President Warren Delivers State of the University Address, “Living the Kent State Promise”

Kent State University President Beverly Warren delivered the State of the University address on Thursday, Oct. 13. In her address, themed “Living the Kent State Promise,” Warren outlined her vision of a reimagined public research university.

“The Kent State Promise should be a comprehensive approach to student success and fulfillment,” Warren says. “We aspire to bring the totality of the resources and reach of one of the nation’s largest research universities to higher education’s most important outcome: more college graduates who have the skills, talent and desire to change the world – who understand that a life of meaning is just as important as a life of financial comfort.”

Some 300 Kent Campus and regional community members gathered in the Kent Student Center Kiva for the address. Regional locations hosted watch events, made possible through the services of Kent State’s TeleProductions.

Warren also outlines specific University-Level Initiatives that are underway in the Academic Year 2016-2017 as outlined in the university’s strategic plan, A Strategic Roadmap to a Distinctive Kent State, including launching the university’s research initiative in Brain Health.

“Our proposed Research Centers of Distinction are merging our academic strengths into interdisciplinary teams to generate collective impact through translational research – that is, research that contributes to the life and vitality of real people and real communities … exactly the kind of research that is highlighted by the Carnegie Community Engagement Classification,” she says.

Warren says the university aims to achieve the Carnegie Community Engagement Classification by the year 2020.

The address also outlines the university’s initiative to increase retention and graduation rates by bridging the retention, persistence and completion gaps between first-generation and underrepresented minority students and the general student population. Warren also shares details about the university’s efficiency and affordability measures and plans to launch the largest comprehensive campaign in the history of the university.

Reflecting on the recent grand opening of the new Center for Architecture and Environmental Design, Warren suggests the university has the opportunity to make a distinctive contribution to higher education at the intersection of design and science.

“We are called to dream about the Kent State Innovation Ecosystem that will establish this university as the place where design and science converge to invent the future,” she says.

The full text of the State of the University Address and a video of the program are available at

The university’s strategic plan, A Strategic Roadmap to a Distinctive Kent State, is available online at In addition to providing downloadable PDFs of the plan, dashboard and priorities, the website shares stories and data snapshots that reflect the university’s achievements in the 2015-2016 academic year.

POSTED: Friday, October 21, 2016 12:32 PM

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