New policies and programming discussed at budget meetings

Liz Buckley

Panel’s programs neglect regional transfer students

The role of regional campuses became part of a heated discussion yesterday at the regional campuses’ priorities presentation panel.

David Mohan, dean of the Geauga campus, said that offering programs targeted to students at specific regional campuses would help with declining enrollment.

“This is a critical point in what is a very dynamic and robust part of the university,” Mohan said. “The reality is that each regional campus is unique. It serves a unique community, a unique mission, and this is not a one-size-fits-all operation.”

Mohan said the most important thing to remember was the huge number of place-bound and time-bound students served by the regional campuses.

Kathy Stafford, vice president of University Relations and Development, said she was distressed by the panel’s focus on serving place-bound students. The panel neglected young people who might transfer from regional campuses to the Kent campus to earn a degree, she said.

David Baker, interim dean of the Stark campus, said the presentation focused on students who wanted to earn a degree at a regional campus without ever attending the Kent campus, though the panel overdid the focus on need-specific aspects.

For example, students starting classes at a regional campus and transferring to the main campus warrant just as much attention as students seeking an associate degree at a regional campus.

Provost Paul Gaston said there was a time when it was appropriate to look at the specificity of regional campuses as a strength. The panel’s presentation made it clear that Kent State can no longer afford that type of oscillation because of decreasing enrollment at the university, he said.

“We’ve got to have a shared vision that respects both the specificity and the needs of partnership,” he said.

The panel members, which included Mohan and other regional campus deans, concluded their presentation by answering questions and listening to comments from the audience.

The seven regional campuses are Ashtabula, East Liverpool, Geauga, Salem, Stark, Trumbull and Tuscarawas.

Contact enterprise reporter Liz Buckley at [email protected].