News Briefs

Return to Issue of April 7, 2008 

Kent State Names Interim Dean of College of Technology

Dr. Verna Fitzsimmons has been named interim dean of the College of Technology.

Dr. Verna Fitzsimmons has been named interim dean of the College of Technology.

Dr. Verna Fitzsimmons, associate professor and interim assistant dean for the College of Technology, will assume the role of interim dean for the College of Technology on July 1.

She will succeed Dean Raj Chowdhury, who has announced his plans to step down from his duties as dean of the college and return to a faculty position.

Fitzsimmons has served as interim assistant dean since August 2007 and as associate professor since August 2004. Her duties have included teaching undergraduate and graduate courses in applied science and technology programs, as well as developing graduate and upper-division undergraduate courses, including safety, economics, quality, management, facility design and manufacturing.

In addition to her more than 10 years of experience teaching at the postsecondary level, Fitzsimmons has a wealth of industry experience, including manufacturing, warehousing and health care. She currently serves as the chair of the 21st Century Philosophy Workgroup at Kent State.

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Time to Renew Your Faculty/Staff Parking Permit

Beginning April 7, parking permits for employees will be available for renewal online. All current permit holders with full- or part-time employment at Kent State will be eligible to renew their current permits online. Applications will not be mailed to employees.

New hires, temporary employees and employees with limited contracts are required to register and purchase a permit in person at the Parking Services office located in 123 Michael Schwartz Center. Employment documentation will be required prior to permit issuance. A permit application can be printed from the Parking Services Web site.

Please take note of the following dates:

  • April 7: Online renewal opens
  • May 2: Parking permit mail-out begins
  • May 16: Online registration closes for payroll deduction option
  • June 7: Current parking permits expire

May 16 is the last day that you can renew online and choose payroll deduction for the full amount of your permit fee. Beginning May 17, payment of one month ($11) and/or a partial month may be required before enrolling in payroll deduction. You must come to Parking Services to pay and sign the request for payroll deduction. You can renew online after May 16 if you intend to pay the balance of your permit fee by MasterCard, Visa, Discover or electronic check.

You will need to pick up your permit if renewed after June 6. To renew your 2008-09 parking permit online now, visit the Parking Services Web site. Don’t wait in line. Apply online!

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Ceremony to Honor New Partnership With Turkish University, April 8

Van Campen Hall will become the new home of the Center for Turkish Studies thanks to a partnership with BahCesehir University in Instanbul, Turkey.

Van Campen Hall will become the new home of the Center for Turkish Studies thanks to a partnership with BahÇesehir University in Istanbul, Turkey.
A ribbon-cutting ceremony honoring a new partnership with BahÇesehir University in Istanbul, Turkey, will take place on Tuesday, April 8, from 4 to 6 p.m. at Van Campen Hall. An older building on campus, Van Campen Hall has been saved from demolition by this new agreement, which builds on Kent State’s internationalization plan to increase the revenue-generating capacity of the university’s international affairs, as well as increase the number of international students and scholars on the Kent Campus.

“Under the new administration, Kent State is expanding its global family of institutions to provide rich international educational opportunities for all of our students and faculty,” says Vice Provost Dr. Steve O. Michael. “This entails creating our presence in other countries and serving as a host to our partnering institutions from overseas.” Both Kent State President Dr. Lester A. Lefton and Provost Dr. Robert G. Frank will attend the ceremony.

The same day, BahÇesehir University will open an office in Van Campen. They plan to move students into the facility by this summer or fall. “This type of institutional co-habitation and co-location is a new phenomenon in higher education,” says Michael. “It allows institutions to take partnership and collaboration to a new level, enabling institutions to become multinational, and providing an active pipeline for students and faculty exchange, as well as opportunities for joint-degree programming.”

First, the group will renovate the hall in collaboration with the Office of the University Architect. Funded by BahÇesehir University, the potential several-million-dollar renovation and lease of Van Campen Hall also will provide space to establish a Center for Turkish Studies. The center will offer students practical, experiential training in a program for English as a second language, in addition to conducting research and extending outreach services to companies interested in doing business in Turkey.

For the past six years, Kent State University and BahÇesehir University have had a memorandum of understanding, which includes sending faculty and students to Turkey and, in return, receiving their students and faculty at Kent State. Currently, 30 BahÇesehir University graduates are studying at Kent State for their master’s degree in areas such as education, technology and communication studies, in addition to taking ESL courses.

“BahÇesehir University’s presence brings international scholars and students to Kent State. The proposed Center for Turkish Studies will provide both learning and research opportunities. It is a win-win initiative for everyone involved,” says Michael.

The Office of International Affairs, which currently resides in Van Campen, will remain in the same location.

