Entries in "Cleveland and NEOhio"

December 31, 2007

my first 2008 trip to Cleveland

I'll be in Cleveland Jan 7-15, 2008. Places you might find me:

* at the Peter B. Lewis building on the Case campus, for work
* at Sergio's or That Place on Bellflower
* at Phoenix on Lee for tea on my birthday
* at the UUSC on Saturday night for Joe Jencks concert
* at a doctoral student's final qualifying meeting
* headed back to the airport after lunch on the 15th

July 21, 2007

Weatherhead's Dean, Mohan Reddy, continues to impress

In case anyone did not have a chance to read the article that appeared in Crain's Cleveland Business earlier this week, I will underline some of the key news. The headline in Crain's was Reddy's Ready For Action: With much of Weatherhead’s turmoil in rearview mirror, dean aims to revamp its MBA program . Here are a few key excerpts:

"An enhanced executive MBA program and a revamped MBA program will roll out in fall 2008, he said. ... The second year of the program [will] incorporate specialties that would be taught across the curriculum, which would make Weatherhead stand out among other MBA programs, according to Dr. Reddy. Some specialties the school is considering are social entrepreneurship [and] business sustainability. ...

With Cleveland’s population and corporate footprint shrinking, Dr. Reddy said it’s important to create an executive MBA program that appeals to students from outside Northeast Ohio. He said he’s beginning to meet with faculty and advisers now to figure out how Weatherhead can accomplish that goal.In the meantime, he said he’s also in talks with universities in China and India to create joint master’s degrees in areas such as organizational development and science and technology."

As I wrote last December, Mohan is a powerhouse. Stay tuned for positive results in the next year.

June 14, 2007

work and life as two balls....

... one of rubber, one of glass. A great metaphor, from Sandra Pianalto, in her speech to the graduating class at John Carroll last month:

Imagine that in one hand you hold a rubber ball and in the other hand you hold a beautiful fragile glass ball. The rubber ball represents your work life. The fragile glass ball represents your personal life - your family, your health, your friends.

What happens if you drop the rubber ball? It will bounce. Someone will pick it up for you, or it will just stay put until you are able to pick it up again.

But if you drop the glass ball, it may smash into a million pieces. If you are lucky, it will only crack - but either way, it will never be the same again.

Don't allow your justifiable concern with your career to cause you to drop the precious ball that represents your family, your friends, and your health.

I want to end today by wishing you, our graduates, not just a successful career, but a successful life. Take a few risks - bounce that rubber ball if you need to. Learn from everyone you meet. Be kind. And be happy. Do these simple things, and we will all be astonished by what you accomplish.

June 13, 2007

21 days and counting

As Valdis commented at BFD a few months back, people don't move to California because of the weather. I've always thought of myself as an optimistic person, and I grew up in Connecticut and Switzerland, so snow, grey skies, and cold don't faze me much. There are a lot of people who move away from this area because they believe Cleveland is dying a slow death. In contrast, I remain optimistic about Cleveland's future. Click through to read why...

Continue reading "21 days and counting"

June 11, 2007

let 2008 be the summer when unpaid FMLA ends

I just came across a post I made a little over a year ago, which I rather grandiosely entitled "let this be the century when sexism ends." Similarly, I hope that next summer, the 15th anniversary of the original Family and Medical Leave Act, will be the summer when we see the act revised so that all working Americans are protected from job loss if they need to take time off because of temporary health issues, or to care for others with health issues. Why are so few Americans protected by this important act? Read this poignant first-person reporting by Margaret Lowry to learn the basics.

In 2004, California implemented a statewide improved version of the FMLA, which provides partially paid leave for the first six weeks of a medical or family leave of absence from work. The California Family Medical Leave Research Project at UCLA has documented some of the benefits of this expansion of protection, although the scholars are troubled at how few workers are aware of their new rights. The report also documents the high number of workers who needed to take a leave before the new CA law went into effect, and were unable to do so, because of the financial consequences of taking even a short unpaid leave.

In December, the Department of Labor issued a request for comments on the FMLA, and received many responses. The National Coalition to Protect Family Leave presents many arguments in favor of strengthening the law. Some businesses argue that the law is already too broadly applied, and ask the government to support limitations on who can be approved for leave -- see this article in the San Antonio Express-News online.

