Board of Trustees approves webcam test verification, new construction

Marissa Barnhart

Students will now be monitored by a webcam when they take their online exams.

The Kent State Board of Trustees approved a three-year, $1.2 million contract with testing company ProctorU for students to verify their identities and be proctored while taking tests online at its meeting in the president’s offices on Wednesday.

ProctorU is a service that allows students to take exams online from any location using a webcam to prove the students’ identities and monitor them as they take their exams.

The university tested the service over the the summer and is preparing to expand it to other online classes. Deborah Huntsman, associate vice president of Continuing and Distance Education, said so far, students not having an available webcam, but accommodations would be made for any student in needs one.

The board also authorized the construction of a new 34,400 square foot building for Kent State’s Division of Institutional Advancement, the fundraising and alumni relations arm of the university. The proposed site for the building is across from McGilvrey Hall on the site of the closed DuBois Book Store. The university will break ground for the building later this month.

The project is being funded by a partnership between the university and the Portage County Port Authority. It will cost approximately $20 million and will be financed by Port Authority bonds. The Kent State University Foundation, a nonprofit group in charge of private gifts from donors, will also provide funding.

The building will be home to 104 employees as well as The Kent State University Foundation. It will include a 28-station call center for the division’s phone center program and contain conference rooms and internal and external event space.

Other university changes

  • Kent State’s Regional College, which oversees academics at the university’s seven regional campuses, will now have Faculty Senate membership.
  • The board added three members to the Board of Directors of the Kent State Foot & Ankle Clinic, the College of Podiatric Medicine that operates community podiatry clinics, conducts research and educational activities,and provides real-world experience for students.
  • The Kent State Board of Trustees named the Active Learning Classroom in honor of the Timken Foundation, a private foundation that has made a total commitment of $1 million toward construction of the classroom as part of its support education in the sciences.

The board also approved a change in pay structure for 890 unrepresented classified civil service staff and unclassified hourly staff such as administrative employees and non-unionized professors. The minimum and maximum pay grade increased 1.5 percent to accommodate the cost of living.

A 25-year, non-exclusive easement agreement with the Ohio Edison Company was authorized to provide electricity to the university’s new baseball and softball training facility on Campus Center Drive. Ohio Edison will pay the university $3,708 for three years, from June 1, 2014 to May 31, 2017, according to a university press release.

Construction on the undergraduate studies office between Lake and Olson Halls is expected to be finished by early February. After a two-year, $39 million renovation, Tri-Towers is preparing for a ribbon-cutting to celebrate the new changes.

The board’s academic excellence and student success committee raised its fundraising goals to $32 million for the 2014 school year. The largest fundraising goal has been $40 million.

Contact Marissa Barnhart at [email protected]