Kent State adds new trustee

Daniel Moore

Richard Marsh is the newest addition to the Kent State Board of Trustees.

Gov. John Kasich has appointed Marsh to the 11-member governing body, according to a Kent State press release, filling the vacancy of Andrew Banks, whose term ended in May.

“I believe the university is on a sound trajectory and we need to build on and expand on that success,” Marsh said in an email.

Marsh, a Kent State alumnus, is chair of the Summa Health System Board of Directors and the Distribution Committee of the Sisler McFawn Foundation, while also serving as a board member of the Kent State University Foundation. He also spent 30 years with FirstEnergy Corp.

His nine-year term began last month.

Marsh said he wasn’t planning to accept any more job offers before President Lester Lefton called to discuss the possibility of joining the board — his agenda was full.

“But this opportunity to serve my alma mater was just too exciting and energizing to pass up,” Marsh said. “I’ve experienced firsthand the power that higher education has to change lives, and I’m honored to serve KSU.”

The Board of Trustees is Kent State’s highest governing body. Its responsibilities include: selecting and appointing the president; setting the operating budget; approving personnel appointments; granting all degrees awarded by the university; establishing tuition and approving all rules; and regulations and curriculum changes within the university.

“Every large organization is accountable to many constituencies, and balancing these perspectives is crucial to success,” Marsh said. “As a new board member, I plan to listen to and learn from those constituencies.”

Marsh said he understands higher education is going through difficult financial times that will “not go away anytime soon,” but hopes his business experience will prove useful in addressing those issues.

While he was chief financial officer of FirstEnergy Corp., he said he oversaw all financial elements of the company while participating in two mergers, each of which doubled the size of the company.

“The experiences I gained with this publicly held Fortune 200 company gave me a background and perspective that I believe can be applied in many settings,” he said.

The next board of trustees meeting is Sept. 14. Marsh said he is “impressed” with the experience and qualifications of his fellow trustees and the Kent State administration.

“I am confident that we have a great team in place to govern the university,” he said.

Contact Daniel Moore at [email protected].