Board of Trustees votes to raise staff salaries by 1.5 percent

Rex Santus

The Kent State Board of Trustees voted today at its regular business meeting to increase staff salaries by 1.5 percent for all eligible staff members not represented by a union.

“Effective immediately, this would, I believe…be able to be paid to the December 23 paycheck, which would give people a little bump in these hard times, especially during the holidays,” President Lefton said.

All staff members with a current satisfactory signed performance evaluation who were hired on or before September 1, 2011, are eligible for the pay increase, Lefton said.

“Despite the difficult economic times, despite the fact of budget cuts that have come to the university and despite the modest increase in tuition our students have had to bear, we really do feel it is important to reward our terrific staff members with a small — but nevertheless significant — increase in salaries,” Lefton said.

The board approved numerous other agenda items during the meeting:

• The naming of Cope Court in the MAC Center after alumnus Jason Cope and his wife, Stacie. The Copes donated a $1,000,000 gift to the Department of Intercollegiate Athletics.

• The appointment Michael Solomon, Kent State alumnus, as national trustee.

• The university entering into negotiations to merge with the Ohio College of Podiatric Medicine.

• The establishment of the engineering technology major as a Bachelor of Science degree.

• The establishment of the fashion design major as a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree.

• The renaming of the news major to journalism.

• Renovations at Tri-Towers, the School of Library and Information Science and Allyn Hall and the improvement and expansion of the Schwebel Garden Room.

At the meeting, Lefton said the university’s most important goal should be to increase student retention rates.

“We need to find a way to make this degree, this experience so powerful, so magnetic that students say, ‘I’ll do whatever I have to do (to stay at Kent State),’” Lefton said.

Contact Rex Santus at [email protected].