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Summary of Jan. 27 Board of Trustees Actions

Posted Jan, 27, 2010

At its Jan. 27 meeting, the Kent State University Board of Trustees took action on the following items:

New Course Requirements for Kent State’s Second Century

The Board approved the establishment of the Kent Core, a new set of learning-centered course requirements for undergraduates designed to ensure that Kent State students graduate with the education and skills required for success in the 21st century. The Kent Core will be phased in during three years and fully effective fall semester 2010.

The Kent Core will replace the Liberal Education Requirements (LER), which comprise a minimum 36-credit-hour set of required courses to help broaden undergraduates’ understanding of the world. The Kent Core places emphasis on students being able to use, apply and explore knowledge in meaningful ways that support a deep approach to learning. The new requirements are centered on the four principles of Kent State’s 21st-century undergraduate philosophy: knowledge, insight, engagement and responsibility.

Work on making the system of undergraduate course requirements more relevant to 21st-century realities and more manageable for students began in September 2008, when Provost and Senior Vice President Robert Frank formed a committee of faculty members, student advisors and academic administrators to review the LER. He asked the committee to recommend changes that would enhance the quality of the LER program; improve the educational experience for undergraduates; and reduce the complexity of the LER to help students navigate the system of required courses more easily.

The Kent Core was previously approved by the university’s Faculty Senate and Educational Policies Council, and has the endorsement of the president and provost.

Revisions to University Policies on Tenure and Promotion

The Board revised the university policy regarding faculty tenure. The major changes to the policy, which was last revised in 2004, center on the identification and restatement of the categories of performance criteria and professional expectations upon which faculty seeking tenure will be evaluated.

The Board also revised the university policy regarding faculty promotions, effective fall semester 2010. The major changes to the policy, which was last revised in 1997, center on the identification and restatement of the categories of performance criteria and professional expectations upon which faculty seeking promotion will be evaluated.

Both sets of revisions were approved previously by the university’s Faculty Senate and by the president and provost.

Major Energy-Conservation Project Approved for Stark and Tuscarawas Campuses

The Board authorized the vice president for Finance and Administration to proceed with a $2.15 million, comprehensive energy-conservation project at Kent State’s Stark and Tuscarawas campuses ($1.25 million for Kent State at Stark and $900,000 for Kent State at Tuscarawas).

A university selection team chose The Brewer-Garrett Company to perform the design-build contract, which will include energy-conservation measures required to reach the House Bill 251 20-percent energy reduction goal by fiscal year 2014. The project will be self-funded within a minimum of 10 years for each campus, with the contractor responsible for any costs that do not meet the projected energy savings.

Specific improvements at each campus, which currently are under negotiation with The Brewer-Garrett Company, are expected to include lighting retrofits or replacements; installation of occupancy sensors; heating, ventilating and air-conditioning enhancements; exhaust systems enhancements; and building re-commissioning.

Expansion of Geauga Campus Transit Project

The Board authorized the expansion of a project to construct a transit shelter on the Kent State University at Geauga Campus adjacent to the main building and student parking lot. Trustees authorized the project in November 2008, designating university funds totaling $530,000 to supplement a $441,000 earmark grant for the project received from the Northeast Ohio Area Coordinators, the federally designated metropolitan planning organization for the region. Today’s action increases the university’s share of the project to $939,000 to allow for the reconstruction and expansion of the existing parking lot, and for the construction of a canopy over the main student entrance into the main building.

During the design phase for the transit shelter, it became apparent that the reconstruction of the existing parking lot should be completed during the same construction project to reduce overall costs and minimize disruptions and inconvenience for students, faculty, staff and visitors to the campus. The project is scheduled for completion during summer 2010.

In other actions:

• The Board authorized the transfer of 2.033 acres of land at the Kent State University at Stark Campus to the Jackson Township Board of Trustees for its use as a fire station.

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Media Contacts:
Tom Neumann, tneuman1@kent.edu, 330-672-8533
Emily Vincent, evincen2@kent.edu, 330-672-8595