Kent State Board of Trustees Approves New Cybercriminology Major

The Kent State University Board of Trustees approved the establishment of a new cybercriminology major within the Bachelor of Science degree at the Board’s regular quarterly meeting held Dec. 6 in the Aeronautics and Engineering Building on the Kent Campus. The new cybercriminology major will be offered fully online, in addition to a mostly online delivery at all Kent State campuses. 


Cybercriminology is a new and growing field that has demand from business and government entities due to its combining of computer and criminal justice knowledge and skills. It is the practice of investigating and preventing attacks and threats that exploit human or security weakness in systems to steal data, money or passwords or to target individuals or a group of individuals. 


Students enrolled in the major will be involved in project-based research and other experiential learning opportunities in technology and the legal, ethical and criminology aspects of modern crime. Through this program, students will be well prepared for work in a myriad of professional positions ranging from security/intelligence analysts and investigators to network and security administrators. The cybercriminology major will be multidisciplinary with contributing faculty and coursework from the Department of Sociology and Criminology in the College of Arts and Sciences and the Information Technology program in the College of Applied and Technical Studies. 


New job postings increased 79% over the past five years with most of those postings preferring or requiring a bachelor’s degree. Going forward, the occupational outlook in digital forensics analysis, penetration testing and information security analysis is projected to grow faster than average with 100,000-plus job openings by 2030. 


The School of Multidisciplinary Social Sciences and Humanities within the College of Arts and Sciences will establish the new major, effective fall 2024, pending final approval of the Ohio Department of Higher Education. 


Board Approves Naming Action 

The Board approved naming the auditorium in Henderson Hall the Cheryl Swinehart Dariushnia Auditorium. Cheryl Swinehart Dariushnia earned a Bachelor of Science in Nursing in 1977 from Kent State and worked for 30 years as a psychiatric nurse and counselor. She died in 2020. 


Her son, Ali Dariushnia, who received his Bachelor of Arts in Paralegal Studies from Kent State in 2019, has honored his mother’s legacy through generous support to several areas across the university. The auditorium naming is in recognition of the generosity and commitment of Ali Dariushnia for his gift of $250,000 to benefit the College of Nursing, which is housed in Henderson Hall. 


Board Ratifies Fiscal Year 2023 Efficiency Report

The Board ratified the university’s Fiscal Year 2023 Efficiency Report, which indicated effectiveness and savings from Fiscal Year 2023. The report is submitted annually to the chancellor of the Ohio Department of Higher Education.


The Fiscal Year 2023 report focuses on regional collaborations, academic practices related to textbook affordability, special purpose fees, and benchmarking and assessment of operating costs. For instance, more than 1,700 course sections utilizing the Flash Books program amounted to more than $2.5 million in savings to Kent State students for the prior academic year. The report also highlights several collaborations with Lorain County Community College, Stark State College, Northeast Ohio Medical University (NEOMED), Youngstown State University and others. 


Board Approves Six-Year Comprehensive Capital Plan for Fiscal Years 2025-2030

The Board approved a six-year comprehensive capital plan for Fiscal Years 2025-2030, identifying projects that are the most important to the institution in terms of facilitating the upgrade of campus infrastructure to address specific academic program requirements and to address the backlog of deferred maintenance, including information technology. The plan primarily includes projects funded by state capital appropriations and does not list projects solely financed by local funding, philanthropy or utilizing a public/private partnership. 


The Ohio Office of Budget and Management requires that each institution of public higher education in Ohio prepare and submit a six-year capital plan. The projects identified in Kent State’s six-year capital plan represent the highest-priority needs on Kent State’s eight campuses and are in alignment with the university’s master planning process and deferred maintenance priorities. 


Projects for the first two years of the plan include:

  • The second of four phases to replace antiquated heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) equipment along with planned classroom and interior building improvements in White Hall.
  • Tower renovations and elevator modernization in the University Library.
  • Elevator modernizations for accessibility on the Kent Campus.
  • Information technology network access enhancements in academic buildings on the Kent Campus.
  • Entrance renovation to Susan J. Stocker Hall on the Ashtabula Campus.
  • Purinton Hall classroom renovations on the East Liverpool Campus.
  • Main Classroom Building egress improvements on the Geauga Campus.
  • Main Building HVAC replacement on the Salem Campus.
  • Central chiller plant replacement on the Stark Campus.
  • Phase two of library roof repairs on the Trumbull Campus.
  • Phase four of Founders Hall HVAC improvements and emergency generator replacement on the Tuscarawas Campus. 


Among other Board actions:

  • The Board confirmed the conferral of 1,097 degrees from summer 2023 on those Kent State students who have been officially recorded by the University Registrar as having completed the requirements of their respective programs of study during the period of May 13, 2023, to Aug. 19, 2023.
  • The Board endorsed the 2023 University Remediation Report and its submission to the chancellor of the Ohio Department of Higher Education and the superintendent of public instruction, in accordance with Ohio House Bill 49. Results indicated a 49.8% decline in the number of Kent Campus students enrolled in remedial coursework and a 68.4% decline on the Regional Campuses compared with the university’s initial remediation report in 2017.
  • The Board reviewed the university’s Fiscal Year 2023 external audit prepared by audit firm RSM. An unmodified, or “clean,” opinion was issued on the university’s financial statements. In the opinion of RSM, the financial statements present fairly, in all material respects, the financial position and activities of Kent State for the period ending June 30, 2023.
  • The Board approved the vendor selection for stop-loss insurance coverage for its current health and wellness benefits plan for employees and their eligible dependents, effective Jan. 1, 2024. In response to a request for proposal issued by the university’s Procurement Department, Medical Mutual of Ohio provided the proposal with the best overall value. The estimated cost for these services is a one-year initial term of $2,819,280, with the potential of two additional one-year periods at negotiable annual rates for a potential total contract duration of three years.
  • The Board approved an amendment to the approval of improvements to the Devine Diamond at Dix Stadium. At its December 2021 meeting, the Board approved improvements to the athletics field surface, dugouts and backstop netting at the softball diamond (now called Devine Diamond) at an estimated project budget of $1.15 million. The project has experienced an increase in overall budget. The revised project budget is now $1.9 million, requiring an additional $750,000 to complete the project in time for the spring 2025 competitive season, and will be funded by the local funds originally planned for the Kent State Field House track replacement, which came in under budget by $765,000. Construction of the dugouts and netting will be scheduled during summer 2024 following the spring sports season.
  • The Board approved domestic water piping repairs in Centennial Court A and B on the Kent Campus. Originally constructed in 2002, Centennial Court A and B houses 435 resident students. Copper domestic water piping throughout the facilities has developed pinhole leaks, disrupting students and creating facility and personal property damage. The project will repair piping with epoxy lining approved by various regulatory bodies for potable water use and replace nonfunctional isolation valves. University Housing has budgeted $1.8 million in allocated renewal and replacement funds for this project, which is anticipated to start May 13, 2024, and be completed no later than July 29, 2024.
  • The Board approved renovations to the first floor of Henderson Hall. Originally constructed in 1978, Henderson Hall is home to the College of Nursing. The academic advising suite serving the college in Henderson Hall was not included in previous building improvements and is original to the construction of the building. The project will create and furnish a prominent academic advising suite on the first floor of Henderson Hall that will support students, faculty and staff. The total project cost is $2.7 million, which will be funded by $780,000 in philanthropic support and $1.92 million in available university local funds held by the College of Nursing. Construction is anticipated to be completed in summer 2025. 

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

POSTED: Wednesday, December 6, 2023 10:59 AM
Updated: Wednesday, December 6, 2023 01:53 PM
University Communications and Marketing