Education leader to visit Kent State, talk about new plan

Jackie Valley

Chancellor Eric Fingerhut, who is leading the initiative to form the new university system of Ohio, will speak at Kent State today at 4 p.m. in Room 306 of the Student Center.

Dean Mark Weber of Library and Media Services, which is sponsoring the event, said Fingerhut will discuss the following topics, in addition to other higher education issues:

• the financial challenges facing higher education in Ohio,

• the concept of the university system of Ohio

• and the process that is underway for completing the draft of Ohio’s 10-year strategic plan for higher education.

“The purpose is to provide the Kent State community with a chance to hear Chancellor Fingerhut speak about the issues facing higher education in Ohio,” he said.

Gov. Strickland appointed Fingerhut as Chancellor of the Ohio Board of Regents and as a member of his cabinet in March.

Since his appointment, Fingerhut has been traveling to public colleges and universities in Ohio and meeting with their presidents while continuing to create the 10-year plan for the university system. The university system of Ohio aims to unite the state’s public colleges and universities by building on the strengths of each institution and providing better access to higher education for all types of students.

Weber said he encourages everyone – especially students – to attend the free speech.

“The changes that are made to higher education in Ohio will have an impact on faculty, students and staff,” he said. “If students are to be effective participants on their university campuses, they need to listen to the man who will draft a strategic plan that may make some fundamental changes in higher education in Ohio.”

In addition, President Lester Lefton said Fingerhut’s visit to Kent State will provide an opportunity for the exchange of ideas among faculty members and the chancellor.

“I think he needs to hear from our faculty,” he said. “And, I think it’s important for our faculty to hear from him.”

So far, Lefton said he thinks Fingerhut supports Kent State’s mission of being a “magnet for high-achieving students” from Northeast Ohio and beyond.

Weber said audience members will be given notecards to write questions for the chancellor, so Fingerhut can “hit as many different topics as possible” following his speech.

TeleProductions will Webcast the speech live via the university’s homepage: The recording will also be available online following the speech, or DVD copies can be requested at Library and Media Services.

Contact administration reporter Jackie Valley at [email protected].