Kent State Board of Trustees Approves Design Innovation Hub to Spur Cross-Disciplinary Collaboration

Innovators, problem solvers and designers are a growing force at Kent State University, bringing a renewed vibrancy to the heart of campus. Soon they will have a dynamic, new space designed to spark creativity and collaboration.

The Kent State Board of Trustees voted June 6 to transform the former School of Art building into a new state-of-the-art, student-centered Design Innovation Hub and Dining facility.

The redesigned building will support teamwork, critical thinking and inventiveness with collaborative workspaces and makerspaces.

“The goal is to nurture a design innovation ecosystem that enhances the cross-pollination of ideas from student and faculty teams across campus,” says J.R. Campbell, executive director of Kent State’s Design Innovation Initiative. “It will be comprised of human, physical and intellectual resources that knit together Kent State’s broad disciplines to develop a uniquely distinctive community of creative problem solvers.”

Located near Kent State’s Front Campus along Midway Drive, the building will be open 24 hours per day to serve the Design Innovation community, as well as a new dining facility and other amenities to support student success and “creative collisions” with Design Innovation projects.

The building will undergo a complete transformation inside and out. The work associated with this project is estimated at $44.9 million and will be funded from three sources: $24.9 million in Kent State local funds; $15 million in state capital allocations; and a $5 million capital commitment from Aramark through the dining partnership agreement.

Construction is anticipated to begin in late 2018 and be completed in the summer of 2020.

The plan is part of Phase I of the 10-year facilities master plan known as the Gateway to a Distinctive Kent State, which the Board approved in March 2018.

Details about the updated master plan can be found at

Board Approves Funding for New and Improved Homes for Key Programs

The iconic Front Campus is another step closer to undergoing a dramatic transformation to enhance a welcoming feel at Midway Drive and expand the dynamic synergy with the city of Kent.

In order to make way for the proposed College of Business Administration building and Main Street parking deck at the entrance of the gateway, the Board approved funding for new and improved homes for three key programs.

The Board voted to utilize $5.5 million from Kent State local funds to relocate and potentially expand the ROTC offices and Fashion School studios from Terrace Hall and alleviate the impact of the parking deck on the Women’s Center and the Sexual and Relationship Violence Support Services office located in Williamson House. Collaboration continues to determine improved and suitable locations.

Renovations and relocations are expected to be complete after the 2019 Spring Semester.

The university continues to assess public-private partnerships through philanthropy (P4) design and financing proposals resulting from an ongoing competitive process for a new College of Business Administration building.

Board Approves Balanced Budget, Maintains Current Tuition for In-State Undergraduate Students

The Board approved a balanced budget for Fiscal Year 2019 of $644.6 million to continue providing students with a world-class education delivered by exemplary faculty and staff while the university remains in a healthy and solid financial position. Meeting today’s financial challenges with a balanced budget is a testament to university leaders’ emphasis on effectiveness/efficiency strategies, along with optimizing resources to achieve desired outcomes and goals.

This budget continues the university’s commitment to increase funding of institutional scholarships, including $1.9 million in new scholarship funds to assist students and their families.

The Board also approved tuition and fees for the new academic year. In-state, undergraduate students will see no increase in their current tuition of $5,006 per semester for full-time undergraduates attending the Kent Campus, which has not been raised since 2014. The Board previously approved the guaranteed tuition model, which locks tuition for four years for the incoming freshmen only.

The Kent Campus annualized full-time undergraduate tuition remains among the lowest in the state; it ranks seventh of the 13 Ohio public higher education institutions.

Students at the Regional Campuses also will continue to pay the current tuition, which is $2,832 per semester for lower-division courses and $3,319 for upper-division courses.

The Board approved a 2 percent increase ($7 per credit hour) in the undergraduate, non-resident surcharge; a 10 percent increase ($41 per credit hour) in the graduate, non-resident surcharge; and a 2 percent ($10 per credit hour) in the graduate tuition rate, which ranks ninth of the 13 Ohio universities for both Ohio and out-of-state residents.

Overall, this balanced budget recognizes the importance of college affordability and encourages student success to fulfill Kent State’s “Students First” commitment as outlined in A Strategic Roadmap to a Distinctive Kent State.

View additional Board actions


POSTED: Thursday, June 7, 2018 01:51 PM
UPDATED: Saturday, December 03, 2022 01:02 AM
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