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Organizational Changes Within Offices of University Architect and Campus Environment and Operations

Thomas J. Euclide, executive director for facilities planning and operations, has announced an organizational change within Kent State’s Office of the University Architect and Campus Environment and Operations.

Under the new structure:

  • Michael E. Bruder has been promoted to director of design and construction for the Office of the University Architect. He will oversee all aspects of the design and construction for projects on and near the Kent Campus.
  • Vincent J. Putaturo has been promoted to associate director, campus planning and Regional Campuses, and is responsible for the design and construction for the Regional Campuses. He also will be responsible for the overall master planning for the university system and manage the university’s space inventory. Both Bruder and Putaturo will report directly to the executive director and will be considered the “university architects” for their respective areas.
  • Thomas Dunn has been promoted to director of operations for Campus Environment and Operations. He will be responsible for planning and directing all departmental activities associated with building maintenance, custodial services, grounds and parking maintenance.
  • Frank Renovich has been promoted to assistant director of energy, and will be responsible for campus energy production, procurement, distribution and conservation. Dunn and Renovich will report directly to the executive director.

In addition to these changes, Occupational Health and Safety will become part of Facilities Planning and Operation, in an effort to better administer services to all eight campuses of the Kent State University system.

“The changes are designed to provide a more efficient organizational structure that encourages a closer working relationship between the two operations,” Euclide says. The promotions and organizational changes became effective mid-February.

For more information about each area, visit the Web sites of the Office of the University Architect and Campus Environment and Operations.

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Geno Ford Named Men’s Basketball Head Coach

Geno Ford has been named head coach for men's basketball.

Geno Ford has been named head coach for men's basketball.

Kent State Athletic Director Laing Kennedy has announced the hiring of Geno Ford as men’s basketball head coach. Ford takes over as the 23rd head coach in the 92-year history of Kent State basketball after four previous years as an assistant coach for the Golden Flashes.

“This was an easy decision for us because we did not have to look very far,” said Kennedy. “Geno is an outstanding coach, and I am confident in his abilities to carry on the tradition of the program and the success of our student-athletes.”

Ford brings 10 years of coaching experience, including three as a head coach, to the helm of the Kent State program. As a head coach, he compiled a 51-32 record at Shawnee State University and Muskingum College.

“I am honored to have the opportunity to carry the Kent State tradition forward,” said Ford. “We will continue to emphasize the core values coach [Jim] Christian instilled in the staff and players.”

Ford helped lead the Kent State program to a 92-38 record during his two previous tenures on the coaching staff. Ford also led the Golden Flashes’ recruiting efforts of 2008 Mid-American Conference Player of the Year Al Fisher.

A Cambridge, Ohio, native, Ford started his career as a college head coach at Shawnee State University in 2001-02, earning American Mideast Conference Coach of the Year honors in his lone season. He began his coaching career at his alma mater, Ohio University, under current Western Carolina Head Coach Larry Hunter. Ford holds a bachelor’s degree in organizational communication and a master’s degree in athletic administration.

For more information, visit the Department of Intercollegiate Athletics Web site.

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Fire Causes Evacuation of Kent State Residence Hall

A fire on Tuesday, April 1, led to the evacuation of about 183 students from Kent State University’s Prentice Hall on the Kent Campus.

One student was transported to Robinson Memorial Hospital as a precaution, but was not believed to be injured beyond some smoke inhalation. No other injuries were reported.

The fire started in a second floor room of the residence hall and was reported at 10:22 p.m. The fire was accidental and believed to have been started by a lamp that was touching furniture in the room.

The evacuated students were relocated by university safety and residence hall staff to vacant rooms in the “small group” residence hall unit. The students were escorted back into their Prentice Hall rooms after the fire was contained to collect necessary belongings.

Most of the students returned to their rooms on Wednesday.

Fire damage was limited to the one room where the fire started. Smoke and some water damage affected nearby areas. University officials and contractors checked electrical panels, alarms and other equipment to ensure that the building was fully operational before students returned.

Area fire units responded in support of Kent City Fire Department and Kent State University Police.

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Urban Design Students Envision Ways to Reinvent Parma

One urban design student's Parma Dam project suggested a manmade lake and spinoff development.

One urban design student's Parma Dam project suggested a manmade lake and spinoff development.

A Kent State urban design studio class applied theoretical concepts and a healthy dose of imagination into a new vision for Parma, Ohio, an inner-ring suburb of 80,000 largely blue-collar residents.

The class, Parma 2.0: Re-thinking the Suburb, took a typical working-class American suburb that has been buffeted by economic and demographic changes and unleashed the graduate students’ visions for improvements based largely on finding new uses for existing infrastructures with a radical twist.

