Our view: Lefton makes Kent State an international beacon

DKS editors

Chances are, you’ve probably never seen President Lester Lefton taking a stroll around campus or engaging with students.  However, his long list of improvements and achievements at Kent State prove that his time is not merely spent behind the Executive Offices doors.  

During Lefton’s tenure, he has spent a large amount of time traveling to different global institutions; for example, he went on a 23-day overseas trip less than a year after he took office at Kent State, during which time he traveled to schools in Turkey, Russia and Kent State campuses in Geneva and Florence.  

Lefton also contributed to education abroad experiences, particularly when he helped revitalize the Florence program, making more courses available for a wider variety of majors.

Through Lefton’s international travels, which have cost nearly $200,000 to finance, he has traveled to at least 20 states and eight countries.  These visits are crucial for creating partnerships with other universities around the world — many of which lead to study abroad partnerships between participating universities.  

Lefton has also spent about $7,000 in states such as California and Florida, where he has held receptions for donors and “meet individually with potential givers.”  

It is obvious that Lefton’s rigorous schedule has both contributed to the university’s fundraising and international relations and also marred rapport with students at times.  

While his presence on campus has at times seemed nonexistent, the work Lefton does behind closed doors also often goes unnoticed. A lot of money is spent on his travel expenses, but it’s used to do good with the overall objective of maximizing Kent State’s potential through both fundraising and international recognition.

The above editorial is the consensus opinion of the Daily Kent Stater editorial board, whose names are listed above.