Strickland appoints new trustee

Kiera Manion-Fischer

The Kent State Board of Trustees will welcome a new member at its next meeting.

Dennis E. Eckart was appointed trustee May 31 and will attend his first meeting at the end of the month. Gov. Ted Strickland chose him to fill a vacant position on the board. According to Ohio law, trustees of all public universities are appointed by the governor.

Eckart has held public office in the U.S. House of Representatives and the Ohio General Assembly, and Kent State is located in what was Eckart’s congressional district.

Charlene Reed, secretary to the Board of Trustees, said Eckart has a “long standing relationship to Kent State University that dates back to when he was in Congress.”

When Eckart left public office, Reed said he donated the remainder of his campaign funds to Kent State to create the Dennis E. Eckart Scholarship Fund. The fund was created for undergraduate students who wish to attend leadership conferences.

Reed said Eckart will make a positive addition to the board.

“He’s a person of great integrity and vision,” she said.

Eckart also served on the education committee, among others, during his time in the House.

Strickland spokesman Keith Dailey said, “The governor believes Mr. Eckart brings a depth of knowledge and experience to this role.”

As a member of the Board of Trustees, Eckart will help approve university policy, such as the budget. The university president also reports to the board.

Members of the board serve nine year terms. Each year, a member’s term expires.

In its meeting May 30, the Board of Trustees approved:

• The Undergraduate Student Senate charter referendum, which takes effect in the 2008-2009 academic year.

• Changes in theÿstudent employment pay planÿin accordance withÿnew state minimum wage requirements.

• The establishment of a Center for Public Health Preparedness at Kent State University to focus on bioterrorism and risk management.

• Establishing the Teaching English as a Second Language major.

• The inactivation of the Ethnic Heritage major.

• A joint-use agreement between the university and Hillel at Kent State to support improvement plans.

The Board’s next meeting will be at the end of the month to approve the 2007-2008 university budget.

Contact principal reporter Kiera Manion-Fischer at [email protected]. Principal reporter Christina Stavale contributed to this story.