Kent State trustee dies

Rachel Abbey

Schubert cared about students, being involved

Kent State Trustee James Schubert passed away yesterday morning. He leaves behind his wife, Pat; three children, Peter, Julie and Melissa; and nine grandchildren. He was 73 years old and had been married 48 years.

“He was a warm, compassionate person,” long-time friend Jim Myers said. “He’d be involved in anything he believed in. He didn’t just attend. He was really involved in anything he said yes to.”

And he said yes to a lot. Schubert was a member of Kent State’s Board of Trustees and this year’s chairman of Northeastern Ohio Universities College of Medicine Board of Trustees. Friends said he also was involved with other committees, including his church and Kent’s Rotary Club.

“After he retired, he wanted to keep busy,” Pat Schubert said. “His volunteer work, his board work was very important to him. He felt you had to give back.”

He had been battling cancer. He continued to remain involved with the university and the community, said Charlene Reed, secretary to the Board of Trustees.

“He was just at the board meeting on (Nov.) 16. He kept active until the very end,” she said. “We will miss him, that’s for sure.”

Board Chairman R. Douglas Cowan added, “He was just a very upbeat, positive person who always gave of himself.”

That’s how Schubert was in his personal life as well, friend Glenn Saltzman said. When Schubert got sick, “I would call him up on the phone, he would say ‘How are you doing Glenn?’ and I would say, ‘Wait, I’m calling to check up on you!'”

Schubert had been a trustee since 1998. He was always very involved, attending on-campus events and out-of-town meetings, Reed said.

Schubert was a business man by nature, said Sandra Harbrecht, vice chair of the board, but put students first. He always wanted to know how proposals would affect them.

He even gave money to the university to fund student scholarships, Reed said.

“Jim Schubert was a valued colleague and a close friend,” President Carol Cartwright said in a Flashline message. Cartwright and Schubert have been neighbors since she moved to Kent.

“In his role as a Kent State University trustee, he was a tireless advocate for our students, our institution and all of higher education. He and his wife, Pat, have been familiar faces on the university’s campuses, giving generously of their time and resources to support student scholarships, music and other programs.”

He also was a leader in Kent city, Reed said, creating a bridge between the community and the university.

“If you grew up here in Kent, you knew who Jim Schubert was,” said Tom Hall, secretary of the Rotary Club of Kent.

Schubert joined Kent’s Rotary in 1970 and had been a member ever since, Hall said.

“Mr. Schubert was a hands-on board member,” said Lois Margaret Nora, NEOUCOM president and dean, in a statement. “His analytical skills, his ability to build consensus and his impeccable personal character were instrumental in moving the college through tough economic times and in laying a foundation for future growth. It was through his personal leadership that in December 2003 the NEOUCOM Board of Trustees Diversity Scholarship Initiative was established.

“In addition to his interest in enhancing private support for the college, his work and insight were invaluable in helping us establish the doctor of pharmacy program at NEOUCOM,” Nora said. “This was Mr. Schubert’s second term as chairperson of our board, and I am delighted that the pharmacy program was approved during his tenure.”

The governor’s office has been notified of Schubert’s death and will appoint someone to finish his term through 2007, Reed said.

“Jim’s death is a tremendous loss for the university community and for his friends and associates throughout the region,” Cartwright said in her statement. “Our thoughts are with the Schubert family at this difficult time.”

Contact administration reporter Rachel Abbey at [email protected].