Presidential Perspectives

Winter 2018

Year of Innovation

As we move into 2018, we press on with the collective purpose and passion I highlighted in October at the State of the University Address. This year Kent State will step up and make a case to the world, more distinctly and undeniably than ever before, that everyone at our university is an innovator, a designer and a boundary expander. This is not only an innovation year, it is the start of an innovation era.  

Our goal is to propel a culture of innovation across every campus and throughout every community we serve. We will communicate our unique contributions to the world in a meaningful way that sets Kent State apart. As we take this journey together, we will unleash the power of interdisciplinary action and collaboration. Indeed, I believe the key to demonstrating collective purpose is cultivating an innovation mindset.

Across Kent State’s campuses, we share a strengthened commitment to innovation. We have an impressive start through the work we have done in our new Brain Health Research Institute (ranked first nationally in memory recall studies and third in stress and trauma psychology), our School of Fashion (its fashion merchandising program ranked third in the country), our renamed College of Aeronautics and Engineering (its aeronautics program is among the top five in the country) and our Kent State Ashtabula programs in enology and viticulture (the state’s only wine degree programs). 

Our new School of Peace and Conflict Studies is addressing critical issues facing our communities in the 21st century. Our world-renowned Liquid Crystal Institute continues to innovate and develop new products through advanced materials science. And our regional campuses at Tuscarawas and Salem are using virtual reality and game design technologies for educational purposes, to create virtual worlds and other experiences that will help students succeed and build a culture for innovation and design.

As we look to the future, Kent State is making strides toward providing interdisciplinary, project-based design innovation courses, including design thinking, that will establish this university as a place where design and science converge to invent the future.

We can get there, but we must lock our arms, quicken our pace and step boldly toward an individual and collective purpose that reaches across boundaries and makes a meaningful difference in our communities and our world. 

I am ready for the journey, and I am counting on you to join me. 

Beverly J. Warren

Email:, Twitter: @PresBWarren
Visit the office of the president's website at

I believe the key to demonstrating collective purpose is cultivating an innovation mindset.

Courtesy Kent State Softball

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POSTED: Thursday, February 8, 2018 - 12:56pm
UPDATED: Friday, February 9, 2018 - 12:57pm