Kent State Board of Trustees Establishes Six New Majors
The Kent State University Board of Trustees approved the establishment of six new majors during its regular quarterly meeting held March 9 in Columbus, Ohio, at Le Meridien Columbus, The Joseph. Five of the new majors fall under the College of Aeronautics and Engineering, and one falls under the College of Arts and Sciences.
Addressing the Future of Flight
With the Board’s approval, five concentrations of the Aeronautics major in the College of Aeronautics and Engineering will be elevated to separate majors, effective fall 2023, pending approval of the Ohio Department of Higher Education and the Higher Learning Commission. These new Bachelor of Science degree programs are Aeronautical Studies, Air Traffic and Airspace Management, Aviation Management, Professional Pilot and the Unmanned Aircraft Systems Flight Operations.
With more than 1,100 students for fall 2022, the College of Aeronautics and Engineering saw the largest enrollment growth among Kent State’s colleges compared to the previous year.
The new Aeronautical Studies major prepares students for entry-level technological positions in aviation and related areas. The program is well suited for transfer students with military credits; students with professional flight experience, certificates and/or ratings; and students who love the field of aviation but wish to seek a more entrepreneurial pathway into the field.
The new Air Traffic and Airspace Management major offers practical simulation-based training to prepare students for professional work in air traffic control and management as well as employment as air traffic controllers, aircraft dispatchers, airspace managers and numerous other types of professionals operating in the National Airspace System.
The new Aviation Management major prepares students for entry-level management supervisory and administrative positions in aviation and other aviation-related professional fields. This course of study combines technical and aeronautical courses with courses in management and information systems.
The new Professional Pilot major prepares students to qualify for Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) certificates and ratings required for giving flight and ground instruction and commercial and instrument operations in Federal Aviation Regulations Part 121 air carrier operations or business general aviation.
The new Unmanned Aircraft Systems Flight Operations major is for students who aspire to become professional unmanned aircraft pilots (drone pilots). This program focuses on the safe operations of unmanned aircraft systems, regulations, the technology of autonomous systems and policies regarding the operations of unmanned aerial elements.
The Board also approved the establishment of the Biochemistry major within the Bachelor of Science degree, effective fall 2023, pending approval of the Ohio Department of Higher Education and the Higher Learning Commission. This approval also elevates a concentration offered by the Department of Chemistry to a separate bachelor’s degree program, including one optional concentration in pre-medicine/pre-osteopathy/pre-dentistry/pre-podiatric medicine. The Biochemistry program provides strong preparation for students interested in pursuing graduate studies in biochemistry or medicine or planning a career as a practicing biochemist in industrial research and development, government research laboratories or in academia.
Board Approves Restructure of Department of Management and Information Systems
Effective fall 2023, the Board approved restructuring the Department of Management and Information Systems in the Ambassador Crawford College of Business and Entrepreneurship into two distinct departments: a Department of Management and a Department of Information Systems and Business Analytics.
The current Department of Management and Information Systems has grown over time to now house five undergraduate majors, 11 undergraduate minors, three graduate degrees and four graduate certificates. The restructure will group faculty into similar disciplines, allowing more dedicated focus on each area and further coherence to the mission and strategic direction of the university and the success of these disciplines. The restructure will also better align the college’s department structure for these disciplines with the structure of business colleges at other public universities in the state.
Board Approves Deferred Maintenance Project for Kent State University Airport Hangar
The Board approved a project with an estimated cost of $5 million to be funded from federal, state and university sources to address deferred maintenance at the Kent State University Airport hangar. The Kent State University Airport has been serving the community since 1917. The community hangar was constructed in 1945 and purchased as an Army surplus Quonset building. This structure houses 34 single-engine and light twin aircraft, the largest aircraft fleet of any aeronautics program in Ohio. Community and university stakeholders have continued to express the desire to maintain this facility.
The hangar has received various repairs over its nearly 80-year life. Many components have exceeded their useful life, including hangar doors. This project will provide new hangar doors along with structural steel repairs, envelope and roof replacement, painting and corrosion repairs, floor improvements and electrical improvements. The repairs and renovations will extend the life of this building a minimum of 20 years to meet the required grant assurances of the FAA.
A design-build team selection is underway, and the design phase will begin immediately upon Board approval. Construction will begin in summer 2023, and the work will be planned and scheduled to minimize impact to the Aeronautics flight programming. Project costs will be phased over four fiscal years.