Sherrod Brown serves on the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Subcommittee on Employment and Workplace Safety. I certainly hope that he has some interns at work on analyzing the comments received at the Department of Labor. It would be wonderful to see a well-reasoned revision to the original 1993 FMLA act introduced in congress in the coming months. Perhaps before its 15th birthday arrives, the act could be given the gift of meaningful power to help all workers who need to take leave for serious health issues or to care for others dealing with serious health issues.

April 09, 2007

discussing race in the region and the nation

This Thursday, as part of Case's fifth annual Research ShowCase, I will be attending a panel discussion from 10:30 - noon on "Race and the Nation" which includes a nationally prominent speaker, five panelists (three MDs, two PhDs, and one DDS), and a great moderator -- Dee Perry, from WCPN.

There are several other interesting panel sessions on Wednesday afternoon and throughout the day on Thursday, and all events in the showcase are free an open to the public! Please join us, at the Veale Convocation Center, accessible from Adelbert Road near the University Circle RTA station.

April 02, 2007

Case Western Reserve, highest quality education at a great value

I was pleased to read that Kiplinger's rated Case Western Reserve as one of the top 50 best values among comparable universities last week. (See the table for the full list of 50.)

I was surprised, though, to see the university's press release about our inclusion on the Kiplinger's list mentioning the other "peer" schools that we outranked on the list. I thought the point of the list was that these schools are not our peers, at least in the eyes of the people who compiled the Kiplinger's list. (why give the other "peer" schools another page to generate hits for them on the web?)

The table shows that only 15 of the top 50 schools have better student-to-faculty ratios than Case Western Reserve. Of all the private universities Kiplinger's ranked, only 15 do better than the 9 students per faculty member ratio at Case Western Reserve.

Also, only 5 of the universities on the list accept a higher percentage of their entering class. Case Western Reserve accepted 68 percent of applicants, according to the table. From an academic rankings perspective, a lower acceptance rate would improve our standings compared with other schools; however, from an applicant's perspective, a high acceptance rate is desirable, because it makes the investment of time in a college application less of a gamble.

At Case Western Reserve, we meet the total financial need of 92 percent of our students. The majority of that financial aid is in the form of grants, rather than loans. (Only 3 of the 50 schools provide a higher percentage of students with financial aid sufficient to meet their financial need.) Case Western Reserve is right in the middle of the top 50 universities in terms of the average debt of new graduates, at just under 21 thousand dollars.

March 26, 2007

"wasting time" at the office

As an update on my entry from early last Friday morning, here's a link to the WCPN podcast of last Friday morning's 90.3 at 9 show during which I was one of the guests to speak on the topic of "wasting time at the office".

My "maiden" experience on the radio waves as a guest was quite enjoyable, particularly because I had the pleasure of meeting the Friday host, Regina Brett. The show's producer, Paul Cox, and assistant producter, Marie Andrusewicz, both helped me to settle in at the studio. I even learned how to use a "cough" button!

Here are some background links to information I mentioned during the segment:


The piece on wasting time at the office is in the second half of the podcast, and the first half is also worth listening to, with guests commenting on population loss in Cuyahoga county and how we can take action to counteract the current trends. One of the guests recommends this report, The Vital Center, from the Brookings Institute. The guest who was in the studio with Regina Brett and myself, Mark Rosentraub, has a number of worthwhile pieces published on the topic of urban and regional renewal, also worth reading:

March 23, 2007

WCPN at 9 this morning: workplace distractions

I have been invited to be a guest of Regina Brett this morning to talk about the topic of workplace distractions. Tune in to 90.3 between 9 and 10 to listen, and call in to ask questions if you'd like!

From WCPN's website: "All around us people are filling out brackets in a buzzer-beating frenzy. This is the week offices everywhere turn into casinos. Beware the Ides of March Madness. It can make workers take their eye off the ball. Parts of Cuyahoga County resemble a dry lake bed. People are moving out, often times to neighboring counties. Join Regina Brett and talk about workplace distractions and Cuyahoga County's human ebb tide Friday on The Sound of Ideas."

