To enable Kent State University to continue its multifaceted efforts to provide students with a high-caliber educational experience, the Kent State Board of Trustees today (May 28, 2014) increased tuition by 2 percent for undergraduate and graduate students on the university’s eight campuses. The increase, which is in keeping with a state-mandated limit on full-time, in-state undergraduate tuition increases for the 2014-15 academic year, is expected to leave Kent State’s tuition ranked in the middle of Ohio’s 13 public universities.
Effective fall semester 2014, undergraduate tuition for students at the Kent Campus will increase $98 per semester (from $4,908 to $5,006). Graduate tuition will increase $104 per semester (from $5,222 to $5,326).
Trustees noted that more than half of the new tuition revenue will be allocated to increases for student scholarships.
The Board also authorized changes in a variety of course fees and other student fees. The changes include both the elimination of fees (e.g., 17 fees in the College of Nursing were eliminated) and fee increases (e.g., the College of Applied Engineering, Sustainability and Technology increased 11 fees related to its helicopter-training program).
Board Approves University Budget for Fiscal Year 2015
Commending the university’s leadership for continuing to demonstrate responsible and strategic management, the Kent State Board of Trustees approved a $648 million ($648,100,738) operating budget for the university’s eight-campus system for fiscal year 2015 (July 1, 2014–June 30, 2015). Priorities addressed in the budget include additional investments in student financial aid; costs associated with contract agreements with employees represented by bargaining units; compensation increases for unrepresented employees; anticipated increases in health-insurance costs for employees; investments in facilities repairs and improvements; support for library collections; and support for international programs.
Approval of Kent State Complete College Ohio Plan
As part of a state and institutional commitment to increasing the number of Ohioans with college degrees, the Kent State Board of Trustees approved the Kent State University Complete College Ohio Campus Completion Plan.
The plan is required by the Complete College Ohio Act, which was passed by the Ohio Legislature a year ago and which includes a core recommendation that all public institutions of higher learning in Ohio develop and implement institution-specific action plans. The 130th Ohio General Assembly subsequently passed Amended Substitute House Bill 59, which requires that the board of trustees of each higher-education institution adopt an institution-specific strategic completion plan designed to increase the number of degrees and certificates awarded to students.
Kent State’s Campus Completion Plan details the university’s mission, student body profile, barriers to persistence and completion, completion goals and strategies, and workforce-development priorities and student success. It was developed in consultation with the President’s Cabinet, Kent and Regional Campus deans, the Faculty Senate and its Executive Committee, and the University Retention Task Force.
Board Honors Service of President Lefton, Bestows “President Emeritus” Status
The Kent State Board of Trustees were unanimous in passing a resolution of appreciation that recognizes Kent State President Lester A. Lefton’s eight years of “extraordinary contributions to Kent State, Northeast Ohio and the field of higher education.” The Board also awarded him the title “president emeritus,” effective July 1, 2014. Lefton, Kent State’s 11th president, will retire as president on June 30.
The resolution commends Lefton for his deep commitment to excellence in academics and all aspects of university operations and points to a leadership legacy that includes “increasing student retention and graduation; setting new records in enrollment and fundraising; elevating the university’s academic strengths and standing; completing the largest-ever Centennial Campaign; increasing Kent State’s international presence; and modernizing facilities to meet the aspirations of our students and their families through the historic ‘Foundations of Excellence: Building the Future’ initiative.” The Board also noted Lefton’s key role in the award-winning transformation of downtown Kent, noting that “he has forged a new era of town-gown collaboration, remaking Kent as one of the America’s best college towns and physically connecting a vibrant campus with a newly vibrant city.”
Naming Honors for Kent State’s Future Home of College of Architecture and Environmental Design
The Kent State Board of Trustees named a variety of spaces in the new $47.9 million, 120,000 square-foot home for the College of Architecture and Environmental Design (CAED), which will be built on the university’s Esplanade and is expected to be completed in late 2015, in honor of key alumni, donors and other friends of the university:
- The CAED’s new home will include a fourth-floor critique space that was named the M. Craig Allen ’80 Thomas M. Teti ’80 Critique Space.
- The CAED’s new home will include a gallery space that was named the Lawrence R. and Sandra C. Armstrong Gallery.
- The new CAED building will include a third-floor seminar room that was named the Bialosky + Partners Architects Seminar Room.
- The new CAED building will feature a grand staircase that was named the Richard L. Bowen & Associates Grand Staircase.
- The new CAED building will include a commons area and entrance plaza at its Lincoln Street entrance that was named the Ron and Joan Burbick Lobby and the Burbick Plaza.
- The new CAED building will include a ground-floor lecture hall that was named the Bob & Joyce Cene Lecture Hall/Taylor, Ryan, Ross.
- The design studios in the new CAED building were named The Elliot Studios for Design.
- The new CAED building will include a second-floor seminar room that was named the Barry and Jo Ann Fetterman Seminar Room.
