Kent State and Portage County Port Authority Partner to Build New Headquarters for Alumni, Fundraising Units

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Alumni, donors and other friends of Kent State University will soon have a comfortable and convenient home base when they visit the Kent Campus as a result of today’s (Sept. 17) vote of the university’s Board of Trustees to proceed with the construction of a building for the Division of Institutional Advancement. The Institutional Advancement division oversees the university’s private fund-raising activities and the Office of Alumni Relations, which in turn oversees the Kent State University Alumni Association. The new, 34,400 square-foot building will serve as headquarters for these key units and their 104 employees, as well for the Kent State University Foundation, the nonprofit entity that receives, manages and administers private gifts to the university. The new building also will house a 28-station call center for the division’s Phone Center program; conference rooms; and internal and external event space for use by the division and the larger university community. Ground for the new building is expected to be broken later this month.

The new building, which will be constructed on a 3.75-acre parcel of land adjacent to the Kent Campus at the corner of Summit and Lincoln streets that is known as the Dubois property, will be built through a partnership between the university and the Portage County Port Authority. The Port Authority acquired the property through bonds issued in 2013 and has been leasing it to the university since December 2013. The Port Authority recently passed a resolution to support Kent State and overall regional economic development by constructing the new Institutional Advancement building. The project, which is estimated at approximately $20 million, will be financed through the issuance of Port Authority bonds. The Kent State University Foundation will provide significant funding for the project.

“This new facility will, for the first time, allow the major functions of Institutional Advancement to work under one roof in a collaborative environment,” said Kent State’s Interim Vice President for Institutional Advancement Stephen Sokany. “The new building also sends an important message to our alumni and external constituencies as to the value we place on their engagement with and support of Kent State now and into the future.”

Naming of Active Learning Center Recognizes $1 Million Gift from Timken Foundation

The Kent State Board of Trustees named the Active Learning Classroom in the future Interdisciplinary Science Building on the Kent Campus in honor of the Timken Foundation of Canton, Ohio. The private, charitable foundation has made a total commitment of $1 million toward construction of the state-of-the-art classroom as part of its strong support of education in the sciences.

The Timken Foundation Active Learning Classroom will serve as a flexible teaching space that will be used for physics, chemistry, biology and Kent Core classes. The facility, which will be one of the most prominent spaces in the Interdisciplinary Science Building, will be able to accommodate up to 90 students when used as the site of traditional lectures and is expected to serve more than 1,500 students per academic year from multiple disciplines. Construction of the new Interdisciplinary Science Building is expected to begin in spring 2015. Formal dedication events will take place closer to the opening of the building in 2017.

The Interdisciplinary Science Building project and the projects listed below are part of the “Foundations of Excellence: Building the Future” initiative, a multiyear project to modernize Kent State’s campuses that is historic in its size, scope and impact.

Naming of the Ajax TOCCO Magnathermic Casting Laboratory in New Aeronautics and Technology Building

The Kent State Board of Trustees named the state-of-the-art casting laboratory that will be housed in the new Aeronautics and Technology Building in the Kent Campus Science Corridor to recognize the firm Ajax TOCCO Magnathermic, which has contributed $109,550 in state-of-the-industry, research-capable casting equipment for the new building. The laboratory will be known as the Ajax TOCCO Magnathermic Laboratory.

In addition to its contribution of equipment, Ajax TOCCO Magnathermic provided Kent State students in the College of Applied Engineering, Sustainability and Technology with a unique, experiential learning opportunity by involving them in the design and building of the donated equipment. The firm also has provided valuable counsel about the College of Applied Engineering, Sustainability and Technology’s applied-technology curriculum, as well as numerous internships for Kent State students.

The 55,000 square-foot Aeronautics and Technology Building, which is nearing completion and scheduled to be open for Spring Semester 2015 classes, will allow a comprehensive College of Applied Engineering, Sustainability and Technology expansion that includes new degree programs, leading-edge technology and state-of-the art equipment.