Among other Board actions:
- The Board passed a resolution of appreciation to Stephen A. Perry. Appointed to the Board on Aug. 4, 2014, Perry has given superb service as a Board officer; longstanding chair of the Finance and Administrative Committee; a member of the Academic Excellence and Student Success Committee, the Audit and Compliance Committee, the Compensation Committee and the Nominating and Governance Committee. The Board expressed its deep appreciation to Perry for his distinguished stewardship. Because of his deep commitment and contributions to the advancement of Kent State, the Board designated Perry as Trustee Emeritus of Kent State.
- The Board passed a resolution of appreciation to Haley M. Crews. Appointed to the Board on Aug. 27, 2021, Crews served as Graduate Student Trustee. Crews will earn a master’s degree in sociology later this year. The Board expressed deep gratitude to Crews for her outstanding service and wished her the very best in her future pursuits.
- The Board approved the conferral of the honorary degree upon Roe Green. A Kent State alumna who earned her master’s degree in theatre in 1980, Green is an internationally known philanthropist, entrepreneur and theatre advocate. She has enhanced the educational experience at Kent State through her transformational gift – at that time the largest capital gift in Kent State history – in support of construction of the Roe Green Center for the School of Theatre and Dance; her sponsorship of the Roe Green Visiting Guest Director Series, now in its 20th year; and her advocacy, engagement and guidance of young artists extending long after graduation. The Board approved that the degree of Doctor of Humane Letters, honoris causa, be conferred upon Green at an upcoming Commencement for her extraordinary contributions to American theatre arts and Kent State, and wished her continued success and happiness.
- The Board confirmed the conferral of a total of 2,266 degrees for fall 2022 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 Aug. 20, 2022, to Dec. 17, 2022.
- The Board approved the following name revisions:
- The Early Childhood Education Technology major in the College of Applied and Technical Studies will be changed to the Early Years Education and Care major within the Associate of Applied Science degree, effective fall 2023.
- The Respiratory Therapy Technology major in the College of Applied and Technical Studies will be changed to the Respiratory Therapy major within the Associate of Applied Science degree, effective fall 2023.
- The International Relations major in the College of Arts and Sciences will be changed to the International Studies major within the Bachelor of Arts degree, effective fall 2023.
- The Educational Studies major in the College of Education, Health and Human Services will be changed to the Professional Studies major within the Bachelor of Science degree, effective fall 2023.
- The Human Development and Family Studies major in the College of Education, Health and Human Services will be changed to the Human Development and Family Sciences major within the Bachelor of Science degree, effective fall 2023.
- The User Experience Design major in the College of Communication and Information will be changed to the User Experience major within the Master of Science degree, effective fall 2023.
- The Educational Psychology major in the College of Education, Health and Human Services will be changed to the Learning Science major within the Master of Arts and Doctor of Philosophy degrees, effective fall 2023.
- The Board approved the following inactivations:
- The College of Aeronautics and Engineering will inactivate the Aeronautics major within the Bachelor of Science degree, effective fall 2023. The five concentrations of the Aeronautics major – aeronautical studies, air traffic control, aviation management, professional pilot and unmanned aircraft systems flight operations – have been approved by the Board to be elevated to majors.
- The College of Arts and Sciences will inactivate the Center for Aquatic Ecology, effective fall 2023. Established in 1986 with a mission to study the relationships between organisms in water ecosystems, activities in the center were later superseded by the Center for Ecology and Natural Resource Sustainability in the Department of Biological Sciences and the multidisciplinary Environmental Science and Design Research Institute.
- The College of Arts and Sciences will inactivate the Center for International and Comparative Programs, effective fall 2023. Established in the mid-1960s, many of the center’s administrative activities were incorporated into the Office of International Student Affairs, now called the Office of Global Education.
- The College of Arts and Sciences will inactivate the Center for Materials Informatics, effective fall 2023. Established in 2008 with the mission to use informatics to advance materials research and education, the work in the center ceased when the founding professor and director left Kent State in 2015. Kent State has a strong legacy in materials research with its Advanced Materials and Liquid Crystal Institute, where researchers investigate the interface between liquid crystals and nanomaterials across a variety of advanced material fields.
- The College of Arts and Sciences will inactivate the Institute for the Study and Prevention of Violence, effective fall 2023. The institute was established in 1998, and activities ceased in the institute between 2009 and 2010 when the institute’s founding director and affiliated faculty moved from the College of Arts and Sciences to the College of Public Health.
- The College of Arts and Sciences will inactivate the Matthew Ferrini Institute for the Study of Human Origins, effective fall 2023. The institute was formally approved in 2003 but never implemented as the pledged gift was not received by the university.
