Kent’s NorthCoast award misleading

Last Wednesday, Kent State University was honored with the NorthCoast 99 award, an award that states it is one of the top 99 places to work in Northeast Ohio.

This award is, by no means, a measure of an employee’s happiness at a particular company. This award is supposed to say that Kent State is one of the top establishments that offers benefits, programs, et cetera that would attract a top-performing employee.

“This is not a measurement of happiness of a place, it’s a measurement of effectiveness,” said Marty Mordarski of the Employers Resource Council, the company that gave out the award.

While Kent State may pat itself on the back for winning this award, it should be doing more to see whether it not it really is one of the top 99 places to work in Northeast Ohio.

Other research says that Kent State faculty think otherwise. The most recent cultural self-study conducted by the university back in 1999 said, basically, that employees at this university were not very happy with their jobs.

“Faculty, staff and administrators do not feel valued or respected by others in the university community for doing their daily activities, which they believe support the university’s mission,” the study reported, which can be accessed at

Other findings included a statistic that said 78 percent of total faculty and 100 percent of black faculty and staff believed that the university should improve its diversity. This is a problem that should have been addressed by now, six years later.

But until another survey is conducted, we will never know. Things keep getting better at this university, but have the overall sentiments of the staff changed?

If our university is a great place to work and the faculty and staff are happy, then it should put its money where its mouth is and do another survey to see if Kent State faculty are really satisfied with all aspects of their job.

Clearly, there is some sort of break in communication between the administration and the faculty and staff when contract negotiations take over a year. Not to say that contract negotiations aren’t commonplace with any establishment, but a place of work that is really tuned-in to the needs of its staff wouldn’t have taken so long to reach an agreement.

So put away the confetti and balloons — this is no time to party … yet. As soon as we have statistical data from the faculty and staff members themselves, we can truly know that Kent State is one of the best places to work in Northeast Ohio. Until then, we can’t take someone else’s word for it.

The above editorial is the consensus opinion of the Daily Kent Stater editorial board, whose members are listed to the left.