News Briefs


Return to Issue of June 9, 2008 

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Board Establishes Nation’s First Dual Master’s Degree Program in Language Translation

At its May 28 meeting, the Kent State University Board of Trustees established a dual-degree program that combines master’s-level study in language translation and business administration, effective fall 2009. The program is the first of its kind at a public or private university in the United States. Students who complete the new program will earn a Master of Arts degree in translation through the department of Modern and Classical Language Studies (under the leadership of the university’s Institute for Applied Linguistics) and a Master of Business Administration.

The program was established to give Kent State students a unique, competitive edge in today’s global economy and to help provide Ohio with business professionals who can work effectively across countries and cultures. The new program builds on Kent State’s internationally recognized leadership in language-translation education, which includes the nation’s only comprehensive sequence of bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degree programs in translation and translation studies. The dual-degree program was approved by the appropriate faculty councils, the university’s Educational Policies Council and the Faculty Senate, and by the president and the senior vice president for academic affairs and provost.

The Board also approved an operating budget totaling $470.2 million ($470,264,007) for Kent State’s eight-campus system for fiscal year 2008-09 (July 1, 2008–June 30, 2009). Among the priorities identified in the new budget are support for university scholarship programs and other investments in student recruitment; new faculty positions and other academic program investments; utility costs; new marketing initiatives; federal and state relations; health care costs; and development staff and support. These priorities will be supported with a one-time, $13 million allocation of accumulated investment returns from previous years.

The budget reflects an increase in state appropriations of more than 9 percent, based on estimates provided by the Ohio Board of Regents, and the second year of a state-mandated freeze on undergraduate tuition. It is based on the expectation that enrollment on the Kent Campus will increase by about 400 students compared to the previous academic year, and that enrollment will increase on each of the university’s seven Regional Campuses. In addition, a salary-increase pool of about 3 percent is budgeted.

The Board also made changes in special course and other student fees; approved the one-year modification and extension of the collective bargaining agreement between Kent State and the full-time, non-tenure track faculty unit of the American Association of University Professors; and re-elected Dr. Lester A. Lefton to a third term as Kent State University president.

For a complete summary of the meeting’s actions, visit the Kent State Web site.

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Kent State College of Nursing Ranked Third in the United States for Enrollment

Kent State's College of Nursing has been ranked as the third-largest nursing school in the United States in terms of enrollment.

Kent State's College of Nursing has been ranked as the third-largest nursing school in the United States in terms of enrollment.

Modern Healthcare magazine has ranked Kent State’s College of Nursing as the third-largest nursing school in the United States in terms of enrollment.

The ranking was based on the 2005-06 school year enrollment as provided by the National League of Nursing, Annual Survey of Schools of Nursing 2007. That year, Kent State had 2,690 students enrolled in bachelor's and associate degree programs in nursing, according to the ranking.

“We clearly are a very large, comprehensive and excellent College of Nursing, attracting many students, all of whom are highly regarded and who find jobs readily in Northeast Ohio and beyond,” says Dr. Laura Dzurec, dean of the College of Nursing.

Dzurec says the college’s strategy to attract students, in addition to its reputation for excellence, consists of programming that meets the needs of a wide range of individuals including a RN/B.S.N./M.S.N. program, which serves registered nurses whose preparation does not include a baccalaureate degree.

The college offers an accelerated, second-degree baccalaureate nursing program for individuals who want to change careers. Additionally, the college boasts several agency-based advanced practice master’s degree programs.

For more information about the College of Nursing, visit its Web site.

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Second Reminder — Deadline to Enter Calendar Events Is June 9

If you would like to have your department’s events included in the university’s printed promotional calendar for 2008-09, be sure to enter them in the e-calendar by June 9. Posting your events to the e-calendar is very important. The events appearing in the printed calendar, as well as Kent State Magazine and marketing communications throughout the year, are generated from information posted to Kent State's e-calendar.

Visit the UCM Web site for instructions and the link to enter events.

If this will be your first time posting event information via the Web, contact Lin Danes, manager, electronic communication and Web content services, at ldanes@kent.edu or 330-672-8532. She will establish an e-calendar user account for you and provide training about posting information to the e-calendar.

Those individuals with an existing user account will need to log in at the Web site. If you've forgotten your password, please e-mail ldanes@kent.edu or Ramona Stamm at rstamm@kent.edu for that information.

Although space limitations do not allow all items from all units to be listed in the printed calendar, every effort will be made to include major events open to the university community.

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Kent State Cartoonist Honored Among Top Collegiate Journalists by UWIRE

Daily Kent Stater editorial cartoonist Christopher Sharron recently was honored as one of the UWIRE 100.

Daily Kent Stater editorial cartoonist Christopher Sharron recently was honored as one of the UWIRE 100.

Kent State junior Christopher Sharron, an editorial cartoonist with the Daily Kent Stater and a Stow native, was honored as one of the UWIRE 100, selected from more than 500 nominations submitted by students and educators at 132 schools. UWIRE is a membership organization for college student media, and the awards honor the nation’s top 100 collegiate journalists.

