Kent State Board of Trustees Approves Establishing New Bachelor of Social Work Degree

The Kent State University Board of Trustees approved the establishment of the Bachelor of Social Work degree during the Board’s regular quarterly meeting held March 8. The new degree was developed based on the high demand for licensed social workers within the areas surrounding Kent State’s Regional Campuses. A recent labor data report demonstrated that job postings for social workers increased by 21% in Northeast Ohio from 2019 to 2020.

The degree will be offered as a single program on three campuses: Ashtabula, Salem and Tuscarawas. Coursework will be delivered in a hybrid online/in-person instruction format. The focus of the program will be on social work in rural areas, and the program will be accredited for graduates to become licensed social workers in the state.

Graduates of the program will find careers in behavioral health systems, nonprofit agencies, criminal justice systems, hospital systems and child welfare services among other government and community entities focused on shaping policy and enacting positive change. It is anticipated that enrollment will begin with 30 students in the program’s first year with the projected growth up to 120 students by the program’s fourth year.

The new degree will become effective fall 2022, pending final approval of the Ohio Department of Higher Education, the Higher Learning Commission and the Council on Social Work Education. 

Board Approves Seven Named Spaces in Design Innovation Hub, Athletic Facilities and Crawford Hall

The Board approved naming actions for seven spaces on the Kent Campus based on philanthropic gifts of $100,000 or more.

Design Innovation Hub

The Board approved Kent State’s LaunchNET offices, the Marty Erbaugh I3 Lab and surrounding spaces within the Design Innovation Hub to be named the Burton D. Morgan Foundation Entrepreneurship Suite. Burton D. Morgan Foundation has generously supported entrepreneurship and design activities at Kent State. The foundation has given $1,082,150 in support of LaunchNET Kent State and entrepreneurship activities at the university during the past five years. An additional gift of $500,000 will provide support for venture activities within LaunchNET Kent State and the Marty Erbaugh I3 Lab.

Athletic Facilities

The Board approved four named spaces in Kent State’s athletic facilities, recognizing gifts that benefit the student-athletes and staff of the Department of Intercollegiate Athletics:

  • Recognizing the generosity of Judith Devine in providing gifts totaling $250,000, the Board named the softball field located at the Dix Stadium complex the Judith K. Devine Diamond. Devine served in multiple coaching and administrative roles within the Department of Intercollegiate Athletics, including as the first female head coach of the women’s basketball team.
  • The Board recognized the generosity of Dave and Sherry Joy in providing gifts totaling $100,000 by naming the lobby of the Kent State University Field House the Dave and Sherry Joy Lobby. The couple have long been active members of several local communities, including Kent State Athletics, Portage County and the city of Kent.
  • The generosity of Laing and Saundra Kennedy in providing gifts totaling $100,000 was recognized by the Board by naming the trophy room within the Memorial Athletic and Convocation Center the Laing and Saundra Kennedy Trophy Room. Laing Kennedy served as Kent State’s director of athletics from 1994 to 2010.
  • The Board recognized the generosity of George Jenkins in providing gifts totaling $100,000 by naming the lobby of the Jenkins Student-Athlete Academic within the MACC Annex the Dr. James Karge Olsen Lobby. Jenkins, a Kent State graduate, has been a driving force and key benefactor in enhancing academic support services to student-athletes through his generous gifts in support of the construction and later expansion of the Jenkins Student-Athlete Academic Center. His gift honors James Karge Olsen, J.D., who taught constitutional law and jurisprudence courses at Kent State and who made a large impact in the career of Jenkins. 

Crawford Hall

The Board approved two named spaces in Crawford Hall, the new home for the Ambassador Crawford College of Business and Entrepreneurship, recognizing gifts to benefit the students and faculty of the college:

  • Recognizing the generosity of Don and Paula Brown in providing gifts totaling $100,000, the Board named the reception area within the office of the dean in the future Crawford Hall the Don and Paula Brown Dean’s Suite Reception Area. Don Brown graduated from Kent State in 1977 with a bachelor’s degree in accounting, and he currently serves on the National Advisory Board of the Ambassador Crawford College of Business and Entrepreneurship.
  • The Board recognized the generosity of Christopher and Stephanie Marinac in providing gifts totaling $100,000 by naming a collaborative space in the future Crawford Hall the Christopher and Stephanie Marinac Team Area. The couple graduated from Kent State in 1991 with a bachelor’s degree in finance.

