Board of Trustees Approves Strategic Roadmap, Capital Plan to Advance Kent State’s Growth and Impact on a National Scale
Kent State University’s new, shared vision for a dynamic future received endorsement from the Board of Trustees as it approved the Strategic Roadmap to a Distinctive Kent State and a six-year state capital-spending plan during its Dec. 8, 2015, meeting.
The roadmap provides direction through the university’s mission statement, core values and priorities to advance Kent State’s position of strength among the nation’s great public research universities. In addition, it proposed five major priorities and 16 university-level initiatives that will promote innovation and learning, advance academic and research excellence, drive regional and global impact, and strengthen the university’s organizational stewardship.
The priorities/initiatives include:
- Students First – provide an inclusive and engaged living-learning environment where all students thrive and graduate as informed citizens committed to a life of impact
- A Distinctive Kent State – drive innovation, idea generation and national distinction through top-tier academic and research programs including the recruitment and support of talented faculty and staff
- Globally Competitive – advance Kent State’s impact and reach as a leading international university
- Regional Impact – serve as the innovative engine and engaged partner to meet community needs and enhance quality of life in the region and state
- Organizational Stewardship – ensure a culture of continuous improvement and the efficient stewardship of university resources and infrastructure
In alignment with the strategic roadmap, the Board approved a six-year state capital-spending plan that focuses on academic program requirements, upgrades campus infrastructure and addresses the backlog of deferred maintenance. The projects represent the highest needs on Kent State’s eight campuses.
Some of the 26 projects in the capital plan include:
- Improving and maintaining the Kent State University Airport
- Replacing 60 percent of campus fire alarm systems
- Replacing the roof on the Liquid Crystal Institute®
- Rehabilitating the greenhouse attached to Cunningham Hall
- Upgrading HVAC systems
- Modifying areas to meet Americans with Disabilities Act standards
Board Highlights Beverly Warren’s Accomplishments During First Year of Presidency
Board members shared their appreciation and praise for Kent State President Beverly Warren’s first year in office, highlighting the university’s continued growth, academic successes and increasing graduation rates. In sharing its annual presidential assessment, the Board felt Warren exceeded goals set for her first year in office, which began July 1, 2014. The Board set Warren’s 2015-16 salary at $459,000, representing a 2 percent increase similar to what other employees were given.
“I am pleased that the Board is happy with the strides we have made in my first year as president and grateful for the trustees’ continued support,” Warren says. “I plan to donate the raise toward scholarships to help our hard-working students reach their goals and earn a Kent State degree.”
The Board also awarded a $75,000 performance incentive, as set forth in her contract, based on Warren’s success in reaching her first-year goals.
“We couldn’t be more pleased with President Warren’s outstanding service and overwhelming dedication to Kent State, its students, faculty and staff,” says Dennis Eckart, chair of the Kent State Board of Trustees. “She has demonstrated an unwavering commitment to student success and advancing academic quality. She has surpassed all the strategic priorities for this past year, and we look forward to continued growth as she leads Kent State with a well-defined and bold vision.”
Warren recently completed her first State of the University Address challenging the community to dream big and imagine a Kent State known nationally and globally for its already-existing superior faculty and research; a place where freshmen declare a mission as well as a major; and a destination that is regarded as the healthiest university in America.
Class of 2020 Enrollment Update
The Class of 2020 is making early commitments to Kent State, as applications and admits for the fall freshman class are up compared to a year ago.
T. David Garcia, senior associate vice president for strategic enrollment management, informed the Board that Kent State has increased applications by more than 1,000 and increased admits for fall 2016 by more than 1,000. Although it is still early in the admissions cycle, Garcia shared these encouraging numbers during an update with the Board’s Academic Excellence and Student Success Committee.
Other highlights include:
- Offering more than 5,000 merit scholarships to incoming Kent Campus freshmen
- Receiving additional funding to meet both diversity and quality goals
- Receiving an increased number of applications from a more diverse student population
Garcia also presented a new initiative for Kent State to help high school students from the Cleveland Metropolitan School District earn scholarships toward the university’s Kent Campus by accruing micro-scholarships. Through Raise Labs, a not-for-profit company that oversees and supplies the platform, students earn money for getting A’s and B’s in core academic courses while in high school, totaling up to $4,800 ($1,200 each year) for their freshman to senior years at the Kent Campus. The Undergraduate Admissions Office will be communicating with Cleveland high school students, parents and key community stakeholders about this new initiative, which has support from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
“Kent State felt that Raise Labs was a great tool for students to use in order to earn scholarships toward their college education,” Garcia says. “More importantly, students will take high school college prep courses that will prepare them for a rigorous academic experience at Kent State or any other college they choose to attend.”