Warren emphasizes university unity during final Listening Tour stop

Kent State President Beverly Warren wraps up the Listening Tour she started when she first got to Kent in the Wright-Curtis Theatre on Tuesday, Feb. 3, 2015. Warren said that many of those she spoke to voiced similar concerns like racial diversity on campus, expanding growth and expanding the credit cap.

Christina Godfrey

President Beverly Warren told an audience of more than 100 about the conclusions drawn from her six-month Listening Tour and the projects slated through the 2020 school year in the Center for the Performing Arts on Tuesday afternoon.

After the initial applause fell to a hush, Warren said she was confident about the future of Kent State based on the “strong start” to 2015.

“It’s going to be a year in which Kent State sees big dreams realized, sets bold ideas in motion and gains even greater momentum toward a future that excites us all,” Warren said.

Although there are many ideas to help advance Kent State as a university, Warren made clear one of the most important priorities are the students.

KSU President Warren Ends Listening Tour from KentWired.com on Vimeo.

Warren said she wants students to be able to “make a difference” and “have the support they need to graduate, succeed professionally, lead satisfying lives and contribute to society.”

During her Listening Tour, Warren said the audience suggested improvements that could be made now at Kent State, which included:

  • Removing the credit hour cap and having student pride for the campus they attend
  • Improving recycling efforts on campus
  • Improving class scheduling suggested by staff members
  • Marketing a defined and unified vision of the university by “boldly declaring the essence of the Kent State story”

“Suggested areas for review and improvement included advancing a one-university system, revamping our current university’s budget model and creating a healthy and sustainable university” by the year 2020, Warren said.

University spokesman Eric Mansfield said Warren focused on how to advance Kent State and “make a good thing better.”

“I thought the speech laid a great foundation for Kent State,” said Bernett Williams, vice president of External Affairs at Akron Children’s Hospital.

Williams also said she liked Warren’s emphasis on becoming a more prominent research university and stressing the importance of the “caliber of the students” admitted to Kent State.

Warren said she was proud to call Kent State her home and, comparing the university to “The Wizard of Oz,” when she said “There’s no place like Kent State.”

Contact Christina Godfrey at [email protected].