Kent State Approves Degrees Aimed at Filling Need for Aerospace Engineers, Geographic Scientists

The Kent State University Board of Trustees approved several new degree programs aimed at filling critical needs in the workforce during its March 11, 2015, board meeting.

To help meet a growing demand for aerospace engineers who can apply the engineering principals to the design, manufacture and functionality of aerospace vehicles such as aircraft and spacecraft, the Board established an aerospace engineering major within the Bachelor of Science degree, effective Fall Semester 2015. 

The new degree program, which was developed in alignment and in accordance with the standards of the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET), will be offered by Kent State’s College of Applied Engineering, Sustainability and Technology on the Kent Campus. In alignment with ABET guidelines, Kent State will pursue accreditation after the first class of students graduate.

The goal of the program will be to produce engineers who possess a deep understanding for the technical fundamentals of aerospace engineering, excel in the research development, innovation and operation of aerospace products and systems; and understand the importance of engineering and the responsibility of engineers in society.

The Board also approved a Master of Geographic Information Science degree to prepare graduates for analytical and managerial positions that utilize geospatial technologies in the area of cyber-infrastructure, environment and health. The fully online degree program, effective fall 2015, will be the first of its kind in Ohio and fourth in the nation.  

The need for the program was based on federal and state labor statistics, a market survey and questionnaires. Geographic information science and geospatial technology in general are rapidly growing fields and have been identified as high-growth industries by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. 

To further support needs in the business community, the Board approved the establishment of the General Business within the Bachelor of Business Administration degree. The degree program is effective fall 2015, provides the final two years of instruction in both traditional classroom and online courses, and supports the development of graduates seeking to become general and operations managers, management analysts, financial managers, sales managers and human resource specialists.

Further approval for each of these programs must still be obtained from the Ohio Board of Regents and the Higher Learning Commission.  

Collaboration With Australia Leads to New Master’s Degree in Education 

The Board approved a unique partnership with the University of Wollongong in New South Wales, Australia, that establishes the Advanced Pedagogy in Physical Education and Sport major within the Master of Education Degree effective fall 2015. 

The 100-percent online program allows students from both universities to complete the same coursework while earning their degree from the home university. The program supports practicing educators and athletic coaches and trainers who are seeking further expertise on broad issues related to matters of leadership, teaching and coaching theory and curriculum and program development. 

The University of Wollongong is a top-tier public research institution with nearly 32,000 students at nine locations, including the United Arab Emirates and South Korea.

Naming of West Entrance to Dix Stadium to Honor Fallen Hero Adam Hamilton

To honor Army Specialist Adam S. Hamilton, a graduate of Kent Roosevelt High School killed while serving in Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom on May 28, 2011, the Kent State University Board of Trustee approved the naming of the West Entrance of Dix Stadium as the Adam S. Hamilton West Entrance. 

The honor follows the commitment of John Scott and Connie Hamilton who provided a gift of $270,000 to support several worthy causes, including Kent State’s Football Enhancement Fund and a scholarship in their late son’s name. 

An official naming ceremony will take place this fall at Dix Stadium.

Kent State Reaches Agreement With Retailer to Manage and Operate University Bookstore

Kent State will enter into a contract with Barnes & Noble College as the retailer for operation and management of bookstores on all campuses. 

The agreement is estimated with total commissions, scholarships and donations at $12 million for the initial six-year term and $1.8 million per year during subsequent renewals. 

Kent State Approves Contract With PNC Bank to Provide Financial Services to Kent State Campuses

Kent State will enter into a contract with PNC Bank for banking services for 12 years, commencing on July 1, 2015. The university requires a banking service provider to support its daily business operations to treasury management, credit card merchant services and retail-university banking. PNC Bank has been selected as the provider of banking services whose proposal represented the best overall value.

The estimated total of bank fees will be $1,292,000 for the initial 12-year term, with no fees charged in the first year of the agreement and with pricing for the additional optional three one-year periods at the end of the initial 12-year term indexed to the Consumer Price Index. PNC Bank will pay the university guaranteed royalties of approximately $6,288,000 over the initial term of the agreement in exchange for a negotiated level of exclusivity as the banking partner of the university.

Division Becomes College

The Kent State Board of Trustees approved a revision to the current division of Undergraduate Studies under the new title of University College.

The division currently serves the largest population of first-year students, including nearly 650 exploratory students each year, coordinates universitywide educational experiences and supports all students through tutoring services and supplemental instruction. The revision is consistent with naming conventions of similar units at other universities. 

University College will continue to serve undergraduate students with Destination Kent State, the First-Year Experience Course, the Academic Success Center and other universitywide educational experiences. 

In other actions:

  • The Board approved an overall 3.17-percent increase in the standard, undergraduate double-room and board rates, effective Fall Semester 2015. The increases will help offset rising costs for maintenance and repairs, utilities and food products, and will allow the university to continue operating its residence and dining programs on a self-sufficient basis while keeping room and board affordable for students and their families. This marks the fourth consecutive year of holding increases under 4 percent. Under the approved rates, a standard, undergraduate double room will cost $3,232 per semester and a basic meal plan will cost $1,935.
  • The Board approved a resolution naming the Walter J. Hagedorn Gallery at Franklin Hall on the Kent Campus. Hagedorn took a photojournalism class in 1941, and the experience made such a positive impression on his life that his estate created a scholarship trust in excess of $3 million to benefit Kent State photojournalism students. 
  • The Board approved the naming of the Seven Five Fund Photography Lab in Kent State’s Center for the Visual Arts. The announcement memorializes the contributions of Andrew E. Senich, who earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in art history from Kent State in 1976, along with Claudia Bjerre, who have supported several university programs, including the Kent State Fashion School and the Kent State University Museum. 
  • The Board approved tuition and fees for the College of Podiatric Medicine for the 2015-16 academic year. The Board approved a 4 percent increase in tuition while eliminating fees for the hepatitis vaccine, National Boards Part 1 and Part II, and the NBPME Part 2 Critical Skills exam. With the approved 4 percent increase, in-state tuition is now $36,114 and out-of-state tuition is $10 more. 
  • The Board approved a resolution creating a special surcharge for non-Ohio residents of $10 per credit hour enrolled in fully online programs or English as a Second Language program while also approving the waiver of 80 percent of the then-current out-of-state surcharge for students attending regional campuses from specific counties in Pennsylvania and West Virginia.
  • The Board voted to let the terms of current leases in Florence, Italy, to expire without renewal in order to pursue the lease of a commercial building that would unite all Kent State programs in Italy under one roof. Under proposed terms of the new 12-year lease, the Florence program will have access to additional 6,000 square feet while saving $300,000 per year. 

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Media Contacts:
Eric Mansfield,, 330-672-2797
Emily Vincent,, 330-672-8595

POSTED: Wednesday, March 11, 2015 04:17 PM
UPDATED: Saturday, December 03, 2022 01:02 AM
Eric Mansfield