Naming of the Lubrizol Graduate Students Office in New Aeronautics and Technology Building

Kent State’s Board of Trustees named the Graduate Students Office in the new Aeronautics and Technology Building in the Kent Campus Science Corridor to recognize the firm Lubrizol and the Lubrizol Foundation. Lubrizol and its foundation have been actively involved in and supportive of the development and implementation of a sustainable technology curriculum for the College of Applied Engineering, Sustainability and Technology, which will be housed in the new building. They also have provided software and expertise for the sustainable-technology program, a $25,000 contribution to the building fund for the new facility and $48,000 in student scholarships.

The 55,000 square-foot Aeronautics and Technology Building, which is nearing completion and scheduled to be open for Spring Semester 2015 classes, will allow a comprehensive College of Applied Engineering, Sustainability and Technology expansion that includes new degree programs, leading-edge technology and state-of-the art equipment.

Naming of the Rockwell Automation Advanced Mechatronics Laboratory in New Aeronautics and Technology Building

The Kent State Board of Trustees named a state-of-the-art mechatronics laboratory in the new Aeronautics and Technology Building in the Kent Campus Science Corridor to recognize the firm Rockwell Automation, which has contributed more than $15 million in software, hardware and equipment to the College of Applied Engineering, Sustainability and Technology, including its latest commitment of $667,000 in state-of-the-art mechatronics equipment; has sponsored College of Applied Engineering, Sustainability and Technology events; and is actively involved in the development of the mechatronics program. The 2,400 square-foot laboratory will provide students with both a mechatronics-related classroom and space for research activity.

The 55,000 square-foot Aeronautics and Technology Building, which is nearing completion and scheduled to be open for Spring Semester 2015 classes, will allow a comprehensive CAEST expansion that includes new degree programs, leading-edge technology and state-of-the art equipment.

Naming of Student Art Gallery in Honor of Nick and Jennie Payto and Stella Zywar Payto

The Kent State Board of Trustees named a student art gallery in the university’s new Center for the Visual Arts in honor of Nick and Jennie Payto and Stella Zywar Payto. The naming honors the parents and aunt of benefactor Gerald Payto, an alumnus who is the founder and president of Payto Architects in Cleveland and the architect for the renovation and construction of the Center for Visual Arts. Payto and his wife, Christie Payto, have made a $30,000 commitment to the renovation and construction of the center, which will serve as the new home of the School of Art.

The 115,000 square-foot center, which will combine two existing buildings (Van Deusen Hall and the Art Annex/Power House), will unify the School of Art’s studio, classroom and gallery spaces under one roof for the first time in more than 50 years. 

Naming of the Westfield Insurance Campus Tour Center

The Kent State Board of Trustees named the campus tour center, located on the second floor of the Kent Student Center, in honor of the Westfield Insurance Foundation. The foundation has pledged $500,000 to the Kent State University Foundation to establish an insurance-education endowment that will support scholarships and career-placement and professional-development opportunities for students majoring in Kent State’s bachelor of science in Insurance Studies program. The foundation also has served as a key industry partner in the development of the Insurance Studies degree.

Because the Insurance Studies program, which is offered at Kent State University at Salem, is available via distance learning, Kent State Salem and the university’s Division of Enrollment Management and Student Affairs have partnered to identify opportunities to promote the degree and industry opportunities to all students across Kent State’s eight-campus system.

Naming of the Deuble Foundation Student Lounge and Deuble Foundation Conference Room in New Sciences Building at Kent State University at Stark

The Kent State Board of Trustees named the ground-floor student lounge and the second-floor conference room in the new Sciences Building at Kent State University at Stark in honor of the George H. Deuble Foundation of North Canton, which donated $300,000 to support the construction of the state-of-the-art building. The Sciences Building, which will include about 41,400 square feet with the renovation of about 5,250 square feet in the existing Main Hall East Wing space, will comprise the sciences and nursing program; teaching and research laboratories for biology, physics and geology; nursing simulation labs; computer and general classrooms; faculty offices; a student lounge; and group study spaces.

Naming of Hoover Foundation Geology Teaching Laboratory, Geology Research Laboratory and Specimen Preparation Room in New Sciences Building at Kent State University at Stark

The Kent State Board of Trustees named three facilities in the new Sciences Building at Kent State Stark in honor of the Hoover Foundation of North Canton, Ohio: the geology teaching laboratory, the geology research laboratory and the specimen preparation room. The Hoover Foundation made a $250,000 gift toward these facilities within the new building and has donated nearly $480,000 to Kent State during the last eight decades.

