Board of Trustees approves university vision statement, awards bonus to Warren


The members of the Board of Trustees gather to approve and review the results of the multiple morning meetings regarding the school and plans for the future on Wednesday, Sept. 9, 2015.

Kent State’s Board of Trustees approved the Strategic Roadmap for a Distinctive Kent State and a six-year capital spending plan at the Board of Trustees meeting on Dec. 8.

The meeting, held at Akron Children’s Hospital because of a previous partnership, ended with the board awarding Warren a $75,000 one-time bonus along with a 2 percent base salary increase for her accomplishments after one year in office.

Designed to provide direction for the university during the coming years, the roadmap features five major priorities and more than 15 university-level initiatives. A mission statement, list of core values and the priorities were all discussed by President Warren and trustees as part of the university’s ongoing campaign with branding firm 160over90.

Warren’s priorities, as outlined in the roadmap, include stressing the university’s “students first” environment, with a focus on the inclusiveness and engagement of the Kent State community. Her other priorities include making Kent State a nationally distinctive university with a globally competitive mindset and having regional educational and community-based impact.

Along with the roadmap and capital-spending plan, the board also completed an evaluation of Warren and her performance in her first year as president. The evaluation, conducted by chairman Dennis Eckart through oral reports with the trustees and vice presidents, was presented at the conclusion of the meeting. A performance bonus of $75,000 was awarded per her initial contract for reaching and, as Eckart explained, exceeding her goals.

“It’s so clear we have the right person in the right place at the right time, moving us in the right direction,” Eckart said, addressing Warren at the meeting. 

Eckart said the university’s initial missions to place students first, build a stronger leadership team and become better known regionally and nationally led the search committee to Warren in 2014.

“I am very grateful, as I have said on numerous occasions, to be part of this community. It is exceeding everything I had anticipated,” Warren said. “It has been a pleasure every day to come to work, and to work together to advance Kent State University.” 

Warren’s initial contract allowed for the Board to award her up to a certain amount.

“(The $75,000) is a bonus for exceptional performance. This is not a bonus for having shown up for a year, and I believe she has exceeded expectations,” Eckart said in an interview after the meeting. “We have had, and are in, negotiations right now on campus and what we have done in the past in these negotiations and in the fact-finding is agreed to 2 percent, so we felt the president’s compensation would be consistent with what in fact had been offered and what is being considered in current negotiations.”

University Spokesman Eric Mansfield said the 2 percent raise will be donated back to the university specifically to be used for student scholarships.

Textbook fees 

In an effort to reduce classes with high D, F or withdrawal (DFW) rates, Provost Todd Diacon introduced the need to include cost of textbooks in a student’s initial course fee to reduce DFW rates. Diacon said the University of Cincinnati has lowered DFW rate by 25 percent by incorporating their textbooks into the fee, something Kent may begin looking into.

“When you roll that textbook into a course fee, [students] will have [an electronic textbook] from day one in the course,” Diacon said. “[The University of] Cincinnati has great success with students when they register.”


Kent State has partnered with PARTA since 2004, a contract that was amended in 2009 and again in 2012. The committee is currently seeking approval of a two-year renewal contract with hopes of signing a new, long-term contract down the road.

“This is the key transportation service for the main campus as well as connecting our students to the community,” Stephen Colecchi, the chair of the finance and administration committee said. “It’s truly a partnership.”

Students have asked administration to create an app, similar to Uber, that has the ability to track the location of the buses. An app like this would require students to stand out in the cold for shorter amounts of time during the winter months and view exact locations of transportation.

This renewal was proactive, beginning July 1, 2015, leaving the board with roughly 18 months to design a new contract with PARTA.

Summit Street 

Gas line relocations and other utility movements have already begun at Summit Street, but the construction and road/lane closures seen now are minor compared to what is coming. 

“Most of the work will really start next spring,” said Tom Euclide, associate vice president for Facilities Planning and Operations. “[They will] start to go to a single lane traffic, one direction.”

The project is estimated to need two full construction seasons. The majority of the work should be complete in the Fall 2017, but some minor work will stretch past that season, including tree planting.


The committee is also looking for approval from the board on multiple contract renewals.

Kent State received three bids for the online math learning and assessment software, but chose to continue partnering with McGraw-Hill Education because it was the best value. If approved, the initial contract of $1.16 million will be for two years that will be paid by University College and an existing fee that students already pay.

Committee members said the ALEKS software system is currently being used by Kent State students and has increased success rates in beginning math courses for students who receive a C or above from about 60 percent to 75 percent.

“We have about a third of our students utilizing this software system, and it allows the instructors to have a detailed assessment of where their students start with their math knowledge making it easier to tailor their instruction to the level where the students are,” the committee said.

University College “fosters student academic success by providing academic advising services as well as coordinating advising support throughout the university,” according to the Kent State website.

Contact Matthew at [email protected], Melissa at [email protected] Taylor at [email protected].