Kent State Launches Civic Commons Web Portal to Discuss Academic Affairs
In a unique approach to shaping the future of the Division of Academic Affairs, Kent State’s students, faculty and staff can now engage one another and the administration to ensure their voices are heard.
Feedback from a new online community combined with comments from multiple campus roundtable discussions will be used to guide the provost’s new three- to five-year strategic plan for the Division of Academic Affairs.
“This is an opportunity for everyone to have a voice in this process,” says Stanley Wearden, Ph.D., dean of the College of Communication and Information and project co-chair. “In fact, our tagline is ‘Our Voices: Because everyone is entitled to my opinion.’”
The university, in partnership with the Civic Commons, a nonpartisan, nonprofit that uses Internet technology to foster civic discourse in a civil manner, will host six online discussions — one for each of the six university strategic goals. Every few days, new questions in each of the six conversations will appear for added dialogue.
“Because we are using the Civic Commons conversation tool, this will actually be a universitywide conversation that is dynamic, interactive and iterative,” Wearden says. “It will allow people to get into deep discussion, and it will allow the committee to probe emerging discussions and get more nuanced feedback.”
Contributors should be connected to the university and its community and must register for an account on the Civic Commons site. Names will appear with comments.
“We want specific ideas from real people,” says Carey McDougall, associate professor of art and project co-chair. “We really want to know how you experience your job, your role at the university, and what your ideas are.”
Roundtable discussions aimed at gathering in-person feedback and discussion will be held at the following locations:
- Moulton Hall: 10 a.m. - 2p.m., Nov. 13
- Kent Campus Library: 10 a.m. - 2 p.m., Nov. 14 and 15
- Kent Student Center: 10 a.m. - 2 p.m., Nov. 19 and 20
- White Hall: 10 a.m. - 2 p.m. Nov. 21
- Kent Performing Arts Library in the Music and Speech Center: 11 a.m. - 2 p.m., Nov. 26
Additional roundtable meetings will soon be scheduled at Kent State University at Ashtabula, Kent State University at East Liverpool, Kent State University at Salem, Kent State University at Stark, Kent State University at Trumbull and Kent State University at Tuscarawas, as well as the Kent State University Regional Academic Center in Twinsburg.
“This approach gives every single person at Kent State University the opportunity to speak and be heard, and to do so as many times as they like,” Wearden says.
Faculty and staff have an important role in this process.
“Encourage your colleagues and friends at Kent State to get engaged with this, whether they are faculty, students, staff or administrators. We really want to hear what everyone has to say,” Wearden says.
The Civic Commons Kent State landing page will remain active through Dec. 14. Feedback from both the online community and the round-table discussions will be combined in early 2013 to guide the development of the new strategic plan for the Division of Academic Affairs.
Share your opinion now and share it often. Visit www.theciviccommons.com/kentstate.