March 17, 2007

NEO homeowners have no idea how wonderful our area is

My family and I just returned from a combination vacation and neighborhood hunting trip to the South Bay/San Jose area, which is the nation's most expensive housing market. We're trying to figure out if we can live with the notion of 1/2 or 1/3 of our current square footage, and a mortgage three or four times as large.

It's not easy to think about giving up the tree-lined streets of Cleveland Heights. I've loved our house since the very first day I walked into it, the first day it was on the market. (The picture below was taken in May of 2005.)

2108Lamberton.jpg


And yet, there's still snow on the ground here, and it was so warm in California during our trip that we had to stop at Sears -- we hadn't packed enough t-shirts or shorts!

December 28, 2006

choices made, and results to follow

There's an article in Crain's Cleveland Business by Shannon Mortland, from 12/19/06, drawing attention to the latest report from Voices and Choices. Here's part of what Mortland wrote:

"Local government officials are going to have to put away their personal agendas long enough to work together toward improving Northeast Ohio’s future. ... The “Report on the Public’s Priorities for Northeast Ohio’s Future” also noted that post-secondary education must be more affordable, accessible and achievable; quality education and training for low-income residents and minorities must be made more available; and businesses and local entrepreneurs will need increased public and private investment and support."

The report that Mortland summarizes is worth reading to appreciate the magnitude of the challenges that face this region. I also recommend downloading the earlier released report on citizen interviews, which includes extensive quotes from Northeast Ohio residents. It's worth reading, and worth acting upon.

How will we help move these choices from ideas to action? How will we measure the results of those actions?

December 22, 2006

a new powerhouse for Weatherhead

He may only be 5-foot-2, and yet, Mohan Reddy can light up a room. He is modest and unassuming, and does not choose to step into the spotlight; however, he can carry burdens far greater than most, and without forgetting to stop and ask "how are you?" of his colleagues, students, or alumni.

Mohan was named the interim dean of Weatherhead in August of this year (2006), and at that time, I did not know him well personally. (Click on the link below to read more.)

Continue reading "a new powerhouse for Weatherhead"

August 24, 2006

welcome, first year students!

My daughter and I enjoyed the last Wade Oval Wednesday last night, featuring Revolution Pie, a Beattles cover band, and we certainly noticed the return of Case students to University Circle. To facilitate Orientation activities for Case's 1,031 newest students, there is a large tent on East Boulevard, next to Kelvin Smith Library and across from the Cleveland Museum of Art and the Cleveland Institute of Art. Welcome, to all those students, and congratulations to the Office of Undergraduate Admission staff who brought us such a diverse class!

PS -- don't miss the last Wade Oval Wednesday, coming up on 8/30, and featuring a favorite from Parade the Circle -- the Steel Drum PANic Band!

April 29, 2006

tonight, far away...

... children will walk to the center of a city in fear, seeking security amidst war.

Tonight, in downtown Cleveland at the Free Stamp, an estimated 250 people will gather to draw attention to the injustice of a war in Africa and to ask the world's superpower to take an active role in peacemaking.

I will not be able to participate in the Global Night Commute to recognize the Invisible Children of Uganda, at least not by staying the whole night. I cannot bring myself to tell this story to my 5-year-old daughter, and I want to spend the night with her. She would not understand why I want to go camping without her. I hope that someone who reads this message will be inspired to attend in my place.

Here's the story:

An estimated 20,000-50,000 children in Northern Uganda have been abducted and forced into service as child soldiers.

1.7 million people have been forcibly displaced.

Americans tonight will band together to demand that our government do its part to put an end to the longest-running war in Africa, and one of the worst humanitarian crises in the world today.

No child should be forced to hide in the center of a city at night to avoid kidnapping and forced conscription.

I heard about this from one of my former students, who is now living in Taiwan. Around the world, over 50,000 people are signed up to recognize the children of Uganda tonight. If you read about this event in the paper on Sunday, please remember that you heard about it here first... and if you *don't* read about it in the paper on Sunday, ask your editor why not!

April 28, 2006

farewell, MGMT 251 students

Yesterday was the last class of the semester for both sections of MGMT 251 students. As is our tradition, the teaching team spent most of the class session listening to students give "one minute speeches" in which they identify highlights of the course experience, and recognize classmates who contributed to their learning.

