Reallocations key to research funding

Kiera Manion-Fischer

The Ohio Board of Regents will give Kent State $237,584 this year, and similar funds every year for the next 10 years, to boost funding for doctoral programs focusing on science and technology.

The money comes from the Innovation Incentive Program, which requires universities to reallocate state doctoral funds to programs that could stimulate economic growth.

This year, it allocated money from the university budget, not from individual programs, said John West, vice president for research and dean of graduate studies. The two areas receiving funds are liquid crystal science and bioscience and biotechnology.

The university had to reallocate $591,972 this year to get the $237,584. Kent State is required to reallocate an increasing amount of funds every year, said David Creamer, senior vice president for administration.

West said so far, the university hasn’t had to take funding from other programs, but by March must decide which programs will have their funds partially reallocated, and report it to the state.

“There is still the need to reallocate dollars away from certain academic programs,” Creamer said.

West said Eric Fingerhut, chancellor of the Ohio Board of Regents, still wants to maintain focus on the humanities. Fingerhut said businesses need creative minds when he visited Kent State on Tuesday.

“(Fingerhut) commented we need to maintain a balance of humanities, arts, science and technology,” he said. “It wasn’t that the arts weren’t important. We need to be invested more in science and technology.”

On the other hand, Creamer said the state’s priorities are on investments that have an immediate economic impact, such as whether university research will lead to new products or patents.

“Suddenly because we need more scientists we’re not going to produce more nurses, dancers, English teachers, writers,” he said.

Contact academics reporter Kiera Manion-Fischer at [email protected].