Faculty Senate approves center for academic growth in the College of Arts & Sciences

Provost’s Fellow Dr. Melody Tankersley (left) discusses topics with members of the Faculty Senate during the monthly meeting, March 10, 2014, in the governance chambers.

Nicholas Sewell

The Faculty Senate approved a proposal to establish a center for programs in the College of Arts and Sciences that do not belong to a specific academic department in the college during its monthly meeting Monday.

The Center for Comparative and Integrative programs will serve multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary programs—like international relations, environmental sciences and gender studies— that exist outside the traditional academic structure of the college.

This center will start in fall 2014 to grow existing programs and develop new degree programs. These programs include religion, paralegal and women’s studies courses.     

“Our college has a large number of programs that have been housed in departments that they no longer fit as easily into as they once did when they were formed, especially those in the college that don’t have necessarily some component that is dedicated to them,” said James Blank, the interim dean of the College of Arts and Sciences.

Blank said another reason the college decided to create this proposal is because they see an opportunity for enrollment growth.

“In combining these programs into a center, I think we can serve students better and also seek to grow these programs as enrollment increases,” Blank said.

Fred Smith, a faculty senate member and an art professor in the School of Art at Kent State voiced his support for this new center.

“I think this gives the programs some kind of structure to recognize their importance and give them some additional support in terms of defending themselves in order to get resources,” Smith said.

The senate discussed another proposal that would revise the admission requirements for both new freshmen to Kent State’s main campus and students deferred from one of Kent’s regional campuses wishing to enroll at the university’s campus.

According to the Kent State’s Educational Policies Council, the university currently accepts students with a high-school grade point average as low as 2.2, which limits Kent State’s ability to attract top academic students to the university

Linda Williams, faculty senate member and an associate professor in the philosophy department at Kent State, was not satisfied with the proposal.

“I think what they are thinking is that they stuck a number there and that would potentially scare some top students,” Williams said.

Senate delayed a vote on the proposed change of admission requirements until its next meeting on April 14 at 3:20 p.m. in the Governance Chambers of the Student Center.

Contact Nicholas Sewell at [email protected].