- The new CAED will include a third-floor critique gallery that was named the Karpinski Engineering Critique Space.
- A studio space in the new CAED building was named the Nora Klebow Studio.
- The new CAED building will have a faculty lounge that was named the Douglas L. & Susan R. Steidl Faculty Lounge.
Naming Honors for Future Home of Kent State’s School of Art
The Kent State Board of Trustees named a variety of spaces in the new, 115,000 square-foot home for the School of Art, to be called the Center for the Visual Arts and is expected to be completed in the late summer of 2015, in honor of key alumni, donors and other friends of the university:
- The Center for the Visual Arts will include a student gallery that was named the Crawford Gallery in memory of Nathan P. Crawford and Claire R. Crawford, who were the parents of John Crawford, Ph.D., dean of Kent State’s College of the Arts and former director of the School of Theatre and Dance. Crawford made the donation with his partner, Frank Spinelli, who also is a strong supporter of the arts.
- The Center for the Visual Arts will include studios for the School of Art’s jewelry/metals and enameling program that were named the James (Mel) Someroski Jewelry/Metals/Enameling Studios in honor of the late art professor who was a mentor of Kent State alumna Linda Allard Gallen. Gallen made a $500,000 gift in memory of Someroski to purchase state-of-the-art equipment and updated furnishings for the studios.
Naming at Kent State University at Ashtabula Honors Cordell Family
The Kent State Board of Trustees named the office of the assistant director of student services at Kent State University at Ashtabula the Barbara Warren Cordell and James L. Cordell Assistant Director of Student Services Office. The Board’s action honors James L. Cordell, a local businessman who made a $25,000 pledge toward the renovation of the student services advising suite in Main Hall. Cordell, who was the radio voice of Ashtabula County schools football and basketball for more than 30 years, asked that the office of the assistant director of student services also honor his late wife, Barbara, who was born and raised in Ashtabula and was a teacher for the Ashtabula and Mayfield school districts. The Cordell family has been involved in and has supported education for nearly 60 years.
Garden at Kent State’s College of Podiatric Medicine Named in Honor of Late CEO
The Kent State Board of Trustees established and named a memorial garden to honor Thomas V. Melillo, D.P.M., longtime chief executive officer of the Kent State University College of Podiatric Medicine, who died last October after a battle with cancer. Melillo led the college, which is the only accredited podiatry school in Ohio, since 1984. The college was known as the Ohio College of Podiatric Medicine before becoming part of Kent State in July 2012.
Under Melillo’s leadership, the podiatry school expanded, prospered and became one of America’s most respected podiatric medical institutions. He was responsible for developing three new and different clinic sites for the Cleveland Foot and Ankle Clinic (now the Kent State University Foot and Ankle Clinic); relocating the college to its impressive building in Independence, Ohio; building a modern, high-tech facility to provide the best training for its students; and supervising the friendly acquisition of the college by Kent State.
The Thomas V. Melillo, D.P.M., Meditation Garden will be located in a green area near the front circle entrance to the College of Podiatric Medicine building. Construction of the garden area, which will serve as a quiet area of reflection for students, faculty, staff, friends and family, will be included in the parking lot rehabilitation project approved previously by the Board of Trustees and is scheduled to begin this summer. An engraved stone bench will commemorate Melillo’s accomplishments and love for his profession.
In other action:
- The Board established the Center of Comparative and Integrative Programs, effective fall semester 2014. The center, which is part of the College of Arts and Sciences, will provide an administrative unit to support, foster and serve students and faculty in multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary programs that exist outside the traditional academic structure of the college, including the Liberal Studies master’s-degree major; bachelor’s-degree majors in Integrative Studies, International Relations and Paralegal Studies; and undergraduate minors in Ancient, Medieval and Renaissance Studies, Jewish Studies, Latin American Studies, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Studies, Paralegal Studies, Religion Studies, Studies in Globalization, Identity and Space, and Women’s Studies. The center also will support the development of new, cutting-edge multidisciplinary degree programs.
- The Board established a university policy regarding the authorization of agreements to purchase goods and/or services and the reporting of purchasing activity. The policy sets the dollar thresholds requiring formal bidding procedures and requirements for reporting purchasing activity to the Board of Trustees.
- The Board revised the university policy regarding unlawful discrimination and harassment to include gender identity; to correctly place transgender identity in the protected category of gender; and to recognize that the Office of Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action in the Division of Human Resources is responsible for administering the policy. The Board’s action is an effort to demonstrate Kent State’s ongoing commitment to the prevention and remedy of discrimination and harassment toward university employees, students and visitors.
- The Board authorized a $2.5 million project to replace two, large air-handling units in Williams Hall, home of the chemistry program on the Kent Campus, and to replace the building’s failed air and vacuum pump systems. The air-handling units are 47 years old and original to the building’s construction in 1967.
