Faculty Senate discusses Kent State United pledge, graduation ceremony

Megan Ayscue

The Faculty Senate had its second meeting of the spring semester Monday to discuss updates on the Kent State United pledge, the upcoming graduation ceremony and changes within departments on campus.

After tabling the decision last meeting, the Faculty Senate unanimously endorsed the revised Kent State United pledge. After President Beverly Warren and Senate Chair Deborah Smith talked to student groups — such as the Student Power Coalition — revisions were made to the pledge to include “stronger” language.

Warren said she will wait for her office to receive the official endorsement from the Faculty Senate before moving forward. She said she foresees meeting with more student groups to discuss the changes. 

The senate also voted for the name of the College of Applied Engineering, Sustainability and Technology be revised to the College of Aeronautics and Engineering.

Aeronautics majors comprise 50 percent of students in CAEST and the college wanted to place more of a focus on “unique” and “pure” engineering programs, Robert Sines, the dean of CAEST, said. The name change will take place beginning the upcoming fall semester.

The Faculty Senate also passed the motion to advance athletic training from a bachelor’s to a master’s degree. Pending state and accreditor approval, this will be effective this upcoming fall as well.

Beginning in Spring 2018, the Office of Global Education passed the motion to establish a university-wide English proficiency policy for the admission of international students, including requiring base proficiency scores for admission.

“We currently have no guiding policy related to English language proficiency requirement,” said Melody Tankersley, the senior associate provost and dean of Graduate Studies. “With this proposal, we seek to create a policy to ensure all students applying with international credentials are adequately prepared for academic instruction in English at Kent State.”

This will clarify and update current requirements already held by Kent State.

Lashonda Taylor, director of University Ceremonies, gave clarification during the meeting about the upcoming spring graduation ceremony. The advanced degree ceremony changed from previous years and will be held in the Field House on May 12 at 6 p.m. to accommodate a larger number of graduates.

On May 13 at 10 a.m., students of all degrees from Kent State’s campuses will be at Dix Stadium — the first time Kent State will hold one large commencement ceremony.

“Faculty will still be able to participate in all of these ceremonies,” Taylor said.

So far, 2,243 students confirmed attendance, with 492 of those students receiving an advanced degree and almost 100 students from the regional campuses.

In the case of poor weather, the commencement may be delayed, shortened or canceled, Taylor said.

Warren said she will be at the university commencement and will attempt to attend as many individual college ceremonies as possible.

Students will still get six tickets for family and friends to attend the ceremony. If a student does not have a need for all six, they can donate the tickets back into a general pool, which will give students the opportunity to request an extra two possible tickets, Taylor said.

“The reason we didn’t just say ‘You can have as many as you want’ is (because) we need to still measure how many people are attending,” Taylor said.

The Faculty Senate also elected Cynthia Kristof to be the senate representative for the Faculty Ethics Committee. Kristof is currently the head of Copyright and Document Services of the University Libraries.

Megan Ayscue is the administration and academic affairs reporter, contact her at [email protected].