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Editorial Board

‘Culture of caring’ not seen in layoffs

On Monday President Carol Cartwright announced the layoffs of 35 employees and the elimination of 31 vacant positions to save the university $2.2 million.

The cuts are a reaction to Gov. Bob Taft’s tuition cap, which will leave the university with a $6.5 million deficit. The layoffs are an unfortunate cut that may be just the beginning for Kent State.

On Feb. 8, in the State of the State address, Gov. Taft recommended a 6 percent tuition cap of state universities. At that time, Cartwright said, “We’re on board.”

Being “on board” apparently means eliminating employees, and this is only the beginning as the Stater reported on Feb. 17. “The university won’t know what costs will be reduced until late May or early June,” said David Creamer, vice president for Administration. This means that more cuts could occur after students leave.

Even though Creamer also “doubts any academic programs would be eliminated,” a new administrative policy, adopted in February, changed how workshop credits would be charged.

On April 11, the university’s top officials met to discuss the deficit and began a plan to increase student enrollment and retention. The plan would confront the deficit through increased revenue generated by tuition costs. This program seemed hopeful, if not a little too optimistic, but at least would, ideally, avoid cuts like the ones announced Monday.

Given the university’s track record for saying one thing and doing another, let alone its shifty handling of the announcement of the eliminations, it is more than fair that this editorial board is hesitant in believing anything the university says.

University officials need to sit down and decide what is most important at Kent State. Number one should be education, in every academic discipline. After that, they need to practically instill the “culture of caring” that Pete Goldsmith, vice president of Enrollment Management and Student Affairs, recommended in the optimistic April meeting.

As of now, for 35 employees and countless students, Kent State is anything but a “culture of caring.”

The above editorial is the consensus opinion of the Daily Kent Stater editorial board, whose

members are listed to the left.