Top ten things you missed this summer

Christina Stavale

It was a busy summer at Kent State. A newly renovated football stadium, overcrowded residence halls and a fresh contract for faculty are just a few things that made this summer a little more interesting than most. Here’s what you missed while you were away:

1. Domestic partner benefits granted

Students need not worry about being without professors on the first day of class.

Over the summer, the faculty union and university negotiated a three-year contract. After being without a contract just a week before the unofficial deadline, faculty threatened a strike vote if they did not reach an agreement.

They were able to come to an agreement that also includes a 13.5 percent salary increase over the course of three years.

Kent State now joins eight other public universities in offering domestic partner benefits to its faculty.

2. Finalists for the vice president for finance and administration named, visit campus

A replacement is on the horizon for the man who controls the budget, housing and many other campus operations.

David Creamer, former senior vice president for administration, left Kent State at the end of May for a similar position at Miami University.

The search for his replacement is down to the final three candidates – Gregg Floyd, vice president for business affairs and finance at Indiana State University; Richard Metz, vice president for finance and administration at the City College of New York; and Richard Petrick, vice chancellor for finance at the Ohio Board of Regents.

The three candidates visited campus the week of Aug. 11, and the university has not yet made a decision.

3. Large freshman class creates residence hall overflow

Before heading to your residence hall lounge to study, stop -ÿthere may be students living there. With a freshman class threatening to break enrollment records and the demolition of Small Group dorms, there aren’t enough rooms for everyone, and some students are living in temporary accommodations.

Lounges in Eastway, Dunbar, Prentice, Verder, Lake, Olson, Wright and Koonce are being used to accommodate the overflow of residents.

4. University anticipates budget deficit

Rising food and gas prices, combined with a 2-year tuition freeze, are creating a budget crunch for the university.

Kent State anticipates a $4.7 million budget deficit for the 2008 fiscal year and a $3.2 million deficit for 2009.

Yank Heisler, interim senior vice president for administration, and President Lester Lefton have a few solutions in mind.

Heisler said he hopes the switch to the Responsibility Center Management budget model will help make up for the deficit. Lefton said he also hopes to see increases in retention and enrollment.

5. KSU says ‘hello’ and ‘goodbye’ to several administrators

Several university higher-ups may not be the same as students remember.

Shirley Barton, who served as executive dean for regional campuses for seven years, retired. Gregory Andrews assumed the position as interim dean.

Gayle Ormiston, former associate provost for faculty affairs, recently accepted a job as provost at Marshall University.

George Stevens, former dean of the College of Business Administration and Graduate School of Management, stepped down from his position after 13 years but will remain at Kent State to teach.

Tom Neumann was named interim vice president for university relations following the retirement of Kathy Stafford.

Daniel Mahony took over as dean of the College and Graduate School of Education, Health and Human Services.

Gov. Ted Strickland appointed Robinson Memorial CEO Stephen Colecchi to the university’s Board of Trustees. Colecchi is a graduate of the class of 1976.

6. Dix Stadium renovations complete, amid vandalism setback

A high-definition scoreboard is the highlight of Dix Stadium renovations that will welcome Kent State football fans this year. This summer, crews completed the second phase of renovations – but not without setbacks.

Vandals spray painted a sign on the back side of the student section bleachers with the words “A-K ROWDY!!” and “SUCKS” following a Kent State logo. The sign will be replaced by the time the team plays its first home game Sept. 13 against Delaware State, costing the university about $7,000.

7. School of Public Health plans continue to develop

Kent State continues on its way to implementing a School of Public Health. Lefton asked Provost Robert Frank to outline a proposal by April 2009.

The possibility of this school is in line with a growing job field in the public health field. The school would include programs in epidemiology, social and behavioral sciences, biostatistics, health administration and environmental health.

8. NEOUCOM President announces December resignation

Lois Margaret Nora, president and dean of the Northeastern Ohio Universities College of Medicine and Pharmacy, announced she would not renew her contract that expires Dec. 31, 2009.

More than 80 Kent State students are enrolled in NEOUCOM, and information about the search for her replacement will be announced Sept. 1.

9. Former President Cartwright fills interim president position at BG

Carol Cartwright retired as Kent State’s president in 2006 after a 15 years on the job, but she’s back in the presidential role once again at Bowling Green State University.

Cartwright took the role as interim president of Bowling Green July 21 after its former president Sidney Ribeau, accepted a position as president at Howard University.

10. Portage County celebrates 200th birthday

Over the summer, the Kent community celebrated Portage County’s 200th birthday. The county’s bicentennial celebration has been going on all year, but the biggest celebration happened over the summer, with a parade, fireworks and entertainment.


Kent State’s community is more than just the 23,000 students walking across campus every day. We were reminded of that when the university lost many members of its extended family over the last few months.

Clemon “Willie” Boston

Boston was the director of affirmative action who contributed to the Commission on Inclusion. He was 51 years old.

Art and Margaret Herrick

The Herricks donated more than $2.4 million to the university, and the couple died within days of one another.

Larry Hugenberg

Hugenberg, professor of communications studies, died during surgery and had a love for pop culture. He was 55 years old.

Olga Mural

Mural was known as one of the university’s most generous donors, who donated her house to create Founders Scholarships. She donated nearly $5 million to the university. She was 86 years old.

Olaf Prufer

Prufer, a professor of anthropology, was known as the premier authority in Ohio archaeology. He worked at Kent State for 41 years. He was 77 years old.

Robby Stamps

Stamps, who was shot in the lower back on May 4, 1970, was the second of the nine wounded students to die. He was 57 years old. Jim Russell, another victim and first to die, died unexpectedly of a heart attack last summer.

Robert Zuckerman

Zuckerman was an associate professor of education who made helping freshmen fit in a top priority. He was 60 years old.

Contact campus editor Christina Stavale at [email protected].