Trustee and Alumnus Richard Marsh to Lead Kent State Presidential Search Committee

The search for Kent State University’s 12th president became official today (May 14, 2013) when the university’s Board of Trustees named Trustee and Kent State alumnus Richard H. Marsh to serve as chair of a broad-based presidential search committee.

The search for Kent State University’s 12th president became official today (May 14, 2013) when the university’s Board of Trustees named Trustee and Kent State alumnus Richard H. Marsh to serve as chair of a broad-based presidential search committee. President Lester A. Lefton announced last month that he will retire effective July 1, 2014, giving the Board and the university community ample time to conduct a national search for his successor.

Richard Marsh“It’s a privilege to lead the committee in search of the university’s next president,” Marsh said. “I’m honored to serve my alma mater, which has a long history of strong, visionary leaders. I look forward to working with others who are just as committed to a thorough and successful search.”

The members of the search committee will be announced later this summer. University policy stipulates that presidential search committees comprise faculty members, including the chair of the Faculty Senate and a faculty member at one of university’s Regional Campuses; Trustees; members of the administration, including an academic dean; an undergraduate student and a graduate student; an alumnus or alumna; and others the Board may deem necessary.

Marsh was appointed to the Board by Gov. John Kasich for a nine-year term that began July 27, 2011, and extends through May 16, 2020. He retired in 2009 as senior vice president and chief financial officer of FirstEnergy Corp after 29 years with the company. He is a Chartered Financial Analyst and also holds a Certificate in Management Accounting.

Marsh is immediate past chair of the Summa Health System Board of Directors. In addition, he is a board member of the Kent State University Foundation and the Sisler McFawn Foundation. In addition to his Kent State bachelor’s degree, he earned Master of Arts and Master of Business Administration degrees from the University of Akron.

Kent State is Architect of Ohio’s First and Only Program in Healthcare Facility Design

What will tomorrow’s hospitals, clinics and doctor’s offices be like? How can their design improve the experience of patients and practitioners? Graduates of a new Kent State program will play key roles in answering those critical questions. 

The university’s Board of Trustees today created Ohio’s first and only master’s program in healthcare design. The program, which will be offered by the university’s nationally respected College of Architecture and Environmental Design starting fall semester 2013, will prepare architects, interior designers and other accredited design professionals to specialize in the design of healthcare facilities.

The creation of the pioneering program drew on the expertise of faculty members and administrators from Kent State’s College of Architecture and Environmental Design, which offers the only accredited architecture program in Northeast Ohio; College of Public Health, which is one of just two public-health colleges in Ohio; and College of Nursing, which is the largest nursing program in Ohio. Faculty from all three colleges will provide instruction, focusing on ways that design can enhance patient care, support wellness and increase the efficiency of healthcare services. The program’s conceptualization and planning process also included practicing healthcare design firm principals from Akron, Cleveland and Pittsburgh.

Students not only will have the advantage of Kent State faculty expertise in architecture, public health and nursing, they will benefit from Kent State’s location in a region noted for high-quality, innovative medical education, research and practice. Northeast Ohio and Western Pennsylvania are home to a significant number of nationally prominent hospitals and healthcare facilities, and have many projects for new hospitals and other medical facilities underway or on the drawing board. With the healthcare industry a major economic driver in Ohio — and with the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projecting strong job growth in both the public-health and architecture sectors over the coming decade — graduates of the new program will be in high demand regionally, statewide and nationwide.

New Kent State Degrees to Cultivate Professionals in Landscape Architecture

In Northeast Ohio and beyond, students considering a career in landscape architecture will find fertile economic conditions. With the demand for landscape architects in increasingly high demand (the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects 16-percent job growth in the field between 2010 and 2020), Kent State’s Board of Trustees today established two graduate programs in landscape architecture.

The master of landscape architecture I is an accredited professional degree program that will provide student opportunities for students who do not have an undergraduate degree in design. The master of landscape architecture II is a post-professional degree program for students who have earned a bachelor of landscape architecture degree. Both programs will be offered by Kent State’s nationally recognized College of Architecture and Environmental Design, which offers Northeast Ohio’s only accredited architecture program, starting fall semester 2013.

The programs will be located in Kent State’s Cleveland Urban Design Collaborative in downtown Cleveland, where students will learn as they gain daily experience in an operating design practice.  Students also will have a number of opportunities to be involved in the research of the Kent State Cleveland Urban Design Collaborative faculty and staff, and will have the option of studying abroad at Kent State’s facility in Florence, Italy.