For many of the students, their team project performing an analysis of a local company as a potential employer was a highlight. Some students noted how much hope they felt about learning that the Cleveland area is still home to so many different types of employers that appeal to their desires for career opportunities and positive workplace cultures. The companies that were profiled included...

Continue reading "farewell, MGMT 251 students"

April 12, 2006

Anne Lamott at Amasa Stone at Case -- part 2

If you missed Anne Lamott's visit to the Case campus last Friday, I have written a little bit about it already... but part 1 was more about me than about her. In part 2, I want to try to remember what she said, which is tricky, because I did not take many notes.

John Ettorre called Anne Lamott "a poet and a mystic and a prophet and a patriot and the most honest, most moving, most luminous, soul-stirring Christian writing today, perhaps in the entire English language. And all from lefty Marin County, across the bridge from San Fran."

Continue reading "Anne Lamott at Amasa Stone at Case -- part 2"

April 04, 2006

campus event 4/11: regional coalitions as a way to address inequalities

Did anyone get to attend this? I couldn't (a last-minute conflict arose) but I would love to read a blog entry by someone who did... or even just hear an informal update!

Margaret Weir, Ph.D., Professor of Political Science and Sociology, University of California at Berkeley
will present an NSF-ADVANCE Distinguished Lecture on

Challenging Metropolitan Inequalities: Coalition Building for Inclusive Growth

April 11, 2006, Clark Hall 309 - 4:00-5:30 pm

Many discussions of how to address the Cleveland area's economic and social challenges include proposals for some sort of "regionalization." Yet the obstacles to any shared efforts across government boundaries remain substantial. Join us for a talk and conversation about the prospects for policies that seek growth with equity for Cleveland and other metropolitan regions.

Professor Margaret Weir received her Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of Chicago in 1986. Her research and teaching fields include political sociology, American political development, urban politics and policy, and comparative studies of the welfare state. She has written extensively on issues of regional coalition-building, metropolitan government, and the political and economic isolation of central cities. Professor Weir is also coauthor, with Benjamin Ginsberg and Theodore J. Lowi, of We the People (5th ed.), a major textbook on American government.

One of her recent chapters on coalitiion building and regionalism is available online here (essay 5).

Sponsored by ACES and the Office of the President and The Provost, in conjunction with the Department of Political Science.

March 11, 2006

it's 5:30 am, and I'm reading PD headlines online...

... something must be changing, however slowly, in the partnership between the Plain Dealer and Cleveland.com -- I hope this isn't just a fluke. (I found this randomly, because I have Google News set up as my homepage, with a custom search for the Plain Dealer, and was shocked to see a March 11 datestamp when I flipped my laptop open this morning. I do not always get up this early on Saturdays, though.)

The story that caught my interest this morning, after reading the top story about the search for a new CEO of the Cleveland Public Schools, is OU grad finds evidence of plagiarism. I'm shocked at the notion of several students plagiarizing Master's theses. Some faculty members somewhere were definitely lax in reading their students' drafts, and teaching them about academic integrity and proper syntax!

I know we need to do a better job about teaching students to avoid plagiarism (and by "we", I mean the teaching profession generally, rather than the faculty at Case specifically). I still have a copy somewhere of a very slim orange booklet that I was given in 8th grade English class, about how to do a research paper, which was mostly about how to acknowledge sources -- but based on the questions I have answered over the past few years from sophomores about whether they need to include references in their papers, or how to do so, to trust that they are being properly educated on this subject in their high school English classes, which is really a shame. Why is it that students these days are not all competent in this skill by the time they reach college?

I suspect that I see this in part because we admit students to Case who may have outstanding quantitative skills, but may only have earned Bs and an occasional C in high-school English. This is one problem with using grades, though -- it is hard to know what the person assigning the grade considers an acceptable performance to earn a B or a C. Another teacher might give a student a B for a well-argued essay which has a few problems with the formatting or specificity of its citations, thinking that it is most important that students learn to express themselves clearly. Such a teacher might not give what I consider sufficient weight to assessing the student's ability to cite sources well. I have no way of knowing that when I evaluate a student's transcript, as a member of an admissions committee. I suppose the lesson is that I should not assume what my students have already learned, when they come into my classroom.

