Mission & Planning

University Strategic Visioning

Dear Kent State Community: It has been an exciting, invigorating and inspiring eight months since joining the Kent State University community. Through the Presidential Listening Tour and other meetings, both casual and formal, I have learned so much about what is the heart of Kent State. You have been gracious with your time, open and candid with your comments and reflections, and warm and welcoming to one of the newest members of this outstanding community. For that and more, I am most grateful and look forward to our continued work together. Kent State is poised to determine a distinctive future of impact, influence and innovation. In order to continue to serve the communities around us, as well as reach our strategic vision for our university, it is critical to develop a common narrative that will serve all constituents. This narrative needs to tell the story of who we are and what we stand for at Kent State in an authentic and compelling way. And once developed, this story can serve as the defining thread that binds us all to a common and unique vision for this university we call home. As we transition from listening to visioning, we will work throughout the next three months to define our strategic vision, core values and top priorities. This process will require each of us to continue to reflect on our vision for Kent State and how we might share personal stories that will help to better define a distinctively great Kent State. To assist us in gathering your stories and other complementary data to form a compelling environmental assessment, we have engaged an outside consulting group. That consulting group is 160over90, a branding agency based in Philadelphia, that has worked with both public and private partners including Duke University, University of Florida, University of Oregon, University of Virginia, as well as American Eagle Outfitters, Audi, Nike and others. Additionally, I have appointed a 15-member representative Strategic Visioning Advisory Committee (SVAC) to work directly with me in directing, assessing and evaluating both quantitative and qualitative findings from the environmental assessment under the direction of 160over90 and utilizing those findings to frame a draft distinctive vision, core values and proposed university priorities for the coming years. The committee will also review other sources of information including the transcripts from the Listening Tour, the reports of the One University Commission and assessments of research and athletics conducted this year. I have asked Vice President and University Secretary Char Reed, Office of the President, and Associate Provost for Academic Affairs Melody Tankersley, Office of the Provost, to take on the very important roles of co-chairs of the SVAC. While this committee will be instrumental in moving this initiative forward, every member of the university community will have an opportunity to share your unique and transformative Kent State stories for the development of our vision. As Dr. Tankersley best expresses, “Every voice matters in this process. Our aim is to become self-aware, and we need you all to share your stories and your views. We’ll have multiple ways for everyone throughout our university community to participate—focus groups, surveys, and online and social media outlets. We want to hear from everyone!” Over the coming weeks, we will be dispatching throughout our campuses teams from our visioning partner, 160over90, to hold inclusive interviews and focus groups in an effort to get to the core of our story through the hearts and minds of the many individuals who care so deeply about Kent State. The approach of 160over90 will be different from the Listening Tour format and will focus to a great extent on vision and future direction. Our ambitious goal will be to pose a draft vision, core values and university priorities to the Kent State community by May 2015. We will hold a Town Hall gathering in early May to share the results of our interactions and analysis. Our work will then continue into the 2015 Fall Semester as we finalize our strategic vision and priorities and determine how we might share our vision externally. This is an exciting time, one in which we each will contribute to define our distinctive future together. I look forward to hearing your thoughts, ideas and stories. Sincerely, Beverly Warren President


Membership of the Strategic Visioning Advisory Committee

  • Kelvin Berry, Director, Economic Development and Corporate Partnership, Finance and Administration
  • Barbara Broome, Dean, College of Nursing
  • Lee Fox-Cardamone, Associate Professor of Psychology; Faculty Senate Chair 
  • David Dees, Associate Professor; Director, Center for Teaching and Learning Center
  • Doug Delahanty, Professor of Psychology; Director, Initiative for Clinical and Translational Research
  • Amoaba Gooden, Associate Professor and Chairperson, Pan-African Studies
  • Mark Goodman, Professor and Knight Chair in Scholastic Journalism
  • Robert Hall, Director, Training, Organizational Design and Development, Human Resources
  • Perry J. Kimmel, Undergraduate Student Trustee; Finance major
  • Jen Kulics, Student Ombuds, Enrollment Management and Student Affairs
  • Naser Madi, Ph.D. candidate, Computer Science
  • Steve Nameth, Dean and Chief Administrative Officer, Columbiana Campuses
  • Eboni Pringle, Interim Dean, Undergraduate Studies
  • Charlene Reed, Vice President and University Secretary, Office of the President; Co-Chair
  • Melody Tankersley, Associate Provost, Office of the Provost; Co-Chair