Dear Members of the Kent State University Community,
As Kent State University's 13th president, I am honored and humbled to lead this great university. I am also filled with excitement and anticipation for what is the beginning of a new era built on a renewed commitment to the highest levels of access and affordability while providing a world-class education.
I have worked with many of you in my role as executive vice president and provost, and have witnessed the exemplary work and dedication of our special Kent State community. I also recognize that there are many of you whom I do not know well, and I am eager to spend time learning more about you, your role and your interests. My commitment to you today is to join you in strengthening our intense focus on student success, as well as research and academic excellence.
Kent State is a university with unmatched potential for meaningful impact in the state of Ohio and beyond. We are one of the largest university systems in the nation with world-class faculty, nationally respected programs and students who exhibit the sheer grit and determination to make a difference in our global society.
When I have heard you proudly chant "We are Kent State" at campus events, it reminds me that we are much more than a collection of buildings or programs. Our talented faculty, dedicated staff and hardworking students — you are Kent State, and together we make a powerhouse university.
Thanks to all of you, we are a university that is on the rise. You have successfully advanced Kent State's position as a top-tier public research university. Our work together has resulted in record retention rates, a dramatic rise in graduation rates and a record number of graduates who earned their baccalaureate degrees. In fact, we awarded more than 10,000 degrees last year – more than the entire enrollment of several Northeast Ohio colleges. And this fall, we will announce great news of dramatic increases in our research funding.
Together, we have cultivated a culture of innovation among students and faculty alike. I am so pleased that we have reached a successful conclusion in our contract negotiations with our tenured and tenure-track faculty, which sets the stage for a dynamic partnership with our talented faculty in leading this fine university.
Our impressive accomplishments are too numerous to list here – from our students garnering two prestigious Goldwater Scholarships to our College of Business Administration investment team winning national honors to WKSU being named the Best Newsroom in Ohio for a second consecutive year. I owe each of you – students, faculty, staff and alumni – a debt of gratitude. It would have been impossible to reach these milestones without the contributions of all of you.
It will take our continued efforts, working together, to elevate this fine institution to its rightful place as a national powerhouse and vital partner in Ohio's growth and success.
Kent State University is proud to announce the May 4 50th Commemoration Benefit Concert featuring Joe Walsh (with Barnstorm – Joe Vitale and Kenny Passarelli) and David Crosby (with his touring band), two Rock & Roll Hall of Fame members with strong musical connections to the events of May 4, 1970.
Kent State University has opened the gates of opportunity for all eligible students in the LeBron James Family Foundation’s (LJFF) oldest I PROMISE Network class by guaranteeing free tuition for four years, and one year of free room and meal plan. The free tuition program was born out of an existing partnership between Kent State and the LJFF in which I PROMISE students attend summer enrichment college preparation programs at the university.
The Fashion Scholarship Fund’s (FSF) 83rd annual gala was held Jan. 7 at the New York Hilton in Manhattan and revealed the next generation of young talent in the fashion industry. Tyshaia Earnest, a senior at Kent State University’s School of Fashion Design and Merchandising, emerged as the standout of the evening and was awarded the first-place prize of a $35,000 scholarship.