The administration: a who’s who in leadership at Kent State
- Written by Lyndsey Schley
- Hits: 563
Have you ever wondered who calls the shots at Kent State University? Here is a look at the administrative staff and what initiatives each oversees.
Opinion: Kent State isn’t perfect, but you can help
- Written by Jody Michael
- Hits: 716
I’d like to extend a warm welcome to all new Kent State students. College is a really important time in your life, so hopefully you will find this to be a great place to work toward your degree. For what it’s worth, I’ve never regretted my decision to enroll here.
That said, while you’ve surely heard lots of people tell you how great Kent State is, by no means is it a perfect university. It has plenty of irritating flaws and drawbacks, and you deserve advance notice of those things as well.
For example, by now you have probably paid your tuition. It was really expensive. Unfortunately, it is almost certain to get even worse each year you’re here because the university continues to spend money on unimportant stuff knowing we have to pay for it.
Do you see that construction project happening in front of the Student Center? When it’s done, it will be a green space. Before construction began, that area was — wait for it — green space. We spent $2.8 million to turn green space into green space.
Well, most of it was already green space. Some of it used to be part of the adjacent parking lot. So if ever you have trouble finding an open spot where your permit allows you to park (which is a common occurrence), just thank our intelligent administrators.
By the way, our university president is Lester Lefton. He’s been here since 2006, and the changes here under his tenure have been a mixed bag. On the bright side, we now have the second-highest enrollment among Ohio universities.
Lefton’s administration has also spent several million dollars to contribute to ongoing downtown redevelopment, and that investment could be rewarding. It will assuredly allow the land to be put to better use, attract more business and bring more people to the city and university than a stupid green space ever could.
But the biggest blemish on Lefton’s record is that even when student tuition rates rise — which has happened all three years I’ve been here — he receives a bonus. The university can’t balance its budget, forces you to pay more and then hands an extra $100,000 to the president anyway.
This act of ignorance is an annual occurrence thanks to our dependable Board of Trustees defying all common sense to unanimously vote in favor of his bonus each summer.
It gets worse. Last year, the Board voted to rename our basketball court in honor of graduate and donor Jason Cope. No one told the trustees the government has fined Cope more than $19 million for selling fraudulent stocks worth $8.7 million. Oops.
In April, Kent State’s professors’ union nearly went on strike after Lefton’s administration had repeatedly violated its bargaining agreement with the faculty. Spend frivolously on things you can’t afford, lie about the past of your donors and show blatant disregard for the professors who educate us: That’s excellence in action.
Expecting any university to be flawless would be irrational, but these actions by our administrators are appallingly evil.
They get away with it because not enough students care to get outraged, but you should. This is what affects your tuition costs and the quality of your education and career preparation.
I don’t intend to mortify you and make you want to drop out. Rather, here’s an opportunity to make a difference. If you become aware of something you want the university to change, you have plenty of options.
Contact someone in the administration — all their email addresses are in the FlashLine directory. Write letters to the Stater. Campaign for an Undergraduate Student Government position. Organize a protest (like the several we had this past spring in response to the announced tuition hikes). Attend a Board of Trustees meeting.
College requires a lot of time, money and energy, so we all want to make the best of it. But students can’t fix all Kent State’s problems by themselves.
So it’s more important than ever to make your voice heard when you see an opportunity to make Kent State a better place. Plus, your impact might benefit not just yourself: It might benefit everyone.
Answers to top career questions for your time at Kent State
- Written by Mady Etzel
- Hits: 654
Being the new kid on the block can be confusing, intimidating and overwhelming. Many incoming freshmen have a lot of unanswered questions and may not know who to ask. Fortunately, we’ve all been there, so we’ve compiled a list of questions we wish we would’ve known as freshmen and sat down with Carla Owens, associate director for career education at the Career Services Center, to find out her answers.
Q: How do you go about getting an on-campus job?
A: On-campus student employment is through Career Services Center, and individuals need to go on our website at www.kent.edu/career. In order to search for jobs, you need to log on to our Experience Job and Internship Board, and they’ll find that on the right hand side of the page. Individuals create a free account using their FlashLine information, and they can search for on-campus and off-campus student employment. The most important aspect is before they apply for a job, they get their paperwork done and out of the way. Paperwork needs to be completed in person.
Q: How do I know I’m in the right major?
A: First of all, I would ask for clarification from the individual, and that is, what prompted them to declare that major? Most individuals declare a major before they’ve even clarified their career goals. They first need to understand why they declared their major. They need to know what they can do with the major and if they would enjoy and excel in it.
Q: Where do I go if I want to switch/declare a major?
A: I want to ensure that individuals know that the sooner they do this, the better. Delaying is going to have long-lasting consequences. Those consequences could be poor grades, lack of interest in certain classes or not understanding the purpose or direction of why they’re at Kent State. Worst of all, they may realize Kent State doesn’t even have the major that they want. It could also be costing students more money. Many times we see an individual come to us as a senior or recent grad and they realize they chose the wrong major. At that point, their options are to go into a field that they don’t like or to go get another four-year degree, two-year degree, or a master’s degree. For changing majors, it used to be you had to make an appointment with the office of where you wanted to declare the new major, but now there’s a new option that individuals can actually change their major online through FlashLine.
Q: What are the most popular majors?
A: Top 5 first-time freshmen majors
Q: When should I start looking for an internship?
