provide the needed state match that is required for Central State to fully access up to $5.1M in federal funding in FY 2016 as a land-grant university. The state budget approved in June provided appropriations for Central State in both years for land-grant projects.

State Rep. Alicia Reece, D-Cincinnati, said, "It is no secret that increasing funding for Central State University is a key part of the Ohio Legislative Black Caucus Action agenda. I am pleased that after several meetings with the administration and visits to the campus, we were able to come together and provide CSU with $1.6 million in order to leverage up to $5.1 million in matching funds for its land-grant status.”

In February 2014, Central State University became an 1890 Land-Grant Institution, joining 18 other historically black colleges and universities which provide leadership on issues of health disparity, nutritious food sources and environmental stewardship. The funding will enable Central State to create a statewide agricultural research and extension network that will serve farmers and the urban core on issues related to sustainable agriculture, nutrition and water resources.

The extension and research initiatives are expected to cost up to $10M and generate 55 jobs for the state’s economy. The Research Program at Central State University, funded by the state of Ohio and the federal government, expands Central State’s capacity as a research institution and complements the existing research being done through the University’s International Center for Water Resources Management and the College of Science and Engineering.

Central State University President, Dr. Cynthia Jackson-Hammond said, “Central State University is pleased to have the support of Governor Kasich, Chancellor Carey and so many others at the state and federal level. The Controlling Board’s decision further demonstrates the importance of Central State University’s contributions in the future to the agricultural and economic growth of Ohio.”

Through a partnership with The Ohio State University, Ohio’s 1862 Land-Grant institution, Central State will work toward collaborative grants and establish co-location extension offices. Central State’s Cooperative Extension Program will augment the statewide extension services currently provided by Ohio State University and provide services to additional communities. These programs build on the University’s agricultural past and ensure that CSU is a significant resource for Ohio’s citizens by addressing issues that affect rural and urban families.

CSU’s Cooperative Extension Program will put personnel in 10 Ohio counties with additional field specialists on campus and available on a statewide basis. The University will also reestablish the CSU Farm – 500 acres of crop and forestland. Extension services related to soil and water quality and Geographic Information Systems will become available to farmers all over the region.

Potential infrastructure initiatives, which will be funded by state and federal allocations, include two new facilities and the renovation of a third, expanding the campus:

  • The Regional Technical Resource Center (RTRC) will serve as the primary site for administrative support of the Land-Grant Mission of the University and for coordinating extension services for regional farmers.
  • The CSU Agricultural, Food Sciences and Water Resources Field Research Center (AFWRC) will offer opportunities for researchers and students to develop their skills and share their experiences with others through research conducted at the Central State University Farm.
  • The Center of Excellence in Community, Farm, and Family Outreach (CECFFO) will operate in a renovated portion of Emery Hall. This Center will be home to the majority of extension programs and services to the citizens of Ohio.


Central State University and The Ohio State University Enter into a Historic Partnership to Serve Ohio on Agricultural and Natural Sciences Issues

Central State University and The Ohio State University will collaborate on efforts to serve rural and urban Ohio communities by creating a stronger agricultural extension network. Central State University will begin providing agricultural extension services, and Ohio State will continue its well-established extension activities.

But the agreement signed today, in a ceremony attended by 150 people at Central State, strengthens each University’s extension activities with an eye toward collaboration. In 2014, Central State received its federal designation to become an 1890 Land-Grant University. Ohio State University is an 1862 Land-Grant University. Central State President Dr. Cynthia Jackson-Hammond noted the historic nature of today’s event for Central State University as she lauded the partnership between the two institutions. “We all have the same mission, the same vision for the citizenry of Ohio...Our state will lead others in models of service.” Ohio State President Dr. Michael V. Drake said both Ohio State and Central State are research universities and this partnership allows both institutions to jointly develop programs and support innovative initiatives. As Ohio’s newest Land-Grant Institution, Central State is expanding its mission to include new teaching, research and extension efforts in the areas of Sustainable Agriculture, Natural Resources, Food Science and Nutritional Disparities. Central State University will begin to hire extension agents to work across Ohio. As part of the agreement with Ohio State, both Universities will work toward collaborative grants and CSU and OSU will seek to co-locate extension offices in some counties. Specific program areas targeted for development at Central State and expansion at Ohio State are:

  • Agriculture and Natural Resources
  • 4-H and Youth Development
  • Family and Consumer Sciences·

Community and Economic Development The Universities are already working collaboratively on some research initiatives. Faculty in CSU’s Departments of Natural Sciences and Water Resources Management are working with faculty at The Ohio State University South Centers on research in water quality, aquaponics and they also are working to create a multidisciplinary Natural Product Research Center.



Central State University Receives more than $4M for Agricultural Research, Extension and Education

New Programs Planned for 2016

Central State University received $4.4M from the state of Ohio for agriculture research and extension initiatives as part of the FY2016-FY2017 budget bill signed by Ohio Governor John Kasich.

It is the first major support by the state of Ohio of the University’s Land-Grant initiatives. 
These funds are part of a state match requirement resulting from Central State University's (CSU) designation as an 1890 Land-Grant Institution and will fuel the capacity expansion of agriculture and agricultural related research ($1.85M each year) and extension services ($350K each year).  The University will continue to build on its highly regarded Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) programming by adding academic degrees, concentrations and certificate programs in agriculture.  

Also aligning with the Land Grant mission, the University has launched a new Department of Agriculture within the College of Science & Engineering that will offer a Bachelor of Science in Sustainable Agriculture (Fall 2016).  Students selecting this major will have the added benefit of participating in meaningful research, with qualified faculty, that will serve Ohio and have national and international implications.

Separate funding will enable the College of Education to establish a new School of Agricultural Education and Food Science. Bachelor of Science degrees will be offered in Agricultural Education and in Extension Education. Additionally, a new certificate program focused on preparing students for Future Farmers of America (FFA) certification is under development. These programs are designed to increase the talent pool of agriculture educators and industry specialists and are planned for Fall, 2016.

“Central State University is excited about integrating the Land Grant mission with our mission and appreciates the support from the state,” said Dr. Charles Wesley Ford, Jr., Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs.  “It is because of President Cynthia Jackson-Hammond’s leadership and others who have supported Central State University that the University is in the position to impact the lives of people in Ohio.”

Central State University received its historic federal designation as an 1890 Land-Grant Institution on February 7, 2014.

Central State Awarded a Multi-Year Grant to Support Former Foster Youth Enrolled at CSU

This Fall, former foster care youth who are enrolled as students at Central State University will benefit from a mentoring program that will help them academically, socially and emotionally.

The Emerging Scholars Program is a result of Central State receiving a $60,000 grant from Ohio Reach, a coalition working to improve higher-education outcomes for former foster youth. CSU, an 1890 Land-Grant Institution, is one of four universities to receive a multi-year grant to create a mentoring program to help former foster youth succeed in college.

Students in the program will get peer-to-peer mentors and faculty-staff mentors, said Dr. Stephanie Krah, Vice President for Student Affairs and Enrollment Management. In addition, they will participate in workshops, study tables and cultural immersion activities.

“We want to make sure we are feeding them holistically” from admission through graduation, she said.

Twenty-five students will start the program this Fall. William Murray, IV,

Director of Ohio Reach, praised the CSU staff for investing in a population that for a long time has struggled at the college level. Ohio Reach improves post-secondary outcomes for foster care youth and alumni through leadership, empowerment, advocacy, research and networking.

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