Lefton sees raise donation as philanthropy

Allison Smith

Likely 3 percent raise to benefit scholarships

President Lester Lefton announced at the Board of Trustees meeting on June 4 that he will be donating his next pay raise to help create a scholarship. Lefton said he brought the idea forward to his cabinet members who agreed they would donate their pay raises as well.

“We did it as a group, recognizing that as a group, we have a bigger impact,” Lefton said.

Lefton doesn’t know how much his next raise will be, but he estimated that it will probably be a 3 percent increase. He said that has been the traditional allocation.

“It’s likely to be, after all of the cabinet officers contribute, on the assumption we actually get raises, about $75,000 in an endowed scholarship,” Lefton said.

He said it hasn’t been worked out who the scholarship will go to, but it will probably be to a student or students in need. Lefton has left it up to Gene Finn, vice president for institutional advancement, to come up with an instrument to establish the scholarship. Finn will decide whether the scholarship will be given in full or split up between students.

“I will get to look at the instrument and say ‘Gee, this makes sense, or this doesn’t make sense,'” Lefton said, “but I’d rather put it out in multiple scholarships.”

Lefton said he sees this as an act of philanthropy. He said his cabinet members are some of the best administrators working in Ohio and that they deserve to be compensated for doing a first-rate job. He also has a very philanthropic group of executive officers and cabinet members.

“I think it’s a wonderful opportunity to express their solidarity and commitment to Kent State University students by making a financial commitment that is substantial,” Lefton said.

“These are difficult times all across America and there are dozens of families and individuals in every community that are really hurting,” Lefton said. “While we don’t expect that this is going to fix everything for everybody, if we can make a small dent in a few peoples’ lives we think it’s worthwhile doing.”

Contact principal reporter Allison Smith at [email protected].