The Sciences Building, which will include about 41,400 square feet with the renovation of about 5,250 square feet in the existing Main Hall East Wing space, will comprise the sciences and nursing program; teaching and research laboratories for biology, physics and geology; nursing simulation labs; computer and general classrooms; faculty offices; a student lounge; and group study spaces.

In other actions:

  • The Board authorized a three-year, $1.2 million contract with ProctorU for online student authentication and test proctoring. The contract will be funded by the Office of Continuing and Distance Education through the distance learning fee.
  • The Board added three members to the Board of Directors of the Kent State Foot & Ankle Clinic, a nonprofit corporation affiliated with the university’s College of Podiatric Medicine that operates community podiatry clinics, conducts research and educational activities, and provides real-world experience for students enrolled in the college. Directors on the clinic’s Board do not receive salaries for their service.
  • The Board approved the establishment of Faculty Senate membership for Kent State’s Regional College, which oversees academic programs offered at the university’s seven Regional Campuses. 
  • The Board amended the university policy governing investments to reflect significant changes in financial markets and in the best practices regarding investment management that have occurred since the policy was adopted in 2007. The changes were made after a comprehensive policy review by the Board’s Investment Committee and its investment advisor, Graystone Consulting.
  • The Board authorized a 1.5-percent increase in the pay structures for approximately 890 classified civil service employees and unclassified hourly employees who are not represented by a bargaining unit, and (in a separate action) for approximately 1,363 unclassified administrative and professional employees who are not represented by a bargaining unit, effective with the pay period that includes Sept. 1, 2014. Pay schedules identify minimum, mid-point and maximum pay levels. Any unrepresented employees whose salaries are below the new pay-grade minimums will receive an adjustment to bring their pay to the pay-grade minimum, effective Sept. 1, the same date that a 2-percent, across-the-board pay increase took effect for all eligible, full-time employees not represented by a bargaining unit.
  • The Board authorized a 25-year, non-exclusive easement agreement with the Ohio Edison Company for the purpose of installing and maintaining electrical lines to provide electricity to the university’s new baseball and softball training facility on Campus Center Drive in Kent. Under the agreement, Ohio Edison will pay the university $3,708 for the granting of the easement for three years, starting June 1, 2014, and expiring May 31, 2017.
  • The Board sold a 0.055-acre parcel of land located in Kent at the corner of Depeyster Street and Haymaker Parkway to the city of Kent for its appraised value of $12,000. The university is not using the small site and has no plans to use it in the future, and the city needs the property for the new police facilities that will be constructed in the area.
  • The Board unanimously passed a resolution of appreciation to Dr. Ronald J. Fowler, an alumnus who is known and respected across Northeast Ohio for his 40 years in pastoral roles at the Arlington Church of God in Akron and for his tireless devotion to numerous community organizations. The Board recognized Fowler’s invaluable and far-reaching work for his alma mater, which he rejoined in 2007 as chair of the university’s Commission on Inclusion. He went on to serve as special assistant to former President Lester A. Lefton from 2009 through June 2014 and as a member of the presidential search committee that recommended Beverly Warren as Kent State’s 12th president. His leadership and commitment to serving others have been recognized with numerous awards, including his induction into the inaugural Hall of Fame class of Kent State’s College of Education, Health and Human Services, the Kent State University Diversity Trailblazer Award and the Akron Community Foundation’s prestigious Bert A. Polsky Humanitarian Award.
  • The Board granted emeritus status to: Dr. Paul Albanese, professor, Marketing and Entrepreneurship; Dr. Ran Barniv, professor, Accounting; and Dr. Michael Mayo, associate professor, Marketing and Entrepreneurship. Emeritus status is a distinguished title that honors a faculty or staff member’s contributions by allowing him or her continued access to university resources after retirement from the university.

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Media Contacts:

Eric Mansfield, emansfie@kent.edu, 330-672-2797
Emily Vincent, evincen2@kent.edu, 330-672-8595