President Diacon Talks About the Capital Budget and Kent State’s Core Values

Kent State University President Todd Diacon in his regular “Talking with Todd” session with faculty and staff on Wednesday talked about his recent trip to Columbus to present Kent State’s request for capital project funding before the Ohio Senate Workforce and Higher Education Committee.

Diacon said he expects Kent State to get about $29 million in the biennium capital budget, of which Ohio’s state universities are expected to share approximately $300 million for building renovations and deferred maintenance.

Diacon said he is thankful for the funding, which provides for many upgrades to campus buildings.

If Kent State’s award is as expected, the money will be used to replace the aging elevators in the University Library on the Kent Campus, perform significant heating, ventilation and air conditioning and infrastructure improvements to White Hall on the Kent Campus, and make improvements to the main entry of the Geauga Campus in Burton, Ohio.

Use this link to watch President Diacon’s capital budget presentation in Columbus.

Diacon also discussed Kent State’s core values of free speech and kindness and respect in the wake of the April 16 speech by Kyle Rittenhouse on the Kent Campus sponsored by the student chapter of Turning Point USA. In 2021, Rittenhouse was acquitted of charges after shooting and killing two Black Lives Matter protesters and wounding a third in Kenosha, Wisconsin, in 2020.  

The president praised the Kent State Police and university administrators for their outstanding planning leading up to the appearance to keep everyone on campus safe.  

“Mostly I want to thank our students,” Diacon said. “Thank you for adopting and holding dear those core values at Kent State.”

While police took care of the physical safety of those on campus, Diacon also addressed concerns raised by students about not feeling emotionally or psychologically safe on campus. The president said Kent State’s Division of Student Life is always there to meet with students and student groups to address their concerns and provide a sense of community and safety.

Learn more about April 16 free speech activities on the Kent Campus.

Diacon also expressed how much he enjoyed the moving experience of the total solar eclipse on April 8, and having so many visitors to Kent State come together to witness the phenomenon.

In a question and answer session during which attendees could post questions and comments for Diacon, one anonymous participant suggested the president consider “Walking with Todd,” to encourage wellness activities, an idea which the president embraced.

More than 800 university personnel signed on to view Tuesday’s “Talking with Todd.”

View the entire April 17, 2024, Talking with Todd.

POSTED: Wednesday, April 17, 2024 04:24 PM
Updated: Wednesday, April 17, 2024 05:13 PM
Lisa Abraham