Kent State Board of Trustees Approves College Name Change to Elevate Nationally Distinctive Aeronautics and Engineering Programs | Kent State University

Kent State Board of Trustees Approves College Name Change to Elevate Nationally Distinctive Aeronautics and Engineering Programs

With a goal of becoming one of the nation’s top public universities in aeronautics and engineering education and research, the Kent State University Board of Trustees approved changing the name of the College of Applied Engineering, Sustainability and Technology to the College of Aeronautics and Engineering. 

The change better reflects the expansion of the college’s programs and accentuates its highly trained and sought-after graduates who go on to work for commercial airlines, corporate flight departments, the military and the Federal Aviation Administration.

The revised name further positions the college’s aeronautics programs, with three degrees and four concentrations, in an elite group of universities. Only two others have as many accredited programs in this field. The Kent State Aeronautics major is the longest-standing, fully-accredited Aviation Accreditation Board International program in Ohio. The Aeronautics Systems Engineering Tech program is one of only two such programs in the world to be Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology accredited. The program is also the only in Ohio to be approved by the Federal Aviation Administration as a designated Air Traffic-Collegiate Training Initiative Program.

The engineering program is also positioned to shift to an advanced level of distinction beyond the Applied Engineering major that has previously been offered for nearly 70 years. The revised name will help advance the opportunity to create a college that offers unique, cutting-edge degrees in engineering, including the recently launched aerospace engineering degree and a proposed degree in mechatronics.

The name change is effective July 1, 2017.

Board Approves Continuation Budget for FY 2016 Pending Finalization of State Budget

With the Ohio General Assembly’s deliberations still under way regarding the state budget bill (House Bill 49) for the next biennium, the Board authorized Kent State President Beverly Warren and the university’s chief financial officer to spend university funds beginning July 1, 2017, until the new state budget is finalized in September. This budget will operate at the same expenditure levels established by the Board for fiscal year 2016-2017. Once the state budget is finalized, a complete operating budget for fiscal year 2017-2018 will be prepared and submitted to the Board for approval at its Sept. 13 meeting.

Kent State Sets 2017-2018 Tuition

As the state has not yet acted on tuition rates for 2017-2018, no change was recommended at this time in undergraduate in-state tuition, keeping the rate $5,006 per semester for full-time undergraduates attending the Kent Campus. Tuition at the Regional Campuses holds at $2,832 for lower division courses and $3,319 for upper division courses per semester.

The Kent Campus annualized full-time undergraduate tuition remains seventh of the 13 Ohio public higher education institutions. The lower tuition rate and continued investments in institutional financial aid reflects the university’s ongoing commitment to affordability.

Non-Ohio residents are assessed a surcharge in addition to tuition. The Board approved a 2 percent increase or $84 per semester (from $4,182 to $4,266) in the undergraduate full-time rate effective for fall 2017. A portion of the increase will be used to fund the scholarship program available for non-Ohio residents.

To continue to offer quality academic programming and research opportunities, additional investments are needed in graduate programs. The Board increased graduate tuition by 2 percent (from $5,545 to $5,655) and the non-Ohio resident surcharge by 10 percent. Kent State’s graduate tuition rates per credit hour rank ninth of the 13 Ohio public higher education institutions for both Ohio and non-Ohio residents. The impact of these increases is $10 per credit hour for graduate tuition and $37 per credit hour in the non-Ohio resident surcharge.

The Board also authorized changes in a variety of special program, course and other student fees, including eliminating 72 fees. University staff, including executive officers, extensively reviewed the fee changes for fall 2017 to ensure that all are in the appropriate amounts and are necessary to protect program quality.

Board Approves Plan to Invest in Additional Tenure-Track, Research Faculty

The Board approved a plan to redirect up to $18.6 million in cumulative savings toward hiring research-active, tenure-track faculty to further pursue the Strategic Roadmap to a Distinctive Kent State.

Funds to hire these vital faculty members will come from a one-time offering of a voluntary University Employee Separation Plan for full-time tenured/tenure-track and non-tenure track faculty who have 15 years or more of service to Kent State or are eligible to retire (full or reduced retirement) from the State Teachers Retirement System or equivalent eligibility under the Alternative Retirement Plan.

The plan is designed to optimize personnel costs and contribute to the university’s efficiency and effectiveness objectives. Those who apply for the University Early Separation Plan and are accepted will separate by May 31, 2018, and receive one year’s salary to a maximum cap paid in equal monthly installments into a qualified retirement account over a five-year period.

Kent State’s Division of Human Resources will be communicating additional details to eligible faculty over the summer period.

Board Approves Vendor Selection for Copiers and Print Management Solution

In keeping with the requirements issued by the Governor’s Task Force on Affordability and Efficiency, Kent State led a request for proposals issued by the Inter-University Council Purchasing Group (IUC-PG) to identify a qualified vendor to provide copiers and a print management solution for IUC-PG member schools. A cross-functional evaluation team, in conjunction with similar teams at three other IUC-PG member schools, and led by the executive director of the IUC-PG, selected ComDoc/Xerox as the vendor that offered the best overall value.

