Presidential Perspectives

Spring 2017
Our Path Forward

At the start of 2017, we learned that Kent State’s application to have the May 4, 1970, site designated as a National Historic Landmark was approved by the U.S. Secretary of the Interior. This recognition elevates the importance of that day and its aftermath in the history of the United States. It comes after a long journey; one in which members of this remarkable university community, including dedicated faculty and devoted members of the May 4 Task Force, persisted through periods of high emotion and phases of healing that spanned more than two generations of students, faculty, staff and alumni of Kent State University.

As we blend the memory and meaning of this journey with our current vision and promise, our faculty members are assembling in interdisciplinary research institutes and centers to find solutions to some of the world’s most intractable problems. We are renewing our global family’s commitment to host critical conversations on conflict resolution and peace. By embracing this role, Kent State has the opportunity to influence national and international narratives; to make contributions that only emerge when teams of scientists and artists, designers and technology developers work together. We believe the greatest discoveries and declarations of the future will occur as collaborative, interdisciplinary teams convene around a common mission.

We believe the greatest discoveries and declarations of the future will occur as collaborative, interdisciplinary teams convene around a common mission.

Our new Brain Health Research Institute is one example of this vision’s momentum. The institute convenes more than 40 faculty whose fields of study include neuroscience, stress/traumatic brain injury, learning strategies, neurodegenerative disorders, cognition in youth and the elderly, substance abuse and addiction, exercise/wellness and cognition, and mindfulness and integrative health. As an interdisciplinary team, our faculty is ideally positioned to compete for grant funding to support research in areas such as mindfulness-based stress reduction, post-traumatic stress disorders, and Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases. 

We are convening other teams in materials science (including the Liquid Crystal Institute), environmental science and design, healthy communities, and global understanding (featuring our new School of Peace and Conflict Studies).

Kent State’s journey is marked by the meaningful engagement of alumni, students, faculty, staff and friends who frame and shape this university’s distinctive character and rising trajectory. I look forward to working with the entire Kent State community as we continue to facilitate conversations that will illuminate and elevate minds, lives and civil society.

Beverly J. Warren

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

"We encourage our students to become engaged citizens who make a difference in our world. To do so, they need to understand—to be humbled by—the magnitude of humanity’s challenges."

Rotary Club of Wooster, Ohio, January 9, 2017


Retweet from January 21, 2017

Back to Spring 2017