Board Approves Relocation and Renovation of Geauga Campus’ Nursing Department

The nursing program at Kent State University at Geauga is expanding and has outgrown existing outdated facilities in the Classroom Building located on its campus in Burton, Ohio. It has been determined that space within the Classroom Building can be renovated and repurposed for the nursing program while providing a new Student Engagement Center in the space to be vacated by the nursing program. The Board authorized the university to proceed with this relocation and renovation project.

The project would renovate approximately 5,564 square feet of the existing Classroom Building, providing updated facilities and modern instructional space. The university has budgeted $1.65 million for the project with $938,915 in local funds from the Geauga Campus and $711,085 in state capital funds (Senate Bill 310). Construction is anticipated to begin in the summer of 2022 and will be completed during the 2022 Fall Semester.

Board Approves Second Phase of College of Podiatric Medicine’s Energy Conservation Project

The Board authorized the university to proceed with the design and construction of phase 2 of an energy conservation project at Kent State’s College of Podiatric Medicine in Independence, Ohio. The project will include the rebuild of the four original 44-year-old air handlers and installation of a new rooftop chilled water system. This improvement will refresh the four air handlers that serve the majority of the nearly 133,000-square-foot facility and include some cooling redundancy, save energy, retire a large amount of deferred maintenance backlog and drastically improve resilience of the building heating system while supporting the academic mission.

The College of Podiatric Medicine has allocated up to $2 million in renewal and replacement funds to support the completion of the project that will be completed by Brewer-Garrett Co. The project will have a 15-year payback period in terms of energy savings.

Board Celebrates the Groundbreaking for Crawford Hall

Following its meeting, Board members joined students, faculty, staff, donors and community members for the groundbreaking ceremony for Crawford Hall. The new, state-of-the-art building will serve as the new home for the Ambassador Crawford College of Business and Entrepreneurship. The largest single gift in Kent State history, by Ambassador Edward F. Crawford, completed the capital campaign to enable the construction of the new building on the university’s Kent Campus. 

The new building is a part of the university’s Gateway to a Distinctive Kent State master plan. The master plan proposes the creation of a new signature gateway entrance to the Kent Campus that features Crawford Hall.

Among other Board actions:

  • The Board passed a resolution of appreciation to Virginia Addicott. Appointed to the Board on Aug. 21, 2013, Addicott has given superb service as the Board’s vice chair, secretary, chair of three committees and Board representative to the Kent State University Foundation Board of Directors. She is a two-time graduate of Kent State. Because of her deep commitment and contributions to the advancement of Kent State, the Board designated Addicott as Trustee Emeritus of Kent State.
  • The Board passed a resolution of appreciation to Dylan Mace. Appointed to the Board on July 27, 2020, Mace served as Undergraduate Student Trustee. Mace will earn his bachelor’s degree in finance, with a minor in data analytics and computer science, with high honors in May 2022. The Board expresses deep gratitude to Mace for his outstanding service and wishes him the very best in his future pursuits.
  • The Board awarded the University Medallion to the Risman family for its extraordinary devotion and support to the advancement of Kent State and all it serves. The Risman family has demonstrated a multigenerational, deep and extraordinary commitment to the welfare of Kent State students and academic programs through their volunteerism and philanthropy. The University Medallion recognizes alumni and friends who have contributed significantly to the well-being of Kent State.
  • The Board confirmed the conferral of a total of 3,159 degrees for fall 2021 on those Kent State students who have been officially recorded by the University Registrar as having completed the requirements of their respective programs of study during the period of Aug. 21, 2021, to Dec. 18, 2021. 
  • The Board approved the revision of academic structure of Graduate Studies from its current designation as a division to that of a college and revision of name to Graduate College, effective fall 2022. Revising the name is consistent with naming conventions of similar units at other universities and will provide clarity to students and other internal and external stakeholders.
  • The Board approved the following name revisions:
    • The Department of Sociology in the College of Arts and Sciences will be changed to the Department of Sociology and Criminology, effective fall 2022. The new name will more accurately reflect the current scope and nature of the department’s research and teaching.
    • The Mathematics for Secondary Teachers major in the College of Arts and Sciences will be changed to the Mathematics for Secondary School Teachers within the Master of Science degree, effective fall 2022. The revision in name is a better description of the program’s targeted population of high school teachers.
    • The Occupational Therapy Assistant Technology major in the College of Applied and Technical Studies will be changed to the Occupational Therapy Assistant major within the Associate of Applied Science degree, effective fall 2022. The name revision will improve prospective students’ understanding of program content and the role of an occupational therapy assistant.
  • The Board approved the following inactivations:
    • The College of Arts and Sciences will inactivate the Biological Sciences – Botany major within the Master of Arts and Doctor of Philosophy degrees, effective fall 2022. Due to disciplinary shifts, graduate programs in botany no longer align with the academic goals of the Department of Biological Sciences and are no longer a student demand. 
    • The College of Communication and Information will inactivate the Digital Sciences major within the Bachelor of Arts and Master of Digital Sciences degrees, effective fall 2022. The School of Digital Sciences was renamed the School of Emerging Media and Technology in 2021, and the two degree programs were renamed consistent with the renaming of the school as Emerging Media and Technology.
  • The Board endorsed the 2021 University Remediation Report and its submission to the Chancellor of the Ohio Department of Higher Education and the Superintendent of Public Instruction, in accordance with House Bill 49. Results indicated a 58.4% decline in the number of Kent Campus freshmen enrolled in remedial coursework and a decline of 53.9% on the Regional Campuses compared with the university’s initial remediation report in 2017. 
  • The Board approved tuition and fees for the College of Podiatric Medicine for the 2022-2023 academic year. The Board approved a 2% increase in tuition for both in-state and out-of-state students. It is anticipated that this increase will not change the college’s tuition ranking relative to other podiatric medicine colleges in the nation. In the current and prior academic years, tuition for Kent State’s College of Podiatric Medicine is third of the nine institutions when ranking from highest to lowest tuition.

