Research Centers & Programs


The Levin College's research centers and programs have served as the focal point of applied research, technical assistance, and public service in Ohio for over 35 years. We recognize that challenges such as economic inequality, environmental degradation, and urban blight are now intensified by mega global trends. These include globalization of capital, climate change, and the recent subprime crisis for example. All argue for a range of innovative policy (and process) solutions to evolving problems. 
Our talented team of professional staff and scholars conduct research and provide services in city and public management, community development, demographic analysis, economic development, energy policy, environmental policy, health policy, and nonprofit management. Our centers, working individually and together, help public, private, and non-profit sector leaders understand that better decisions are made when driven by data, informed leadership, and effective organizations – all of which our centers promote.

Research Centers and Programs

Core Centers

  • Center for Community Planning and Development: The Center for Community Planning and Development's mission is to strengthen the practice of planning and community development through independent research, technical assistance, and civic education and engagement. The Center works in partnership with public, private, and nonprofit organizations, local governments, and development and planning professionals.
  • Center for Economic Development: The Center for Economic Development provides research and technical assistance to government agencies, nonprofit organizations, and private industry. It has served as a designated Economic Development Administration (EDA) University Center since 1985.
  • Center for Population Dynamics: The Center for Population Dynamics helps partner organizations competitively position Greater Cleveland for economic and community development through the lens of migration, knowledge diffusion, and culture. This Center is an affiliate of the Center for Community Planning and Development, and houses Urban Theory and Analytics (UTA), a program that deploys interdisciplinary methods from the emergent field of computational social science. Its subject matter expertise is on economic, community, and human development, with a geographic focus on the Rust Belt. Specifically, UTA simplifies the complex of how and why the global economy changes, and how those changes become manifest in regional economies, neighborhood conditions, and ultimately individual wellbeing. UTA's endeavors, then, prioritize knowledge generation that aims to fix societal problems, rather than gloss over or add to them.
  • Center for Public and Nonprofit Management: The Center for Public and Nonprofit Management (CPNM) integrates several functions within the College, connecting professional development, student enrichment, and faculty engagement in the areas of leadership development, management training, technical assistance, and research for the public and nonprofit sectors in Northeast Ohio. CPNM also serves as the official Certified Public Manager® (CPM) program for the State of Ohio, offering comprehensive and nationally certified development programs for state and local government leaders. Former centers: Center for Nonprofit Policy and Practice and Center for Leadership Development have been absorbed into CPNM.
  • Diversity Institute: The Diversity Institute (TDI) is an academic research and action center for confronting the range of topics encompassed under the umbrella of diversity, equity, and inclusion. TDI staff works to identify issues within Cleveland State University that can be addressed through a diversity, equity, and inclusion framework and collaborate with essential team members to address them. Recognizing the interdependence with the wider community, the TDI staff also collaborates with external partners to tackle these same issues as they present outside the university.
  • Energy Policy Center: The Energy Policy Center's mission is to help overcome social and institutional barriers to the implementation of solutions to energy challenges by providing an objective channel for the free exchange of ideas, the dissemination of knowledge, and the support of energy-related research in the areas of public policy, economics, business, and social science.

Additional Centers and Programs

  • Center for Emergency Preparedness: The Center for Emergency Preparedness has been the Leader in Ohio’s emergency preparedness for over 30 years. The Center's mission is to provide the highest quality hazardous material, homeland security, and business continuity training utilizing industry standards and best practices. In November 2019, the Levin College announced a strategic merging of the Center for Public and Nonprofit Management and the Center for Emergency Preparedness in an effort to better serve Northeast Ohio’s public safety training needs.
  • Levin College Forum: The Levin College Forum Program is a catalyst for thoughtful public debate, innovative thinking, new ideas, and timely action addressing critical issues that impact Northeast Ohio. The work of the forum is based on the premise that an informed and engaged citizenry is a valuable asset for the region's future growth and prosperity. The program is part of the Center for Community Planning and Development.
  • Northern Ohio Data & Information Service (NODIS): The Northern Ohio Data and Information Service (NODIS) is designated by the State of Ohio and the U.S. Bureau of the Census as the regional data center for Northern Ohio. NODIS is a leader in the use of information technology, particularly geographic information systems (GIS) and provides data analysis, mapping, technical assistance, and training services.
  • Office of Civic EngagementThe Office of Civic Engagement provides support to faculty, students, staff and administrators that allow them to develop, expand and sustain collaborative, mutually beneficial partnerships with community residents, organizations and institutions. These partnerships contribute to student learning and academic scholarship while contributing to the social and economic well-being of Cleveland, its neighborhoods and the Northeast Ohio region.
  • Ohio Center for the Advancement of Women in Public Service: The Ohio Center for the Advancement of Women in Public Service works to promote the advancement of public service careers for women and men within the executive, legislative, and judicial branches of government and at the national, state, and local levels. It accomplishes its mission through educational programs designed to foster and encourage the selection of public service as a profession.

  • Unger Program: The Unger Program serves to support and foster economic and community development through independent research and civic education and engagement. The program is part of the Center for Community Planning and Development.

  • Water Resilient Cities ProgramUnder the guidance of Dr. Wendy Kellogg, the Water Resilient Cities Program expands the work of Levin College in environmental policy, planning, and management.