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Board of Trustees welcomes Larry Macon Jr., two new members in 2023

Courtesy of Kent State University
Larry Macon Jr. is the newest member added to the university’s Board of Trustees.

Larry Macon Jr. said he will bring his expertise of knowing how universities operated before the COVID-19 pandemic and how universities can move forward in a post-pandemic world to his new role as a Board of Trustee member.

“I think there’s a challenge of going back to what we call reality and I think reality changes,” he said. “I think we still have to identify what our new reality looks like, but I think it’s using sound principles and making sure that we are doing what’s best in the interest of the students and also in the interest of the people of the state.”

Ohio Governor Mike DeWine appointed Macon Jr. Nov. 6. He replaces former trustee Johnathan Holifield, who resigned after moving out of the state. 

Macon Jr. previously served on the board of trustees at Central State University. He will serve the remainder of Holifield’s term, which ends in 2027, and will be eligible to serve a full term afterwards. Board members serve nine-year terms and must reside in Ohio.

Macon Jr. attended and voted at the Dec. 6 Board of Trustees meeting, where he said he’s enjoyed his time at Kent State so far.

“It’s one of the jewels of Ohio,” he said. “I believe that there’s so much opportunity. I believe it has a global outreach, and so I’m excited about being a part of it.”

On July 28, Governor DeWine appointed Lara  Shigo as Kent State’s Graduate Student Trustee. She replaced trustee Haley Crews.

“The goal I always try to keep in mind is to listen as much as I can to grad students and just knowing there’s so many different students having different experiences depending on what they’re studying,” Shigo said.

Lara Shigo (Courtesy of Kent State University)

Shigo, who moved to Ohio over a year ago, is currently working towards a doctorate in exercise psychology. She previously instructed at her alma mater, University of South Dakota, where she was also an assistant track and field coach. Shigo was an All-American for South Dakota’s Track and Field team.

Graduate student trustees cannot vote at board meetings, and their role is to share student perspectives with voting board members. Shigo participates in some of the board’s various committees and has influence over what actions are voted on.

Vice President and University Secretary Char Reed said student trustees are exempt from voting because they would have to recuse themselves from voting on issues that directly affect them, which comes with certain liability risks.

“When you’re a member of the Board of Trustees, you can’t participate in any issue where you have a personal stake or conflict of interest,” she said. “I think it actually gives them certain protections and capabilities, but yet they have full participation.”

Earlier in the summer, Governor DeWine appointed Renato Camacho to the board on July 5. Camacho replaced Steven Perry, who served as president and executive director of the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Renato Camacho (Courtesy of Kent State University)

Camacho serves as president and CEO of the Akron-Canton Airport. He said he joined the board because of his interest in the university’s aeronautics program.

“When I was requested to join, it was a no-brainer,” he said. “Kent State has a prestigious history in many areas, focusing more so on aeronautics and engineering really cemented that notion that I can somehow contribute to the betterment of Kent State and its students.”

Renato said his 30 years of civil and aviation experience will be of great value to Kent State’s nine-campus system. He said two pilots at the Akron-Canton Airport attended Kent State, and the university produces many pilots flying across the country.

“I’m still learning the ropes and I hope to contribute as much as my predecessor that I replaced, Steven Perry, has,” he said.

All three trustees will attend the next Board of Trustees meeting on March 6.

Michael Neenan is a reporter. Contact him at [email protected].

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About the Contributor
Michael Neenan, General Assignment Reporter
Michael is a senior journalism major with a public relations minor. He works as a reporter, covering topics from sports to university administration. Contact him at [email protected]

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