Kent State’s College of Podiatric Medicine operates under a different academic calendar than the rest of the university, as third-year and fourth-year students begin their new academic year in May. Approval of the college’s tuition and fees for the next academic year takes place at this time so that billing can occur prior to the beginning of the semester. The university currently receives no state share of instruction (SSI) for podiatric medicine, and statutory constraints by the state of Ohio are tied to in-state undergraduate tuition and general fees.

  • The Board approved special surcharge rates for partnerships with the Ministry of Defence of Rwanda, the state of Andhra Pradesh of India and Nile University of Egypt. The university will add a waiver of the out-of-state surcharge, not to exceed 97.5%, for students who attend Kent State through one of these three new international partnerships, subject to any required approvals from the chancellor of the Ohio Department of Higher Education. 
  • The Board authorized changes in a variety of special tuition rates, program, course and other student fees, including eliminating more than 90 fees. University staff, including executive officers, extensively reviewed the fee changes for fall 2022 to ensure that all are in the appropriate amounts and are necessary to protect program quality.
  • The Board authorized the sale of real estate property located at 5036 State Route 43 in Brimfield Township, Ohio. The 42.59 acres of vacant land had been identified as surplus real estate assets by the university and available for disposition. The university will enter into a purchase agreement for the sale of the property for $645,000, an amount equal to the most recent appraised value of the acreage.
  • The Board approved the vendor selection for Oracle technical support services. The university requires an outside vendor to provide technical support services for its Oracle database platform. The university will enter into a contract with TMH Solutions LLC for Oracle technical support services for a term of one year at $396,174, with the university option to renew up to two additional one-year periods at an approximate increase of 4% each year. The contract will be funded by the approved operating budget of Kent State’s Division of Information Technology.
  • The Board approved the contract extension for Banner enterprise resource planning (ERP) system, which allows Kent State to effectively perform financial, human resource and student transactions. The university will enter into a contract extension with Ellucian Company LP for the provision of an ERP solution for five years at an estimated cost of $5,661,741. The contract will be funded by the approved operating budget of the university’s Division of Information Technology.
  • The Board approved the vendor selection for university promotional items. The university will enter into a contract with AG PrintPromo Solutions and Consolidus LLC for the provision of university promotional items for an initial two years at the estimated cost of $2.05 million, plus the option to renew up to three one-year periods at approximately $1.025 million annually. The total cost of these services will be funded by various university departments who purchase promotional items.
  • The Board approved the vendor selection for grocery items for the university’s four convenience stores. The university will enter into a contract with H.T. Hackney Co. for the provision of grocery items for the university’s convenience stores for four months (the remainder of this fiscal year) at the estimated cost of $75,000 with the potential of four additional one-year periods at approximately $600,000 annually. The contract will be funded by the culinary services units that purchase from H.T. Hackney for the purposes of selling retail products.

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

POSTED: Tuesday, March 8, 2022 - 1:18pm
UPDATED: Tuesday, March 8, 2022 - 1:19pm
WRITTEN BY:
University Communications and Marketing