Michael A Dover, BSW, MSW, Ph.D.
 Title: College Associate Lecturer
 Dept: Social Work
 Office: CB 326
 Phone: 216-687-3564
 Fax: (216)687-5590
 Email: M.A.DOVER@csuohio.edu
 Address: 2121 Euclid Ave. CB 326, Cleveland, OH 44115

Courses Taught


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Research Keywords:
collective impact of the human services, oppression, dehumanization, exploitation, human need, human needs, real property, property tax exemption, aging, social work education, social policy, social welfare policy, externalities, externalization, unanticipated consequences, unintended consequences, perverse incentives, moral hazards, policy briefs, advocacy letters, incremental and fundamental social change, nonprofit sector, public sector, mixed economy, pragmatism.
B.S., Social Work, Adelphi University, 1978
M.S., Social Work, Columbia University, 1980
M.A., Sociology, University of Michigan, 1996
Ph.D., Social Work and Sociology, University of Michigan, 2003
Brief Bio:
The first item on my resume is that I was a community organizer organizing tenants for a Community Action agency in New York City's Chelsea neighborhood in 1975-1976.  After five years of pre-M.S.W. community organizing, group work and casework experience in New York City, 1975-1980, I worked for ten years directing trade union-based member assistance programs in New Orleans, New York City and Philadelphia, as part of the early employee assistance field.  Since 1982, I have also maintained a continuous affiliation as a part-time or full-time faculty member, faculty advisor, field instructor or graduate student instructor at eleven social work schools and programs in New Orleans, New York, Philadelphia, Michigan and Ohio.

In 1991, I began doctoral studies at the University of Michigan in social work and sociology, passing preliminary examinations in both social work and sociology and completing a dissertation co-chaired by faculty from social work and sociology.  While I was a student, I co-parented my two children, worked as an admissions counselor, instructor in social work and in sociology, teaching assistant for two Detroit Area Study research projects, research associate at the Institute on Labor and Industrial Relations, and research assistant in child welfare.  Finally, during those years, I was a recipient of a five-year Fellowship in Applied Aging from the National Institute of Aging.  Work begun as a doctoral student related to human needs and to the roles of oppression, dehumanization and exploitation in producing injustice have been subjects of my published work within social work.  For a CSU Media Site interview related to human needs, please see: http://tinyurl.com/y7torxn

I am an Ohio native, born in Alliance and partially raised in Maple Heights.  My mother's family was directly descended from the Armstrongs and Stanleys who settled the Western Reserve in 1803.  In the early 1920, my paternal great-grandmother and grandmother brought my father from Memphis and its surrounding agricultural areas to Akron and then Cleveland, where he graduated from West High School.  My late parents met before WWII at Kent State and married following the war.  These deep Cleveland and Northeastern Ohio family roots affected my choice of Ohio for my dissertation research.

My dissertation in Social Work and Sociology at the University of Michigan was based on four years of research in Toledo and at the Ohio Historical Center in Columbus, as well as visits to fifteen other Ohio cities including Cleveland.  It was titled "The Social System of Real Property Ownership: Public and Nonprofit Property Tax Exemptions and Corporate Tax Abatements in City and Suburb, 1955-2000."  I explored whether the growth of post-industrial complexes of public, nonprofit and religious property in our urban areas has had unintended negative consequences for the tax base of our urban schools and governments.  I concluded that the growth in the proportion of property value which is exempt was the result of de-industrialization and population shifts that resulted in a lower rate of growth in the value of taxable property in our cities compared to our suburbs.  The growth of exempt property has made our cities important regional centers of health, education and culture, but consideration should be given to compensating cities for hosting these complexes of exempt property.  I have presented the theory of my dissertation at the 2010 meeting of the American Sociological Association, and I am working on a book to be titled, "Devoted Property: A History of the Real Property Tax Exemption in City and Suburb."  I have completed a book prospectus, "Devoted Property: The Property Tax Exemption in American Urban History and the Rise of the American Commons," and plan to resume seeking a publisher for this work.
Honors and Awards:
2012 Social Worker of the Year, National Association of Social Workers Ohio Chapter, Region 3.
Creative and Activities:
At least once a year, I creatively seek new ways of catching, kissing and releasing smallmouth bass. I occasionally creatively seek to find new ways of not losing golf balls in the woods. I am an avid film buff, and most recently saw Footnote at the Cedar-Lee Theater. Finally, I still have several dozen copies of a new reprint of my story, Pooh and Party Look for Haycorns and Discover Christmas, available upon request. I'm published one poem, in the journal Catalyst (now Journal of Progressive Human Services), and have more that have never been submitted or seen the light of day.
Research Interests:
In his final presidential address to the graduating class, former CSU President Michael Schwartz called upon CSU faculty to study the history of free institutions, the content of justice, and the nature of human nature. I have done research and conceptual writing in each of these three areas.  

