In Warren’s words: What the next president has said

Beverly Warren

Collaborating with other Ohio schools: I think the number one thing I want to make sure as I introduce myself to my colleagues across Ohio is that there is commitment to do this work together. Higher education for me should be a highly collaborative experience. If there are certain programs that are better done in mutual offering, let’s think about that. How do we have dual organizations and delegations? How might we have education become more affordable if we collaborate for students. Ohio has a number of outstanding institutions. How do we capitalize on that? I don’t think competing against one another for singular stunts is perhaps the right way to go. What can we do together? The other thing we must decide and determine is the KSU advantage. If you’re considering this discipline or this type of experience, Kent State  University is the place for you.  Defining distinctiveness and at the same time being able to open our arms and asking how can we do this and how can work together.

Regional campuses: It’s a question I’m wrestling with. I need to learn more about the Kent State University campus system. I know there have been some efforts to look at regional campuses. For me the key, I believe, is what I mentioned: what is the distinctiveness of each regional campus? They all have their personalities. They all have the roles they play. For me, I’m looking for what is the distinctiveness of regional campuses, how we lift that up and talk about one Kent State University, so if you are in Ashtibula, you are still part of the fabric of who we define ourselves to be. That will be the challenege for me, Thinking about that one Kent State. Not saying we’ll think alike and have the same vision. It’s mission, decentralized and mission refinement, that will be the key.

The search process: I met the members of the search committee.There was representatives from students and faculty and administrators on that committee. They were great representatives of you, by the way. Asking really probing questions. This is what I would say about the process: It was defined. It has occurred. I am hopeful from here forward we’re as open as we possibly can be. I’m looking forward now to being able to meet students. I do want to come back again because I know that that’s a disadvantage (no students on campus when she was announced).  I will be back and look forward to sessions with students. My hope is that we don’t linger on the process, what we linger on is what we can do together moving forward. I want to be collaborative, and I want to listen and learn.

On Lester Lefton: “We owe a deep gratitude to President Lester Lefton. I was drawn to this university by its tremendous trajectory as a major research university. What he has accomplished over eight years is really something that I think draws individuals to a university that is on the move.”

The presidential transition: I think it’s going to be this delicate balance on a number of levels. I envision over the next six months that I will have two jobs. Not being president at Kent State, but how do we work together, President Lefton and myself, to make sure this transition is the best it can be. I plan to take frequent visits back to campus. I hope that President Lefton and I can have the dialogue, and I can learn from his rich wealth of experience. There’s also so many people I have not met. I want to visit each of the regional campuses. I think, for me, it’s so important– how do you define Kent State University where there are so many diverse regional campuses?I do think that’s going to take frequent visits back to Kent and its regional campuses. If I disappear tomorrow and reappear July 1, that’s not the way to build momentum. I want to be a frequent flier the Kent region.