Departments prepare for uncertain budgets in the future

Timeka Rashid, the newly appointed associate dean of Student Affairs, looks over papers on Tuesday. Photo by Thomas Song.

Christine Morgan

The department of Enrollment Management and Student Affairs is one of many departments at Kent State preparing for the state budget’s uncertain future.

“Right now, we don’t know where we stand with the budget,” said Greg Jarvie, vice president of Enrollment Management and Student Affairs.

Jarvie responded to the questionable status of the state budget by instituting some organizational changes throughout the department. Jarvie said it would be economically beneficial to cancel the national search for a new associate vice president and dean of students.

“We know that there will be some significant budget cuts throughout the state that will ripple through higher education,” Jarvie said. “We know more than likely, more cuts will be coming.”

Ohio faces an estimated $8 billion in state budget cuts.

Jarvie said he spoke with Lefton about how to adjust to the uncertain status of the state budget.

“We discussed what I thought was in our best interest at the time not to fill the position, which was the associate vice president and dean of students,” Jarvie said. “Though we eliminated the position, we did not eliminate the tasks of those positions. What we will do with that position is give that money back as part of the cuts for the budget.”

Jarvie filed the tasks of the associate vice president out to members of the faculty and appointed Sheryl Smith as dean of students and student ombuds. He said he chose Smith because of her dedication and long-term service.

“I’ve worked with Sheryl now for many years, in the capacity of the ombuds and when she was the director of the Center for Student Involvement,” Jarvie said. “I had all the confidence in the world that she would be able to do the work.”

Timeka Rashid, assistant dean of students and director of CSI, will absorb some of the tasks of the associate vice president position. Jarvie said he appointed her because of her previous work with students.

“One of the tasks that have gone to her is the town-gown,” Jarvie said. “So when we talk about the relationships that continue off campus as well as on, it made sense that Tamika picked that up.”

Rashid has been at the Kent State campus for six months now. Rashid said she is excited about her new position. Her responsibilities include overseeing and leading the department and working directly with the university and city relations.

Rashid said her department is providing fun, innovative programs that keep students involved and engaged, despite the uncertainty of the state budget.

“We are working, as many universities and colleges are, to continue to deliver the same quality programs in terms of operating leaner,” Rashid said. “We are forecasting, making precautions, comparing and benchmarking. We are trying to be as realistic as possible.”

Contact Christine Morgan at [email protected].