Our View: Does a friendly president mean an open university?

Summary: We hope Kent State President Beverly Warren will break the university’s tradition of closed administrative searches. 

In our editorial before break, we made several statements that referred to the university administration as being not open or forthcoming with public records and related information. In referring to the most recent presidential search, we were inaccurate in saying that documents were not produced. That is not entirely true. The university did produce documents nine weeks after the Stater requested them. However, there are still questions left unanswered and requests still unfulfilled — with a possibility of more to come.

In years past, Kent State traditionally has been closed when it comes to upper-level administrative searches, including those of the last two university presidents. Compared with President Emeritus Lester Lefton’s administration, however, current president Beverly Warren has been extremely open and friendly with both student and outside media organizations. We commend her for that and hope that she continues doing so.

Before spring break, Warren sent an email to the entire university announcing the retirement of both Gregg Floyd and Greg Jarvie, vice president of Finance and Administration and vice president of Enrollment Management and Student Affairs respectively. This very personal email from Warren herself showed how much she respects her fellow leaders at the university, as well as her understanding of how important both men have been to Kent State students.

This email also revealed that there would soon be two vacant seats for vice presidents. Not only that, but also two individuals with years of experience in the Kent State community will soon be leaving. It shouldn’t matter why either chose to retire; we respect their decisions, wishing them the best.

From the president’s cabinet to the rest of the faculty and staff, Warren sets the standard for the university. She is the face of Kent State and her actions speak volumes. She obviously cares about the students and staff at Kent State. We encourage her to help the community further by being more open when it comes to media requests for information regarding both searches and any administrative activities. As students, we want to understand — and help our fellow students understand — the issues and people in the administration that affect the entire university community.