March 04, 2006

standing behind the President

After the meeting on Friday afternoon, I'm still feeling a bit uninformed about the point of view of the Arts and Sciences faculty. As I wrote on Thursday, I think more dialogue is needed, but it is certainly my impression that President Hundert and Provost Anderson want to facilitate that process.

The fact that Professor Krauss' initiative was inspired by Harvard concerns me -- it's not clear how our university will benefit from this apparent case of "me-too-ism". There are significant differences between Harvard's faculty of arts and sciences and our College of Arts and Sciences. Harvard has over 940 faculty in Arts and Sciences. In contrast, our College of Arts and Sciences numbers only about 220 professors. Their arts and sciences faculty have sustained the reputation of the entire university in past decades, while Case's reputation comes primarily from engineering and medicine.

I understand that faculty are disappointed that we have not achieved what we had hoped according to the plan launched three years ago. I know it has been and will be very difficult to continue to implement changes when we have not been able to afford as sizeable an investment as we had hoped to support the changes that are underway.

What I do not understand is why the Arts and Sciences faculty feel that the surprises we have experienced in NIH research funding and development are exclusively the president's fault. The course of action he is proposing now, to cease the planned draw on working capital a year early, seems the most responsible course of action. I don't believe that a change in leadership would result in any different decisionmaking. What has happened must be faced, and a change in leadership would only slow down the process of getting back on course.

P.S.: At least one student is standing with President Hundert as well... and don't miss the reasoned comments from Glenn Starkman on this entry. I hope that we can continue to have continued dialogue about these issues (though not necessarily via the blog).

March 03, 2006

the unfolding story of a challenge to leadership

The common wisdom is that any publicity is good publicity, and clearly recent campus events have the local community buzzing about Case and its President. In the season of the year when admitted students are making decisions about where they will enroll next fall, though, I'd rather have the publicity about our campus focusing on positive signs instead of internal discord.

I have not written anything about this story because I feel very uninformed. The best reporting I have found on the no-confidence vote here on campus yesterday is the story in the campus paper. Much like the members of the Undergraduate Student Government, who called earlier this week for faculty to postpone the vote, I think caution is appropriate. Clearly, more dialogue is needed. Weatherhead faculty meet with President Hundert late this afternoon. I'm hoping that something concrete and constructive will emerge from that conversation.

February 23, 2006

who runs the best restaurants in Cleveland?

This is the third of a series of posts introducing the NEO community to the intrepid students who have taken on an optional assignment this spring -- to choose a topic around which to blog in February, March, and April, with the aim of learning something, teaching something, and generating dialogue online. All these students were required to blog about the topics we discussed last fall in MGMT 250 (if they wanted to earn an A) and to comment on one another's blog entries, but this semester, their assignment is optional, and tougher. They need to include weblinks in most of their entries, and do some promotion of their blogs through participation in other online forums or through comments on other blogs. They will also be doing some in-person networking to promote their blogs. Part of my assessment of their work will be related to their ability to generate readers of and comments on their entries.

The third student I am highlighting is Chris Reed, whose blog will focus on Management Issues in the Restaurant Industry. He has made three entries so far, and has uncovered some interesting statistics about the industry. Please click through to read the list he uncovered of the top 8 restaurants in Cleveland. Do you agree with the rankings? What do you think contributes to their success? Are there other restaurants you would nominate as well-run businesses? Chris wants to know about them. Read his entry and leave him a comment, please!

P. S. The first entry in my series highlighting students' blogs, which mentions Danny Pho's Exciting Companies in Northeast Ohio, is here.

The second entry in my series, which mentions David Hastings' Innovations in Motivation, is here.

February 17, 2006

Would you be able to forgive him?

Biswanath Halder was sentenced to life in prison on Friday. One of the brothers of Norman Wallace, the Weatherhead MBA student who Halder shot and killed on May 9, 2003, forgave the shooter after the sentencing... another spoke bitterly. I can understand both of their reactions.

I never had a chance to meet Norman Wallace, and yet I know that his death was a tremendous loss.

Continue reading "Would you be able to forgive him?"

