Chancellor Petro Submits Plan for Central State University


COLUMBUS, OH, Jan. 26, 2012 – Chancellor Jim Petro in collaboration with Central State University today recommended development of more than a dozen strategies that would move the university toward greater achievement in retaining and graduating students who will live and work in Ohio.

The Plan is pursuant to a legislative mandate, Sec. 371 of H.B. 153 under which the Ohio General Assembly instructed the chancellor, with Central State University, to develop a comprehensive plan with specific goals of increasing enrollment, improving course completion and the number of degrees conferred. 

“I believe strongly in the importance of retaining Ohio’s Historically Black Public University,” Petro said. “I have confidence in the Plan and the mission of Central State University. ”  

The Plan calls for:

  • Conducting a more selective recruitment process.
  • Promoting greater accountability of students during their first year on campus.
  • Building up science and technology academic programs.
  • Establishing a consistent, merit-based state funding formula.
  • Assessing the viability of developing a “Success Roadmap” to degree completion, including:
    • Recognizing students who successfully complete 30 hours of study (1-year) with the granting of a certificate focused on career readiness; and recognizing students who complete 60 hours (2-years) of study and a core curricula completion with the granting of an associate degree in the specific art or science discipline selected.
  • Improving the University’s physical environment.
  • Exploring opportunities to share administrative operations with other universities.  

The Chancellor’s plan was informed  by a report issued by a team of university administrators from across the country that visited Central State and met with staff and faculty to identify promising strategies. Team members volunteered their time on a pro bono basis.

“I am confident that the recommendations made in the consultants’ report provide a clear path for Central State to achieve increased enrollment, retention, and degree attainment,” Petro added.

In addition, the Board of Regents is providing a loaned executive to assist Central State’s administration in pursing this plan and is encouraging a Planning and Implementation Advisory Committee established by Petro and Central State President John Garland to continue to explore additional ideas, University branding and marketing concepts and new student recruitment initiatives.

"We are pleased by the Ohio Board of Regents' support for Central State University," said Central State President John Garland. "I believe the commitment of all those involved in the development of this plan will continue as Central State moves forward with the implementation of the strategies detailed in this plan."

Central State University is one of the nation's oldest historically black universities and Ohio’s only predominately African American public institution of higher education. Central State has a 125-year legacy of academic and athletic achievements and is open to “all persons of good moral character.”

Honoring Ohio's Historically Black Public University: A Plan for Advancing Progress at Central State University 
(includes Accentuating Strengths/Accelerating Progress: A Report to the Ohio Board of Regents and Central State University from the Chancellor's Team of Consultants)
January 2012 (PDF) 

Central State University's history begins with its parent institution, Wilberforce University, established at Tawawa Springs, Ohio, in 1856. It is one of the oldest Black-administered institutions of higher education in the nation.  In 1887, the Ohio General Assembly enacted legislation that created a Combined Normal and Industrial Department at Wilberforce University.  Central State legally split from Wilberforce, becoming the College of Education and Industrial Arts at Wilberforce. The name was changed in 1951 to Central State College, and in 1965, the institution achieved university status.

Today, the University has renewed itself, emerging as a stronger institution on all fronts, from academics to administrative affairs and fiscal management, from student services and enrollment (currently at 2,503) to campus facilities. Central State actively promotes diversity in its student body, faculty and staff, and adheres to its core historical responsibility to educate young African American men and women.

Contact Info:

Ohio Board of Regents Contact:
Jeff Robinson
Office: 614.752.9487

Central State University Contact:
Fran Robinson
Office: 937.376.6142 or 937.620.2054