- The Board authorized a $1.7 million project to repair and replace the concrete structure, masonry and roof (commonly referred to as the building envelope) of Smith Hall on the Kent Campus, which is home to the university’s physics department and the University Planetarium. The building was constructed in 1968.
- The Board unanimously passed a resolution of appreciation to Board Chair Jane Murphy Timken and named her Trustee Emeritus of Kent State University in recognition of her “superlative commitment and contributions to the advancement of Kent State University.” Timken is ending a nine-year term on the Kent State Board of Trustees. The resolution commended Timken, who was appointed by Ohio Gov. Bob Taft in 2005, for providing “inspired leadership at a momentous time in Kent State history,” which they noted has included the selection of the university’s 12th president, Beverly Warren, Ed.D., Ph.D., FACSM, and the implementation of the university’s historic “Foundations of Excellence: Building the Future” initiative to modernize existing campus facilities and build new, world-class facilities. Timken has served in all of the Board’s standing committees and held all of the Board’s leadership positions.
- The Board unanimously passed a resolution of appreciation to Alex Evans, who is ending his two-year term as a Student Trustee. The resolution commended Evans for bringing valuable perspectives to his service on Board committees and the board-administration Joint Project Oversight Committee. The Board also noted Evans’ other university leadership roles, including service as student representative to the Honors College Policy Council and as president of Habitat for Humanity – Kent State Chapter, and applauded his remarkable achievement of earning three bachelor’s degrees.
- The Board unanimously passed a resolution of appreciation to Eugene Finn, who is stepping down after seven years as Kent State’s vice president of institutional advancement on July 31 to take a leadership position at Columbia University. The Board’s resolution commended Finn, the university’s chief development officer, for providing “instrumental leadership” in raising funds that have helped “advance the quality of teaching and learning, the vitality of scholarship and the arts, the quality of university facilities, the culture of philanthropy and, especially, the opportunities for students supported through the significant expansion of endowed and annual scholarships raised on his watch.”
- The Board unanimously passed a resolution of appreciation to Gregory Andrews, Ph.D., who is stepping down as dean of Kent State University at Tuscarawas on June 30, 3014, after leading the campus for more than 18 years. The Board’s resolution noted Andrews’ key role in accomplishments such as “the development of an outstanding and student-centered faculty; expansion of degree program opportunities to meet the needs of the local community; significant contributions to economic and community development; and renovations to facilities and construction, including a state-of-the-industry Science and Advanced Technology Center and world-class Performing Arts Center.”
- The Board unanimously passed a resolution of appreciation to David Mohan, Ph.D., dean of Kent State University at Geauga and its Regional Academic Center in Twinsburg, who is retiring on June 30, 2014. Mohan returned to serve the university as dean after initially retiring from a successful career as a Kent State faculty member and director of the School of Technology, and as a chief operating officer in the private sector. The Board commended Mohan, who became dean in 2004, for his leadership of projects such as the construction of a state-of-the-art Regional Academic Center that supported the expansion of associate and baccalaureate programs, laboratory instruction, executive education, enrollment options and other needed educational services to the community. Trustees noted that under Mohan’s leadership, concurrent enrollment at Kent State at Geauga and the Regional Academic Center has increased from 900 to 2,800 students.
- The Board unanimously passed a resolution of appreciation to Stanley Wearden, Ph.D., who is stepping down as dean of Kent State’s College of Communication and Information (CCI) to become senior vice president and provost of Columbia College Chicago on July 1, 2014. The Board recognized Wearden for his outstanding leadership of the college and for a Kent State career that spans four decades and includes service as a respected faculty member in the School of Journalism and Mass Communication, interim and then permanent director of the School of Communication Studies, and CCI dean. Trustees commended Wearden for leading CCI accomplishments such as a 27-percent increase in CCI’s graduate enrollment in four years; growing international student enrollment by 160 percent and international undergraduate enrollment by 287 percent; forming a collegewide, integrative Ph.D. program; creating education abroad scholarships and programs and increasing education abroad participation in the college by more than 1,500 percent; and opening a student-operated, integrated marketing communications firm, IdeaBase, that serves both university and external clients from commercial space in downtown Kent.
- The Board granted emeritus status to: Elizabeth Brooks, Ph.D., associate professor, Teaching, Leadership and Curriculum Studies; Anne Reynolds, Ph.D., associate professor, Teaching, Learning and Curriculum Studies; and Stephen Zapytowski, professor, Theatre. 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.
- The Board elected the following officers for 2014-15: Dennis Eckart, chair; Stephen Colecchi, vice-chair; and Richard Marsh, secretary. Trustees approved the reappointment of Michael Solomon as National Trustee for a three-year term extending through Sept. 30, 2017.
- The Board established the Kent State University Student Trustee Alumni Society, effective immediately, to continue to cultivate the engagement of student trustees, both past and present, with Kent State, nurture possible board leaders of the future and serve as a resource, support system and sounding board.
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