My dissertation and book prospectus concern the history of one of our most important free institutions: the property tax exemption for public, nonprofit and religious property.  That institution has stimulated the development of our mixed economy, one characterized by a strong free market sector but also by stable and secure tax exempt sectors for government, charity, education, culture and religion.  The property owned by those sectors is free from the taxation which would force its owners to operate entirely according to market principles.  In order to think critically about the possible implications of the growth of these sectors, my work uses theories based in institutional and organizational analysis of the ways in which large organizations often externalize costs onto the rest of society.  As a logical extension of my earlier work focusing on the property holdings of the public, nonprofit and religious sectors, my current work seeks to utilize property data, census data and other data sources to understand the collective impact of social welfare institutions on our regional economy.

In my work on the content of justice, in 2008 I published an original theoretical typology of the relationship of three important sources of injustice of concern to social work: oppression, dehumanization and exploitation.  Each of these three sources of injustice can inhibit the ability of people and communities to meet their human needs in a way that is consistent with their human rights and with their culturally valued way of life.  After all, perhaps the most important characteristic of human nature is the manner in which human beings strive to meet our uniquely human needs, needs which are universal but which are met in a myriad of culturally specific ways.  

Trained as a social worker, a sociologist and a gerontologist, I am particularly interested empirically in the manner in which older people address their human needs, something which I plan to study in senior centers, day treatment centers, assisted living residences and nursing homes.

Cleveland State University is wonderful place to engage in research and creative activity within a rich urban environment.  I strongly support the stated goal of President Ronald M. Berkman for Cleveland State University to emerge as a premier urban research university.  To such a goal, I plan to devote the remainder of my career as a social work educator and social researcher.
Teaching Areas:
My teaching interests and experience involve teaching social policy, social research, micro and macro human behavior theory and community practice.  I have a growing interest in teaching about theories of generalist and advanced generalist practice and in theories of social work practice for global social work education.  I am interested in teaching as part of an interdisciplinary focus on human needs.  I am very happy to have been on the full-time faculty at CSU since August 2007!
Professional Affiliations:
National Association of Social Workers (since 1976)
American Sociological Association (since 1991)
Council on Social Work Education (associate since 1996, full member since 2003)
Professional Experience:
Post-MSW Positions Held:

Social Worker, DC-37 AFSCME Legal Services Fund
Social Worker, Bucks County Housing Group, Langhorn, Pennsylvania
Director, Faculty/Staff Assistance Program, University of Pennsylvania
Clinical Director, The Assistance Program, Philadelphia AFL-CIO
Director, Medical/Psychiatric Social Work Service, Service Employees International Union Local 32B-J Health Fund, New York, NY
Regional Coordinator of Personal Services, National Maritime Pension and Welfare Plan, New Orleans, Louisiana

Pre-MSW Positions:
District 65-UAW Personal Services Unit - Social Work Intern 1979-1980 and Summer Social Work Employee 1979 and 1980
Social Work Intern, Harlem Hospital Division of Child Psychiatry
Family Assistant, N.Y.C. Board of Education Division of Special Education
Counselor, Educational Alliance Project Contact Residence
Social work intern, Community Service Society C.A.U.S.E. Program, New York, NY
Housing Blockworker and Organizer, Chelsea Action Center, New York, NY, 1975-77
University Service:
Current service (see vita for past service)

Member, Bylaws Committee, School of Social Work
Minute taker, Joint MSW Program
Faculty advisor, NASW Student Club
Active member of the Policy Sequence
Professional Service:
Current Professional Service (for previous service, please see vita):

May 2012 to Present: Editor, Reflections: Narratives of Professional Helping, a peer-reviewed journal published since 1994 at California State University, Long Beach, and soon to be published by the the Cleveland State University School of Social Work.

Fall 2011 to Present: Member, Legislative Committee, National Association of Social Workers, Ohio Chapter

Fall 2009 to Present: Member, Regional Leadership Team, National Association of Social Workers Ohio Chapter
Community Service:
May 2012 to Present: Member, Board of Directors, Senior Transportation Connection
May 2012 to Present: Coordinator, Cuyahoga County Conference on Social Welfare
Fall 2010 to April 2012: Co-Coordinator, Cuyahoga County Conference on Social Welfare (March 4, 2011 at CSU; March 2, 2012 at CSU).  For further information, see: