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News of the Week

Maxine Goodman Levin College of Urban Affairs - CSU

News of the week


Here's what’s happening at the Maxine Goodman Levin College of Urban Affairs...

Alumni News
Summer in the City
Out and About
Saving Public Funds
Trumbull Neighborhood Partnership


Dean Ned Hill was quoted in The NationalJournal Subscirber article "In Manufacturing, Blue-Collar Jobs Need White -Collar Training". To read the article, go to: http://www.nationaljournal.


Michael Spicer published an article entitled "On Defending Politics" in the /PA Times, /Volume 35 (1), 2012.

CSU Open House - Saturday, March 31 - 9:00a.m. - 4:00p.m.

Don't miss the annual Cleveland State University Spring Open House! Spend the entire day or stop in for just a few hours to pick and choose from a wide range of activities. Highlights include:

  • Student-led campus tours
  • A campus fair featuring 40+ CSU programs, departments and student clubs
  • Info sessions and sample lectures offered throughout the day
  • Special presentations in each of CSU's seven colleges
  • Tours of the new CSU Arts Campus at Playhouse Square

Register today - RSVP at or call 216.523.7416.


EngagedScholarship@CSU is a web based repository that will allow Levin College's scholarship a more visible presence on the Web. The CSU Library is working with Sharon Bliss, Ellen Cyran and Bob Martel to make this happen. Over the next several weeks records from College's Publications Database (over 1,100) will be uploaded to the EngagedScholarship site (

Also accounts will be created for the College's faculty and staff to view, edit, add and delete citations.

If you have recent scholarship (published articles, project reports, etc) not previously submitted, Sharon asks that files in PDF format (no larger than 10MB per email) be sent to her ( by 3/7/12 to be included in the mass upload.

More information to follow in upcoming weeks...

Summer in the City 2012

Enrollment is open for the Levin College SUMMER IN THE CITY 2012 program, offering students a 9-week, paid internship (June 11-August 9) with the opportunity to experience hands-on how urban organizations really work, while spending most learning time out of the classroom. All students are welcome. The program is especially designed for students who attend college outside of Cleveland, are home for the summer, and want to earn credit that transfers to their schools. Learn more and share the news: Organizations interested in a summer intern may contact

"Indiana right-to-work law challenges Ohio's desirability"

Premium content from  Business First
by Jeff Bell, Staff reporter                           

Date: Friday, February 17, 2012 
Kenny McDonald’s job at Columbus2020 got tougher this month when Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels signed a bill that made Indiana the 23rd right-to-work state.

Indiana became the first in the Midwest manufacturing belt to go the right-to-work route. It means the Hoosier state no longer will be lumped with more union-friendly states, including Ohio, that can get crossed off relocation lists of companies with an aversion to labor contracts and the complications they can create for their businesses.

“We certainly get asked the question about what percentage (of workers) are unionized, particularly in the manufacturing setting,” said McDonald, chief economic officer for the Columbus2020 economic development partnership.

“Our understanding is it is used as a screen – in some cases a high-level screen – where they only want to talk to right-to-work states,” he said.

That means business development specialists in Ohio, he said, need to redouble their efforts to talk up the state’s advantages and explain what McDonald called “true business costs” for companies looking to expand. Those selling points includes Ohio’s tax structure for businesses, work force productivity, and the contributions of education and research centers such as Ohio State University.

“It’s really important to make our case,” McDonald said, “so we don’t get screened out of things.”

The right-to-work law in Indiana prohibits unions from requiring non-union workers to pay fees for representation. The push for a similar law is under way in Ohio where several conservative groups connected to the Tea Party movement plan to collect signatures to put a right-to-work constitutional amendment on the statewide ballot.

The Ohio Ballot Board recently ruled the groups can begin collecting the 385,253 signatures to put the Ohio Workplace Freedom Amendment up for a vote.

Given the large number of required signatures, it is unlikely the issue will be on this year’s ballot, but it should be ready for a vote in November 2013, said Chris Littleton, an organizer of the ballot drive and former president of the Ohio Liberty Council.

Indiana’s passage of a right-to-work law makes it important that Ohio follow suit, he said.

“It is one of the top considerations when relocating or starting a company,” Littleton said. “If it isn’t fixed, it will be hard for Ohio to make an economic comeback.”

Economic studies have shown growth in metropolitan areas of right-to-work states has been higher than in metro areas in other states, said Ned Hill, an economic development expert and dean of the College of Urban Affairs at Cleveland State University.

He has been involved in research that concluded employers with location choices will invest in places with a lower threat of organizing by unions and view right-to-work laws as an indicator of a business-friendly political climate.

Hill said there no longer is much difference in wages and benefits between union and non-union shops, particularly in manufacturing. But work rules spelled out in union contracts and the threat of strikes remain a stumbling block for some businesses, he said.

Another issue, Hill said, is that some companies don’t want a corporate culture in which a union stands between them and their employees.

Add up those factors, and Indiana as a right-to-work state will gain an edge over Ohio in some company location battles – even though Hill thinks Ohio has a better tax structure.

“It will not have an immediate devastating impact on economic development in Ohio,” he said. “It will be more of a slow, gradual impact.”

While not always an issue in corporate relocation decisions, right-to-work laws can be a factor in some cases, said Scott Ziance, who focuses on tax and economic development incentives at Vorys Sater Seymour and Pease LLP in Columbus.

“It really depends on the company,” he said. “It’s sort of like selling a home with a swimming pool. For some buyers, it’s a necessity – they absolutely have to have it. For others, it doesn’t matter.”

Ziance said Indiana’s switch to a right-to-work state has the potential to be a game-changer on company location decisions in the Midwest.

“I’m going to be open-minded,” he said, “and see what the market shows me. I’m extremely interested to see how it impacts (Ohio).”

Unions fight back

One issue to track in Indiana is whether unions are able to overturn the right-to-work law, said Dennis Willard, a spokesman for We Are Ohio, the union-backed organization that helped convince Ohio voters in November to reject Senate Bill 5.

That controversial law, passed by Republican legislators and supported by Gov. John Kasich <> , would have limited the collective bargaining rights of Ohio’s public employees but not ones in the private sector.

“Just because legislators shove something down the people’s throats doesn’t mean unions will just fold their tents,” Willard said. “I think you’ll see a real fight against that (in Indiana).”

Jeff Bell covers public policy, utilities, energy and the business of sports for Business First.

FEMA regional training course

The Levin College’s Center for Emergency Preparedness and CSU Campus Safety will host a 3-day FEMA regional training course: Multi-Hazard Emergency Planning for Higher Education from June 19-21, 2012 at Fenn Tower. As the host institution, CSU will invite staff from six other local universities to participate. This is an excellent opportunity for CSU to highlight its preparedness initiatives and to foster collaboration in protecting students, faculty and staff in the region. 

Use the new, FREE Shuttle Service

The Viking Loop shuttle will circulate shuttle buses to help transport people from more distant parking facilities such as the Cole Center lot on East 30th Street. This will be a new, free convenience for students, faculty and staff, while helping to enhance safety for pedestrians. In addition, police patrols have been significantly increased and escorts are available by calling 687.2020.

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