Presidential listening tour set to conclude Feb. 3


Kent State President Beverly Warren talks with students during her Listening Tour in the Kiva on Thursday, Nov. 13, 2014. Warren wanted to find out what Kent State University means to students and what students think needs to improve.

Christina Godfrey

After six months, more than 60 tours and countless hours of communication, President Beverly Warren’s Listening Tour will make its final stop at Kent State to share the results of the tour and to answer the question: What is “the heart of Kent State?”

The conclusion of Warren’s Presidential Listening Tour will be Tuesday, Feb 3, at 3 p.m. in the Kiva, accompanied by a live webcast of the event accessible through the Kent State website.

In July 2014, Warren became Kent State’s president and began talking to the community to find out what people considered the strengths and weaknesses of the university.

According to the 2014 to 2015 University Priorities list, Warren wrote by keeping in mind the knowledge she learned from listening to others, the “common threads” for the year became clear: “a spirit of collaboration based on respectful and
 civil interaction; a commitment to diversity as a prime institutional asset; and a recognition that the creation and translation of new knowledge and the development of innovative ideas are the responsibility of all public research universities.”

Matthew Chernesky, student representative for the University Diversity Action Council, said he is eager to work with Warren and the Board of Trustees to create a welcoming and diverse environment within the faculty and student body.

“I’m really glad she’s doing this tour because I feel like it’s important as a new president for her to be in direct dialogue with leaders and faculty across not only the branches but the United States,” said Chernesky, a sophomore political science major. “Through this process that we can make, as from a UDAC perspective, a university that is truly encompassing of all students from every creed.”

Kim Kennedy, special assistant to the vice president of Division of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, said she feels Warren has engaged every person individually.

“When you meet her and see her in person and she looks at you, you feel like she knows that you’re there, she knows that you have a presence there,” Kennedy said.

Kennedy also said she is encouraging her students to see the conclusion of the tour.

“I think that they need to know that a change has happened, not that a change is coming, but a change has happened,” Kennedy said. “And from this day forward, it is something different from what they are used.”

Contact Christina Godfrey at [email protected].

Due to a reporter’s error, a previously published version of this story said the presidential listening tour was set to conclude Jan. 27. It will actually Feb. 3, according to Kent State’s website.