What’s a president’s ambassador, and why do we need one?

DKS Editors

Kent State has hired an ambassador for President Lester Lefton, and we’re a little unclear what he’ll actually be doing.

The PR piece on the university’s website says André Thornton will earn his $10,000 compensation by “speaking at seminars and special events, engaging students, working on advisory committees, addressing diversity challenges and implementing diversity initiatives.”

PR words that mean nothing.

Clearly, Thornton’s background is interesting and inspiring.

In 14 seasons — 10 with the Cleveland Indians — he batted .254 as a first baseman and designated hitter, despite personal tragedy in the death of his wife and son. It made him question everything, as one can imagine.

He still finished among the best American League players that season in both home runs and RBIs.

After baseball, he went on to become a successful restaurateur before becoming CEO of an Akron-based corporation. This is an individual we’re happy to have on campus.

But when will he be on campus? He’s an ambassador, but to what?

It’s unclear what “engaging students” means. His biography is engaging, no doubt, but what would it take to sit in on one of these seminars and special events? On what advisory committees will his talents be utilized?

The main idea for bringing Thornton to Kent State is his utility in the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion division.

He’ll be a good role model for students if he’s here very often and having candid discussions with students.

Kent State will have wasted $10,000 if he’s nothing more than a figurehead.

The above editorial is the consensus opinion of the Daily Kent Stater editorial board.