The proposed purchase agreement will be for an initial term of five years at approximately $2 million, with university options to renew up to three additional one-year periods at approximately $400,000 each year, for a potential total contract of eight years. Anticipated annual savings from the current contract is expected to be approximately $400,000. The total cost of the agreement will be funded by the operating budgets of the university departments requiring copiers and print management services.

In other news:

  • The Board named Kent State’s Center for Undergraduate Excellence WiFi Area the KeyBank Lobby. The lobby is located just inside the main entrance of the Center for Undergraduate Excellence and is a large space for students to gather formally and informally to study and socialize. KeyBank and KeyBank Foundation have had philanthropic connections to Kent State for many years with gifts and grants totaling more than $2 million. KeyBank Foundation’s most recent commitment of $1 million supports the Dynamic Education and Engagement of Diverse Students (DEEDS) program.
  • The Board named Kent State’s Online Master of Arts in Translation Program the Gawlicki Family Foundation Online M.A. Translation Program. The program is offered by Kent State’s Institute for Applied Linguistics, a research and training unit affiliated with the Department of Modern and Classical Language Studies within the College of Arts and Sciences. The Gawlicki Family Foundation has made a grant of $1 million to fund the development of a state-of-the-art distance learning translation studies program. This three-year pledge marks the foundation’s initial commitment to Kent State.
  • The Board named Kent State’s Integrated Sciences Building main entrance the Lubrizol Foundation Lobby. The Integrated Sciences Building will provide students and faculty with a state-of-the-art facility that includes new instructional spaces, research labs and offices, study space and an atrium/event space. The Lubrizol Foundation has a long history of philanthropic support of Kent State, with special emphasis directed toward the support of STEM education. The Lubrizol Foundation awarded a $25,000 capital grant to support the construction of the Integrated Sciences Building and pledged $100,000 to support the creation of a scholarship program for Kent State students pursuing a Bachelor of Science in applied engineering or chemistry. The new Integrated Sciences Building will be open and ready for fall 2017 classes.
  • The Shannon Rodgers and Jerry Silverman School of Fashion Design and Merchandising, rated one of the top in the world, will soon have additional design studios, classrooms and offices. The Board approved a $2.7 million project to renovate the currently vacant second floor of Terrace Hall to provide more space for the Fashion School. With enrollment doubling over the past decade, the new space is essential to providing more room for the program and meeting accreditation requirements for the program’s design studios. Renovation of the 9,500-square-foot space will include demolition of existing walls and improvements to the 30-year-old mechanical and electrical systems and restrooms. In the event that the Fashion School outgrows or no longer needs the space, it will be transformed to meet other university needs. Construction is expected to be complete by the start of the 2017 Fall Semester.
  • The Board authorized Kent State to approve a new long-term agreement with the Portage Area Regional Transit Authority (PARTA). The 10-year contract will provide transportation services to students and employees on campus, effective July 1, 2017, through June 30, 2027. The current contract expires June 30, 2017. In accordance with the Governor’s Taskforce on Affordability and Efficiency, the university reviewed its transportation services with PARTA. As a result, more efficient routes were included in the contract, saving the university more than $175,000.  
  • The Board voted unanimously to re-elect Beverly Warren to a fourth term as Kent State president. The university constitution requires the Board to hold an annual election of the president.
  • The Board re-elected the following officers for 2017-2018: Lawrence Pollock, chair; Ralph Della Ratta, vice-chair; and Margot Copeland, secretary.
  • The Board reappointed Michael Solomon as National Trustee for another three-year term.  Solomon was first elected to this role in 2011 and again in 2014.
  • The Board welcomed new trustee Donald L. Mason, who was appointed by Governor Kasich to a three-year term to fulfill the unexpired term of the late trustee Richard Marsh. 
  • The Board endorsed the awarding of the President’s Medal to Kent State Distinguished Professor of Human Evolutionary Studies C. Owen Lovejoy, Ph.D. He received the medal from Warren during Kent State’s recent One University Commencement Ceremony.
  • The Board approved a resolution of appreciation to Stephen Colecchi. Completing his nine-year term as a trustee, Colecchi has served on all board committees and provided leadership as vice-chair, secretary, chair of the Finance and Administration Committee, chair of the Compensation Workgroup and member of the Joint Project Oversight Committee, which led development of the historic Foundations of Excellence facilities improvement initiative.
  • The Board approved a resolution of appreciation for Jennifer A. King, who has completed her two-year term as a student trustee and recently graduated with her Ph.D. in Public Health specializing in Health Policy and Management.
  • The Board approved a resolution of appreciation for Paul L. Gaston, who served the university in various roles, including provost, Trustees Professor and professor of English, since 1999 and will retire June 1, 2017.

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Media Contacts:
Eric Mansfield, emansfie@kent.edu, 330-672-2797
Emily Vincent, evincen2@kent.edu, 330-672-8595