February 15, 2006

NEO's exciting companies

This is the first of a series of posts introducing the NEO community to the intrepid students who have taken on an optional assignment this spring -- to choose a topic around which to blog in February, March, and April, with the aim of learning something, teaching something, and generating dialogue online. All these students were required to blog about the topics we discussed last fall in MGMT 250 (if they wanted to earn an A) and to comment on one another's blog entries, but this semester, their assignment is tougher. They need to include weblinks in most of their entries, and do some promotion of their blogs through participation in other online forums or through comments on other blogs. They will also be doing some in-person networking to promote their blogs. Part of my assessment of their work will be related to their ability to generate readers of and comments on their entries.

The first student I'm highlighting is Danny Pho, who has chosen to focus on exciting companies in Northeast Ohio. As a native of the area, Danny wants to reverse the negative self-talk that he has heard for most of his life about Cleveland, and demonstrate to his fellow 20somethings that there are really cool places to get a job in Northeast Ohio.

Do you have suggestions for him about companies he could profile? Are you looking for a little free publicity about your company, which might help you recruit some outstanding Case students in a year or two when they graduate? Would you be willing to talk with Danny by phone, or meet him at Arabica? Please leave him a comment and welcome him to the blogosphere.

February 09, 2006

ethics in medicine

Today the Plain Dealer reported on the Cleveland Clinic's efforts to update its conflict-of-interest policies and I think this is a great example for this organization to set. Medical device manufacturers and pharmaceutical companies are largely unregulated, and can have just as much influence on the cost of healthcare as can Washington lobbyists. I especially hope this this will mean that pregnant women will be less exposed to infant formula advertisements, so that their desires to breastfeed are not undermined by staff with connections to formula companies. (I also hope the other hospitals in the area will follow the Clinic's lead.)

January 14, 2006

CEOGC needs a clean sweep

Bill Callahan's Cleveland Diary this morning makes a strong case for a Federal takeover of the Council for Economic Opportunities in Greater Cleveland (CEOGC). The agency owes the state of Ohio $3.3 million because of deficits from 2005 and 2004. He does not give any sources which explain the original reasons for the 2004 deficit. There were irregularities in spending identified during an audit last year, though not of a magnitude sufficient to explain the entire deficit, as far as I can tell.

The agency needs new leadership and new spending controls put in place -- and probably a bailout for the old debt, too, but there's no way that will happen without the new leadership and spending controls. At this point, it doesn't matter whether the spending irregularities were unintentional recordkeeping errors or something worse. It's time to step aside so others can clean up the mess and get the agency refocused on meeting the needs of the region's poor.

I especially appreciate Bill's post because it backs up a Plain Dealer editorial from this past Thursday -- and Bill is no blind supporter of that team -- with links to old news stories documenting how long the problem has been in the public eye. The time for action is long past due.

January 07, 2006

Ask not what the next generation can do for you...

... ask how you can help them learn about a new charter school opening in the city of Cleveland in the fall of 2006. Read about the Entrepreneurship Prep Academy at E-City Cleveland and email john.zitzner@ecitycleveland.com if you can attend a lunch meeting on Wednesday, January 11, to find out how you can help them with recruiting students for next fall.

January 06, 2006

Ask not what your city can do for you, but what you can do for your city!

Sustainability in the City: A Working Session

An Entrepreneurs for Sustainability Third Tuesday Network Event
Featuring the City of Cleveland’s Sustainability Programs Manager, Andrew Watterson

Tuesday, January 17, 2005
5:30 - 6:15 P.M. Networking
6:15 - 7:30 P.M. Presentation/Work Session
7:30 - 8:30 P.M. Networking

What are the top five sustainability projects that will put Cleveland on the map as the leading sustainability city in the United States? How can the E4S Network (business, academia, government, media, funding and non-profits) help Cleveland and the region become leaders in sustainability?

Andrew Watterson, Cleveland’s Sustainability Programs Manager, will share some of the projects they have started, results to date, projects he would like to do and assistance he needs to meet his goals. Following a brief question and answer period, the E4S Network will go to work discussing how we can help the city lead.

Come prepared to discuss and document your top one to two sustainability project ideas that will have the most impact on our region. At the end of the evening we will ask a few people from the E4S Network to share their ideas and how they will play a part in making them a reality! E4S staff and Andrew will gather all the input from the meeting and report our findings to the E4S Network, the city administration and the new Mayor, Frank Jackson.