Patrick Hyland, an architect with Westlake Reed Leskosky in Cleveland, says he envisioned the studio as an opportunity for future urban design professionals to stretch their own imaginations in facing issues related to urban problems that bleed into a suburban environment.

One student project that dealt with a current issue head-on was “Foreclosure Urbanism.” The project hints at reclamation, reuse and reorganization of entire swathes of residential fabric impacted most heavily by foreclosures. At the time of the studio, public records showed 874 foreclosures citywide. The student’s work suggests reclaiming some spots for ideas ranging from urban gardens and tree farms to wi-fi houses and outdoor classrooms.

Other projects include “Parma Dam,” suggesting a manmade lake and spinoff development, and a “Linear University” to promote education uses along a set path within the city.

The projects were critiqued by a jury assembled by Hyland, which included faculty from Yale, the University of Virginia and Kent State’s architecture and urban design programs.

The student work was presented to Parma city leaders, who thought it appropriate to make the projects available for the entire community to consider. Currently, the projects are on display at Parmatown Mall in a reclaimed storefront in the JCPenney wing.

An e-mail account has been established for feedback and “voting” on the new visions for Parma. The account is

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Help Students Save Time, Get Ahead and Move Closer to Graduation

Summer session can be an integral component of a student's learning, discovery and engagement experience while at Kent State. It also can be a great time for students to catch up on credits or to focus on a difficult course.

If you advise a student that you know could benefit from taking an extra class or two, please remind them of the opportunities available within the summer session. Current students can find details about summer classes by logging in to FlashLine from and clicking on the Student Tools tab to access FlashFAST.

Registration for Intersession is open until May 19.

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Faculty and Staff Campaign Proves the Power of One

Faculty and Staff Campaign Proves the Power of One

As members of the university community, faculty and staff members are a cornerstone of the excellent educational opportunities that exist at Kent State University. One person — through one gift to Kent State — can make a difference. Excellence starts with you.

While you read this article:

  • A professor is delivering a lecture to a classroom full of eager young minds attending Kent State to gain valuable knowledge that will lead to future success;
  • Kent State is affecting the lives of more than 40,000 people across Northeast Ohio, who either attend classes at one of Kent State's campuses, or work for the university; and
  • A fellow colleague will respond to this article by making his or her gift to the Faculty and Staff Campaign. Annual support from members of the university community plays a pivotal role in determining the quality of education delivered to students.

The power of one

  • $25 gift: The cost of paper that a faculty member purchases to print handouts for one class.
  • $100 gift: The average cost that a student will pay for one textbook.
  • $250 gift: The registration cost for one conference that will enable a Kent State faculty member to learn new techniques to apply in the classroom.
  • $500 gift: One student book award that will alleviate only a small fraction of the rising costs of higher education facing students today.

Your gift provides immediate funding to the area of most importance to you.

You are invited to further your vision for Kent State by making a contribution today. Regardless of the amount, every gift has an impact on the university’s ability to enhance the quality and prestige associated with Kent State University.

You may give online, or visit the Web page for more ways to give.

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Town/Gown Franklin Hall Event Postponed

The Business After Hours event, planned for the opening of Franklin Hall and referenced in the March 24 issue of e-Inside, has been postponed. The event will no longer take place on April 24.

Currently, new dates in June are being investigated. More information will be communicated once a new date is chosen.

The grand opening and open house scheduled on April 18 as part of Kent State’s Centennial Celebration will continue as planned. Alumni and others throughout the Kent State community are invited to attend. The event is free, but a reservation is required by contacting Kent State’s Office of Donor Relations at 330-672-2899 or via e-mail at

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Human Resources Question of the Week: How can a new or current employee get access to Banner? 

Access to Self Service Banner depends on your position and requires no manual request for access. This is similar to the setup for Web for Faculty and Web for Students. Access is available by logging on to FlashLine at

Examples of automatic access include:

  • All employees have automatic access to information related to employment, such as pay stubs, tax forms, leave request, etc.;
  • Faculty members have access to information for their classes, such as rosters and grade books; and
  • Students can access information about their academic history, account balance, etc.

One access that is not automatically assigned is the advisor role. If an employee is a student advisor, he or she will need broader access in Self Service Banner to view student records. The employee should contact the Registrar’s Office to request the advisor role.

Access requests for Internet Native Banner are manual, and a request needs to be made by the user’s departmental security administrator. Access is based on the user’s business needs and would be just enough for the user to carry out his or her job responsibilities. The department security administrator and the data steward work together to determine what this access is for each user.

If an employee needs help identifying his or her department security administrator, a list is available online.

To view the HR Question of the Week archive, please visit the Human Resources Web site.

If you have a question you would like to submit to the HR Question of the Week, please e-mail it to

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Return to Issue of April 7, 2008 

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