Lefton revisits university goals

Allison Smith

President Lefton gives State of the University address

WATCH President Lefton’s entire speech.

READ the State of the University address.

In response to the current economic times, President Lester Lefton said in yesterday’s State of the University address that he will not be proposing any new major goals for the university.

“As I see it, now is not the time to tackle major new initiatives,” Lefton said. “We will be challenged enough as we face realities related to significant cutbacks in state funding and an investment portfolio that was not immune to the ravages of the last year.”

Lefton encouraged faculty and staff to help students cut through the red tape they will encounter while at Kent State. He said he appreciates that faculty and staff already do their best to help students, but they can do more.

“We’ve got to streamline our processes so students can walk away satisfied instead of stressed,” Lefton said. “This is not an impossible dream. We have the depth of resources, especially intellectual resources, to cut through rules and regulations that just don’t make sense.”

Lefton ended the address with a call to action divided into three points. He told the audience to be proud of Kent State every day. He then asked the audience to take ownership and make others’ needs a priority.

Lefton said the last call to action is most important to him. He asked everyone to execute excellence, put excellence into action and release the grip on the past.

“That is the yes-filled future I see for Kent State-this year, and in the exciting century we are about to begin,” Lefton said.

The address was about 45 minutes long. The Kiva was three quarters full and majority in attendance were faculty, staff and vice presidents.

Reactions to President Lefton’s Speech:

&bull “I think it’s pretty incredible how much we were able to fundraise for the school, given the economic hardship. You know, we broke our current record by nine million dollars in one of the toughest economic years in the past 100 years. So, that’s pretty cool.”

– Ben Spott, senior biotechnology major, vice president of scholarship for the Inter-Fraternity Council.

&bull “If we have 38,000 students and 4,000 faculty and staff, there’s no one problem that’s always going to be the same. There will always be some nuances to it. So I think if we look at those three principles that he outlined, we can deliver wonderful service and have a great experience for everyone on campus every day.”

– Iris Harvey, vice president for University Relations

&bull “I’m interested in the interaction between the university and the town. About every six or seven years they have a “soul searching” where they say ‘What can we do to improve downtown relations. ‘ They don’t do a darn thing. At least he’s moving toward improving downtown and opening up the downtown for the student body, making it easy to get back and forth. “

-Merle Mollenkopf, Kent resident

Contact administration reporter Allison Smith at [email protected].