Location: Great Lakes Brewing Company - Tasting Room

Registration is required: RSVP for this free event today!
Please include your full name, the names of any guests, your organization or business and contact information when you RSVP. Email events@e4sustainability.org or call 216-451-7755.

Click here to go to the January 17 event Web page.

December 12, 2005

I hear the human race is falling on its face...

... but Wendy Hoke and Richard Shatten's memory remind me that we're all just cockeyed optimists, and that's a healthy thing.

Are you optimistic about Cleveland's future?

Wendy mentions the building going on at the site of the old Mt. Sinai hospital off East 105th, and I have to say that it has brightened my hopes for Cleveland's future too. So does the neighborhood renewal happening just west of Shaker Square near the rapid line, and all the warehouse district condo developments, and the building along the Shoreway that was converted to residential near the marina. The renovations do make me more excited than the new building though; as Scott writes, renovations can be more challenging than new building, but they do maintain the best of a neighborhood in a way that is hard to do through construction. That's why the Heritage Lane Historic Homes are my favorite project. It'd be great if we could do some similar renovations on either side of Taylor Road behind Severance in Cleveland Heights.

September 15, 2005

Case: participating in the region's renaissance

I'm delighted to read Sudhir's post on REALNEO about the unfolding events of the Voices and Choices initiative of the Fund for Our Economic Future. I'm saving the date of November 12 so that I can attend the Town Meeting for the region, which will be held in Akron, but that event is only the culmination of lots of work which is going on right now. Community leaders are being trained to conduct interviews with citizens, to build an online database of positive images for our region's future which come from a broad swath of its residents.

I hope that Case students are among those who will conduct interviews and funnel what they learn back to the Voices and Choices website. (It's wonderful that Sudhir is involved, especially since he is a Weatherhead MBA alumnus, but one person can only do so much alone.) I hope that students will interview each other, and share their ideas about what Northeast Ohio can do to keep more of our young college graduates in the region. Just as the Facebook group says, "Case Can Be Enjoyable If You Stop Bitching About It And Find Stuff To Do!" and the same goes for Cleveland and the surrounding region. (If you don't want to sign up for a free Facebook account, I'll just note that there are 310 members of this group at Case, and 17 groupies, which is not bad considering that there are less than 3000 undergraduates at Case and some of them avoid Facebook on principle.)

I also hope that Case students will take the initiative to leave campus and do some interviews with citizens in surrounding neighborhoods, because I think that would do a lot to counteract outdated perceptions of the university. We used to turn our back on the surrounding city, but as yesterday's third annual Case for Community Day and the ongoing efforts of the Office of Student Community Service and the Center for Community Partnerships demonstrate, we have made considerable progress over the last several years in changing how we relate to the neighborhoods and the city around us.

For students who don't want to leave their dorm rooms to volunteer, perhaps you'd like to collaborate with OneCleveland and Case's ITS department on putting together a proposal to host the next Wikimedia Foundation international conference in Cleveland? I think it could be relatively easy to do better than the draft proposal that is coming together for Toronto as a host city, and Lev Gonick put me in touch with Mark Ansboury at One Cleveland and John Russell here at Case. If you have suggestions about how to galvanize Northeast Ohio Wikipedia editors and readers to bring Wikimania to Cleveland, please let me know... it would be a great way to continue to build a positive image of Cleveland among techies and internet geeks around the globe.

June 02, 2005

Race and Regionalism

There have been bits and pieces of dialogue in the NEO blogosphere lately about race and regionalism. It all started when Bill Callahan asked for predictions from the blogosphere about the biggest issue in the race for Cleveland mayor. Tim Russo said race. I responded with an attempt to discuss the issue (but ended up discussing poverty and access to higher education) instead. Later, I responded again, and received quite a few comments. MaryBeth joined in with her commentary on a recent REI brainstorming session and received several comments as well. Jeff picked up on it tangentially with his search for non-European voices in the NEO blogosphere.

To add to the conversation, I wanted to point to this interview with John Powell on the EcoCity Cleveland website. I wonder how people respond to his suggestion that we build public housing units into each new development in our communities? I wonder what it would it take to make that happen, before all the new condos in Cleveland are finished out. Perhaps we could we get public housing units integrated into Scott Wolstein's proposed redevelopment of the flats....