A: Internships are sometimes required for certain majors. Surprisingly, it’s not as many majors on campus as you would think. You can begin doing an internship as early as your sophomore year. Junior year is a more traditional time for most. I would encourage individuals to look into an internship when they feel they have a pretty good idea of what they want to do and want to test the waters. I would encourage students not to look at internships until they’ve had the relevant course work under their belt. But it’s not uncommon for someone to do two to three internships.
Q: What’s the best way to network within my program/college?
A: You certainly cannot underestimate the value of networking. I want to make it very clear that networking is a term that brings fear into a lot of people. I like to remind individuals that you network every day. They’re going to be doing it with new students they meet, their new roommate and their roommate’s parents. Normalizing the situation makes it easier to navigate networking. It’s important to recognize that you don’t have to be an extrovert to network. For example, an individual who is an extrovert would probably be very comfortable calling someone in their specific career field and doing an informational interview. We always encourage a site visit if possible so you can see their environment, and you can sell yourself better in person. We can help them craft a script, or they could get on LinkedIn and create a profile and join some user groups related to a topical area.
Q: How can I get involved on campus?
A: It’s important to make Kent State your home, whether you’re a commuter or a residential student. The more successful students at Kent State are those who connect with people in as many events and organizations as possible and who have also connected with their faculty members and support staff. We often see that freshmen struggle with segmenting their time and don’t realize how much time they’re wasting. So get involved with as much on campus as possible and get connected and be known by your professors.
Q: What are some tips if students start feeling overwhelmed with class work and extracurricular activities?
A: I would encourage getting as much support as possible from staff. I think students would be surprised of the number of individuals on campus who are willing to go to bat for them. The counseling center is a great option, too, and it’s free. Make your needs known, and don’t be afraid to talk to your professor. Interventions, early, are the most critical element to remember.
Complaint Department: Who should you find when you need help?
- Written by Ray Evans
- Hits: 273
While in college, students may change their majors, take classes that are not within their majors, raise money for worthy causes and make suggestions on future classes.
To help any of these processes go smoothly, it’s important to know who’s who at your university. While you attend Kent State, get to know these people, because along the way, they’ll be very helpful in making your college career a successful one.
Kent State University’s president is Lester Lefton, who has been the university’s head for the past six years. The Kent State Board of Trustees elected Lefton in 2006. As president, Lefton’s duties include but are not limited to:
1) Serving as a figurehead for the university, often giving speeches and representing the university in a public setting.
2) Raising money for the university from donors and Kent State alumni.
3) Assisting the Board of Trustees in making major decisions for the university.
The Kent State provost is Todd Diacon, who is serving his first full year as provost. As university provost, Diacon is basically involved in every aspect of the institution — from recommending department name changes to implementing programs to increase Kent State’s retention rate. Other provost duties may include consulting with the deans of various departments and supervising the university’s curricular and research affairs.
Deans and Directors
The deans head specific academic departments at the university. Deans hold significant authority as the heads of their designated units, often making important decisions for the department — and the schools and colleges that fall under that particular department — with the help of the different schools’ directors.
Directors head a specific school or college that falls under an academic department. Directors often assist in implementing new programs and classes for their schools.
Common student questions:
1. How do I change my major/minor?
Start by talking to your adviser. Your adviser will guide you through your college years and help you make the right decisions when it comes to your classes and internships. Discuss with your adviser the reason you’re interested in changing your major or minor. Once the decision to change is final, your adviser will direct you to the section of FlashLine dedicated to undergraduate student change of program, which will eventually reach the director of your school and the dean of your college. Your major will be changed officially in the records.
2. If I’m having problems with a professor, who do I talk to about it?
Discuss the issue with your adviser, who may have some suggestions on how to approach the professor. Remember to always be respectful and handle the situation professionally. If the problem continues, consider discussing it with the director of your school/program.
3. If I’m unhappy with a grade, how do I handle it and who do I talk to about it?
First consider whether the grade is actually worth the work you’ve done to complete the assignment. We all would prefer a better grade, but when thinking about it rationally, sometimes the grade is appropriate, whether we want it to be or not. If you really think you deserved a better score, approach your professor about it in a polite and professional manner, and keep in mind that you still may not get what you want. If the professor refuses to change the grade — which they have every right to do — and you still think you deserved a better grade, consult with the director, who will inform you on the process of filing an appeal.
What tuition pays for: Tuition and fees 101
- Written by Amanda Crumm
- Hits: 875
Thousands of students go into debt every year earning college degrees in hopes of a long, successful career in their field of choice. Many will spend the next several years paying school loans with interest. But how many students know exactly what they are paying for?
Kent State’s tuition will rise 3.5 percent for the 2012-2013 academic school year, the maximum increase permitted by state law. This will cause many students’ school debt to increase further.
Tuition for a full-time, in-state student taking 11-17 credit hours is now $4,836. This does not include any additional school fees, such as course fees.
Students taking more than 17 credit hours will now pay an extra $440 per credit hour, a change that was approved by the Board of Trustees last spring.
Kent State’s tuition is broken down into two categories: instructional fees and general fees.
Instructional fees primarily cover faculty teaching costs and academic expenses, whereas general fees mainly support student services and operations, according to the Kent State Bursar’s Office website.
“The allocation of the general fee revenue is determined through the annual budget process,” said Emily Vincent, university media relations director.
Departments can request changes in allocations, but Vincent said the final decisions are made by the executive officers.