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Introduction

LEFTON2012webIn this, our Centennial year, we fittingly mark our founding with a new strategic plan that will place Kent State among the community of nationally prominent large public research universities known for their transformative research, teaching and service, and their commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion. A renewed spirit of academic excellence is moving throughout our university community – students, faculty, staff, administration, and board of trustees – that promises the momentum to propel us into the vanguard.

From our roots as one of Ohio’s original four-corner universities, Kent State University’s 100-year history of teaching and research excellence to serve the public good continues. We are helping transform Ohio every day – we are doing so by being excellent, more academically rigorous, broadly inclusive, and a magnet for high-achieving students in our region and beyond. Across the eight campuses of Kent State, we are a force for discovery, turning students into thought leaders who will shape the world of their future. Kent State is the largest higher education institution in Northeast Ohio; our reach and influence are national and international in scope. Our teaching encourages the creation and discovery of new knowledge, as well as collaboration with peers, and it seeks to elevate our students, many who are the first in their families to attend college. Learning at Kent State takes place around the clock and around the globe to help students master the lessons of life in addition to the lessons of the classroom.

Simply put, at Kent State we are striving to be a nationally prominent research university, and we will not rest until we achieve this goal. National prominence means we will have greater impact and we will be recognized for our contributions to the discovery and dissemination of knowledge. We will be more widely viewed as making our local communities, state, nation and world substantially better places in which to live and work. Our research disciplines are traditional but also transcend the academic disciplines; they support the convergence of ideas and inspiration. Our faculty and students are focusing on being proactive world citizens, not only in commerce, but for the good of humankind. We are an entrepreneurial organization, producing generations of thinkers and doers who are well prepared for an inclusive, diverse, innovative, entrepreneurial workforce.

Kent State engages its students and communities; we structure our programs in ways that not only advance knowledge but also directly serve the needs of the people of our state, as well as the larger national and international communities. Our work has discernable impact. We consider the transformational force of our work on individuals and society as a grand benefit and gift to our fellow citizens. At Kent State we put excellence into action every day, one student, one research project at a time. It is how others define us and how we characterize ourselves.

Dr. Lester A. Lefton
President