- The Board endorsed the 2022 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 House Bill 49. Results indicated a 52.1% decline in the number of Kent Campus freshmen enrolled in remedial coursework and a decline of 65.5% decline on the Regional Campuses compared with the university’s initial remediation report in 2017.
- The Board approved tuition and fees for the College of Podiatric Medicine for the 2023-2024 academic year. The Board approved a 3% tuition increase for both in-state and out-of-state students. It is anticipated that this increase will not change the college’s tuition ranking relative to other podiatric medicine colleges in the nation. In the current and prior academic years, tuition for Kent State’s College of Podiatric Medicine is fourth of the 10 colleges when ranking from highest to lowest tuition.
Kent State’s College of Podiatric Medicine operates under a different academic calendar than the rest of the university, as third-year and fourth-year students begin their new academic year in May. Approval of the college’s tuition and fees for the next academic year takes place at this time so that billing can occur prior to the beginning of the semester. The university currently receives no state share of instruction (SSI) for podiatric medicine, and statutory constraints by the state of Ohio are tied to in-state undergraduate tuition and general fees.
- The Board approved an amendment to the budget for the Kent State Ice Arena/Band Educational Facility Renovations project that was previously approved by the Board in June 2021 with an estimated budget of $6.5 million. The growth of the marching band has progressed rapidly, and the strategic vision has been refined to support 300 student musicians, exceeding the initial plan and project scope. To fund the increased project scope, the existing project budget has been amended by $6.75 million to a new total of $13.25 million. The $6.75 million amendment will be funded by $5 million from funds set aside for future debt service, $900,000 from fundraising and $850,000 from university local funds. Construction is expected to begin spring 2023 and to be completed by fall 2024.
- The Board approved replacing the lower roof area of the Kent Student Center. Most of the Kent Student Center’s roof sections were last renovated in 2000, and the associated warranties have expired. The lower roof area over the loading dock and two-story sections of the building have been damaged permanently by severe weather and high-wind events. The cost of the project is estimated at $1.34 million, which will be covered under its property insurance coverages, with any deductible funded by auxiliary renewal and replacement funds. The design phase will begin immediately upon Board approval. Construction will begin in summer 2023 and is expected to be completed by the end of the calendar year. The work will be planned and scheduled to minimize impacts to Kent Student Center activities and programs.
- The Board approved the replacement of the Tri-Towers complex’s steam lines. The steam lines of the Tri-Towers complex are 21 years old and in need of replacement to ensure reliable service and to maintain the critical heating utility to a complex of four student housing buildings (Leebrick, Koonce and Wright halls and the connected rotunda building) serving more than 1,500 students. The project will require a temporary system since the steam will be out of service for approximately 15 months. Construction is expected to begin in summer 2023 with completion planned by fall 2024. The cost of this project is $1.8 million that will be funded by university local funds.
- The Board approved entering into a sponsorship sales and multimedia rights agreement for the Department of Intercollegiate Athletics. The university will enter into contract with Van Wagner College to provide sponsorship and multimedia rights services for the Department of Intercollegiate Athletics for 10 years, including a performance-based renewal for an additional five years.
- The Board approved an enterprise agreement for multimedia creation tools and related implementation services. The university will enter into a contract with Adobe Inc. to provide enterprise access to the Creative Cloud suite of tools and related implementation services for a term of three years in the amount of $1,135,713 with a university option to renew up to two additional one-year periods at approximately $407,437 per year. The total cost will be funded by the approved operating budget of the Division of Information Technology.
- The Board approved the renewal of the investment advisory contract. The university will extend its contract with SEI Investments Management Corp. for investment advisory services related to the university’s non-endowment assets for up to three years based on a performance review and considering the challenging market and economic environment. The annual cost for these services is estimated at $675,000 (not including individual investment manager fees) to be funded by investment earnings.
- The Board authorized the issuance of general receipts bonds and the refinancing of outstanding general receipts bonds. The Board has determined to authorize the issuance of obligations by the university to refund obligations previously issued to finance and refinance costs of university facilities. The university has previously issued certain series of general receipts bonds, and the fiscal officer has determined that the refunding and restructuring of the outstanding bonds is in the best interest of the university and is consistent with the university’s debt policy. The Board authorizes the university to issue obligations to refinance all or a portion of the outstanding bonds in order to provide for payment of the outstanding bonds in anticipation of the mandatory tender provisions and to provide financing terms in the best interests of the university.
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Emily Vincent, email@example.com, 330-672-8595