In other actions:

  • With deliberations about the state budget bill for the next biennium still underway, the Board authorized a continuation budget for the new fiscal year, if a permanent budget is not in place by July 1.  If enacted, the continuation budget would allow the university to operate at the same spending levels authorized for fiscal year 2012-13. The Board will approve an operating budget for fiscal year 2013-14 when information about the state budget is available and a related university budget is finalized.
  • The Board officially designated the Kent home formerly owned by President Lester A. Lefton and his wife, Linda, as the official residence of Kent State presidents. All of Ohio’s other universities, as well as most research universities nationwide, have a designated presidential residence. Last month, the university entered into a lease agreement with a private citizen who recently purchased the home. In looking to the selection of a new president after the retirement of Lefton in June 2014, Trustees said they want to ensure that the university provides its president with a home that is suitable for the leader of a major university, suitable for hosting a variety of distinguished guests and suitable for hosting the many administrative, ceremonial and social functions that fill the calendars of modern university presidents.
  • The Board addressed both the exploding, national demand for nurses who are prepared for advanced nursing practice and the national shortage of Ph.D.-level nursing faculty by establishing the advanced nursing practice major within the doctor of nursing practice degree program offered by Kent State’s College of Nursing. The major will allow students who have completed the bachelor of science in nursing degree to enroll in the doctoral program.
  • The Board named the Director of Enrollment Management and Student Services Office at Kent State University at Ashtabula in honor of Kelly L. Anthony, an alumna who has been instrumental in increasing enrollment, retention and graduation rates at the campus, until her retirement in 2012. The Board’s action was initiated by Susan Stocker, Ph.D., dean of Kent State Ashtabula, who donated $25,000 to complete renovations to the director’s office to recognize Anthony’s contributions to the campus.
  • The Board voted unanimously passed a resolution of appreciation to Graduate Student Trustee Chelsea Knowles, who is ending her two-year term on the Board of Trustees and received her master’s degree in Public Administration last week. The resolution commended Knowles for her “informed and passionate commitment to student success and to sound public policy” and noted that “Trustee Knowles is respected by her Board colleagues as a highly motivated, extremely thoughtful and principled individual.”
  • The Board granted emeritus status to: Charles Baker, associate professor, Music; David DeBolt, professor, Music; Patricia Grutzmacher, associate professor, Music; Jerry Kalback, professor, Visual Communication Design; Dr. Wendy Kasten, Professor, Teaching, Learning and Curriculum Studies; Dr. John Lee, Professor, Music; Michael Lee, Assistant Professor, Music; Dr. John Stalvey, Professor, Biological Sciences; and Dr. Jeffrey Wattles, associate professor, Philosophy. Emeritus status is a distinguished title that honors a faculty or staff member’s contributions by allowing him or her continued access to university resources after retirement from the university.
  • The Board authorized a $4.7-million project to complete the replacement of the 50-year-old electrical system serving the Kent Campus. The new system will provide increased reliability and capacity, and the ability for university electricians to switch power sources in the event of a cable or equipment failure. The project, which is expected to take 18 months to complete, will address the 15 remaining campus buildings that are fed from the lower-voltage distribution system.
  • The Board authorized a $1.025-million project to replace three decades-old air handlers in the Main Classroom Building at Kent State University at Trumbull. Funding for the project, which will improve overall temperature controls and reduce energy consumption, will come from an $855,000 state capital appropriation and $170,000 in Trumbull Campus funds. Construction is scheduled to begin in the spring of 2014 and be completed by fall 2014.
  • The Board authorized a $2.25-million project to complete the transformation of the gymnasium at Kent State University at Salem into a two-story science wing. The action will allow the completion of renovations to the shelled second floor science wing, including two biology laboratories, two chemistry laboratories and two general classrooms. Funding for the project will come from $485,000 in state capital funds, $1,337,154 in donated and pledged funds; and $427,846 in Salem Campus facility funds. Construction is scheduled to begin in the summer of 2014 and be completed by fall 2015.
  • The Board authorized a $1.2-million project to build a 10,000-square-foot, indoor practice facility for Kent State’s nationally recognized men’s baseball and women’s softball teams. The ability to practice batting and pitching in all weather conditions is necessary to prepare adequately for effective competition. Funding for the project will come from $600,000 in private donations and $600,000 in loaned university general reserve funds. Construction is expected to start in the fall of 2013 and be completed in the spring of 2014.

For more information about Kent State, visit

# # #

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

POSTED: Tuesday, May 14, 2013 12:00 AM
Updated: Saturday, December 3, 2022 01:02 AM
University Communications and Marketing