March 8, 2016
Members of the Kent State University Family,
Thanks to the remarkable talents and dedicated efforts of our faculty, staff and students, we are moving through the 2015-16 academic year with powerful momentum and compelling evidence that Kent State's best is yet to come. I am excited by the opportunities we have to work together to make our university even better. Many of them are possible because of the time and thought that thousands of Kent State community members have invested in recent efforts to bring our brightest future into sharp focus — initiatives such as the Forums for the Future, which gave voice to constituents across the university and beyond; the One University Commission, which explored ways to maximize our role, resources and reach as an eight-campus system; and the strategic visioning and communication initiative, which is articulating a shared vision, values and priorities to guide us for the remainder of this decade.
I write to ask you to share your thoughts and experiences one more time as we launch an effort to produce a frank and genuine assessment of the university's climate. This climate study can only provide an accurate "big picture" with widespread participation. To ensure objectivity and thoroughness, experts at Rankin & Associates are helping lead the study together with a steering committee comprised of faculty, staff and students. Their goals will be to identify successful initiatives; uncover challenges facing members of our community; and develop strategic initiatives to build on our collective successes and address our challenges. More information about the project and the steering committee is available at www.kent.edu/voices. Watch our brief video about the Climate Survey.
The survey, which will take 20-30 minutes to complete, asks about both positive and challenging aspects of our campus climate and offers a chance to suggest improvements. Be assured: All of your answers will remain confidential and your participation in this project is voluntary. You can access the survey online at https://rankinsurveys1.com/kent.
If you prefer to fill out a paper copy of the survey, visit www.kent.edu/voices to find out where to pick one up on your campus.
The co-chairs for the Climate Study are Kathryn Wilson, Ph.D., professor of economics, and Shay Little, Ph.D., interim vice president for student affairs. They would be happy to answer any questions you have about the project.
Thank you in advance for your participation — it truly matters! I look forward to sharing the results — and a related action plan — with you.