Podiatric college partnership taking longer than expected

Carrie Blazina

Kent State’s acquisition of the Ohio College of Podiatric Medicine is taking longer than expected.

“It turns out to be a very complicated process,” Provost Robert Frank said Thursday. “There are a lot of little details. But overall the process is going quite well even though it’s complicated.”

According to its website, the college in Independence, Ohio, is one of eight schools in the country that teaches podiatry. A podiatrist is “a health professional who is involved with examination, prevention, diagnosis and treatment of foot disorders,” the website says.

Frank said the acquisition process involves many different departments at Kent State, including human resources, payroll, finance, the registrar and student affairs, which is part of why the process is taking so long.

“[It’s] much more complicated than [it] would seem to be on the surface,” Frank said. “It’s a big undertaking and it’s taking an enormous amount of time.”

Frank said the relationship between the two schools is a combination of a partnership and Kent State acquiring the OCPM.

“They are going to become part of Kent State, so technically it’s an acquisition because they are becoming part of us,” Frank said. “But at the same time they’re becoming part of us as you might conceive in a partnership.”

Frank said the college would keep its own facilities in Independence and students from Kent State could apply for graduate study there. The OCPM would become the Kent State College of Podiatric Medicine and it would be on the level of one of Kent State’s own colleges like Arts and Sciences.

Frank said the target date to complete the acquisition is July 1. The original goal was to have the process completed by the March board of trustees meeting, he said, but its complex nature means it will probably be presented at the June 6 meeting instead.

“We’re still very optimistic that it’ll move forward to completion but probably all the details won’t be addressed for several more months yet,” Frank said.

Contact Carrie Blazina at [email protected].