Board of Trustees approve motion to finalize Peace and Conflict Studies bachelor degree

Madison Baughman

For nearly 23 years, Kent State’s Center for applied conflict management was hiding inside of the Department of Political Science. Last August, the center embraced its long-term success and became its own school within the College of Arts and Science.

“The university’s always had this institutional commitment in the form of an academic program — but it was always only on the center level,” said Patrick Coy, the director of the program and a professor within the School of Peace and Conflict Studies. “Our thinking and the thinking of people within the administration was that we should highlight this program.”

When the School of Peace and Conflict studies was finalized the name of the major, applied conflict management, remained the same.

The board of trustees met Wednesday, June 6, to discuss and approve resolutions that would improve the future of Kent State. The board revised the name of the applied conflict management major to change its name to the peace and conflict studies major within the Bachelors of Arts Degree.

Coy felt this change is important because peace and conflict studies covers a broader field of practice than applied conflict management. He also agreed bringing the name of the school and the name of the degree into alignment would really benefit the program.

“Of all the universities who have a commitment to peace and conflict studies, Kent State should be at the forefront and should be a leader,” Coy said.

President Warren was also passionate when talking about this initiative at the trustees meeting. She felt peace and conflict studies is a part of the university’s DNA considering its history.

“I think as we approach our 50th commemoration of May 4, 1970, this gives us a platform to make a positive difference in the world around how we handle conflict — whether its individuals, communities or countries,” Warren said.

The school enrolls about 1100 students in the undergraduate classes every academic year.

Amanda Schwaben, senior peace and conflict studies major, thought changing the name of the major was important because it would bring more awareness to the field.

She mentioned a lot of people found the major after their first semester at Kent and it would be nice for students to know coming into the school that Kent has a Peace and Conflict Studies major. Schwaben’s passion for the field was clear as she explained how much she enjoyed the classes and what she has learned.

Elizabeth Schmidt, senior peace and conflict studies major, also emphasized the change of declaring a school and major and how it is symbolic to students.

“It’s just really significant that Kent State is prioritizing the field of Peace and Conflict,” Schmidt said. “I think that’s important for us who are in the school but also the rest of the university and the rest of the community. In terms of saying ‘this is what’s important to us’ and peace is something we prioritize.”

Madison Baughman is the diversity reporter. Contact her at [email protected]