President Warren recognized for “Student First” approach

Nicholas Hunter

Kent State University President Beverly Warren has been named the recipient of the 2016 National Association of Student Personnel Administrators (NASPA) Region IV-East award for outstanding performance as a university president. 

Warren was in St. Louis, Missouri, to accept the award Tuesday. In her acceptance speech, she said “I am grateful for the sheer opportunity to work in a professional environment that has the distinct joy and responsibility of supporting and challenging students to uncover their purpose, potential and passions in life.”

This passion for encouraging students is reflected in the six-year plan she established for the university soon after she first became university president in 2014, “A Strategic Roadmap to Distinctive Kent State,” that, above all, puts students first.

KSU Undergraduate Student Government president, Samuel Graska, said in the university press release that with Warren as president, there is a “change in the air” in Kent. “The culture here on campus reflects the leadership of President Warren,” he said.

Along with receiving the regional award, the press release says she is up for their national NASPA President’s Award. 

Warren’s nomination for the award came from Kent State Vice President of Student Affairs Shay Little, as well as a student co-author. Little’s nomination is a result of Warren’s special interest in the quality of student life, as well as involving students and staff when making decisions about the university, according to the press release.

“President Warren’s student-first focus permeates her efforts to improve the quality of the student experience,” she said in the release. “Dr. Warren launched an aggressive campaign to raise graduation and retention rates, and encourages all employees to act in ways that affirm that the success of students is everyone’s responsibility.” 

Along with her administrative accomplishments, Little cited the development of the KENTtalks dialogue series under Warren’s tenure, which was created with the intention of promoting freedom of expression and civil discourse. In the press release, she also highlighted Warren’s accessibility to students on social media—calling her tweets “must-read” for students, and the university’s creation of a unified student government under her watch that spans all Kent State campuses.

Nicholas Hunter is a general assignment reporter. Contact him at [email protected].