Neil Cooper: Study of Peace and Conflict Builds More Secure World

Kent State University’s inaugural director of the new School of Peace and Conflict Studies, Neil Cooper, Ph.D., said as the university builds toward the 50th commemoration of May 4, 1970, and the 50th anniversary of the school, he is looking forward to working with colleagues on the next phase of the school’s history. Before joining Kent State, Dr. Cooper was the head of Peace Studies and International Development at the University of Bradford in the U.K., and a professor of International Relations and Security Studies there. 

“Today, we live in times that are just as challenging as those the U.S. and the world experienced in 1970,” Dr. Cooper said. “The aim of the school today, therefore, is to equip our students with the knowledge and skills to better understand and respond to those challenges, to provide expert advice to practitioners and to contribute the public debate on how to make our communities – local, national and global – more secure and more harmonious, rather than less secure and more divided.”



The recently established School of Peace and Conflict Studies within the College of Arts and Sciences was formerly known as the Center for Applied Conflict Management. The Center for Applied Conflict Management (originally called the Center for Peaceful Change) was founded in 1971 as Kent State’s original “living memorial” to the four students killed on May 4, 1970, when Ohio National Guardsmen opened fire during a student protest against the United States’ war in Vietnam and Southeast Asia.

Kent State President Beverly J. Warren believes Dr. Cooper’s leadership should elevate the school’s message to make a real and exponential difference. 

“This is an opportunity to share the Kent State story as we elevate the importance of the peaceful resolution of conflict,” President Warren said.  “As we speak through the wound of the tragic shootings on our campus in 1970, we are committed to the necessary education and research that will support new commitments to peace and the prevention of violence in communities across the globe.” 

For more information about Kent State's School of Peace and Conflict Studies, visit

POSTED: Tuesday, April 09, 2019 11:42 AM
Updated: Monday, February 06, 2023 10:43 AM