The announcement of the UWIRE 100 is the culmination of a three-month national search. The selected students excelled in a particular journalism medium, have a proven commitment to the journalism field and have the potential to revolutionize their industry. The UWIRE 100 students hail from 66 different schools, ranging from small liberal arts colleges to large state universities.

“This is journalism at its most pure,” said Ben French, vice president and general manager of UWIRE. “These are 100 best student journalists in the country — hard workers, big thinkers and gifted storytellers — nominated by their peers and advisers for their potential to shape the media industry in the years ahead.”

UWIRE is operated by CBS College Sports Network, a CBS Company. UWIRE features the first online career networking community dedicated exclusively to college journalists and aspiring media professionals. The site enables young media talent to interact, share user-generated content and deliver their work to a national audience through UWIRE’s Syndication Service, which distributes more than 2,500 news articles each week to a variety of national content partners, including CBS News, The New York Times, Billboard and U.S. News & World Report.

A full list of the UWIRE 100 is available on the UWIRE Web site.

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Participants Needed for Kent State, Summa Health System Prehypertension Study

Participants are needed for a Kent State University/Summa Health System study on the effects of mindfulness-based stress reduction and progressive muscle relaxation on people with prehypertension. The Stress Management in Lifestyle Enhancement (SMiLE) study is an eight-week program that examines whether or not adding stress management to a healthy lifestyle will help lower blood pressure.

Five groups have completed the SMiLE program. The next group will begin in July, and participants for this new round are being sought. The study is halfway completed, so new participants are always accepted.

Individuals may be eligible for this study if they are between the ages of 30 and 60, their blood pressure is in the range of 120 to 139 Systolic/80 to 89 Diastolic, they are not taking medicine to treat high blood pressure and they are willing to commit to either the mindfulness-based stress reduction treatment or the progressive muscle relaxation-based stress reduction treatment.

“Each year, more and more Americans are diagnosed with high blood pressure,” says Dr. Joel Hughes, assistant professor of psychology and Summa study investigator. “The goal of the SMiLE study is to identify treatment options during the prehypertensive stage that also will lead to a healthier community and, hopefully, a reversal of the growing number of people with heart disease.”

As part of the mindfulness-based treatment, study participants will use meditation and thinking strategies to help reduce stress. Participants using progressive muscle relaxation will apply alternating tensing and relaxing of muscles to produce a calm feeling and stress reduction. All participants will have their blood pressure regularly monitored throughout the study.

For those interested in participating in the SMiLE study or for additional information, call 330-375-6272 or visit www.smilestudy.org.

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Stark Campus Graduates Pledge to Consider Socially Responsible Jobs

Stark Campus graduating senior Brandi Adamski signs the Graduation Pledge Alliance.

Stark Campus graduating senior Brandi Adamski signs the Graduation Pledge Alliance.

Prospective employers will see green when looking at the 2008 graduating class of Kent State University Stark Campus. The soon-to-be alumni aren’t aspiring to secure just any job; many are electing to pursue employment in companies that promote social justice, environmental health and economic growth.

Nearly 200 graduates participated in the Stark Campus Commencement exercises on Friday, May 9. A dedicated environmentalist for much of her life, Stark Campus Dean Betsy V. Boze challenged the grads to go the extra mile in their job searches. She asked them to join the Graduation Pledge Alliance and continue demonstrating the campus’ values of “respect for and protection of green space and our region’s ecological environment” throughout their careers and lives.

Each Kent State Stark graduate who committed to the Graduation Pledge Alliance signed a card stating, “I pledge to explore and take into account the social and environmental consequences of any job I consider and will try to improve these aspects of any organizations for which I work.” During the commencement exercises, those graduates wore a green cord with their regalia. This was the pilot year for the project. “We will refine it next year, with more student participation, incorporating it into the first-year experience and the campus’ Student Leadership Academy,” says Boze.

Graduating with the highest honor of summa cum laude, Brandi Adamski applauded the pledge initiative. “I think it’s great,” she says. “As a community, Canton is behind the times when it comes to thinking green. Kent State Stark is in a unique position to help this effort.” While pursuing her major in conservation studies, she was instrumental in starting the campus recycling program. After working extensively with campus administrators, the project became a reality and has had a positive effect on the campus community.

Graduates are encouraged to determine for themselves what they consider to be socially and environmentally responsible. Since the program’s inception at Humboldt State University in 1987, support of the pledge has grown dramatically. In 2007, more than 70 colleges reported students volunteering for the Graduation Pledge Alliance. Over the years, more than 125,000 students from 10 countries on four continents have taken the pledge. More information about the Graduation Pledge Alliance can be found online.

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Campus Clean Up Initiative Continues To August

Campus Environment and Operations is working in coordination with the Office of the Provost to initiate a campuswide clean up of academic buildings in order to dispose of old and obsolete furniture. Each building has been placed on a weekly schedule, with each building curator helping to coordinate the efforts.

If the furniture has useful value to another department on campus, these items will be posted on the surplus Web site. More information about surplus options is available online. If you have questions about whether a piece of furniture has useful life, contact Jeff Brewster, receiving and distribution supervisor, at 330-672-8704 or via e-mail at jbrewste@kent.edu.

A list of building curators also is available online.

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Morrow Named Central Region Coach Of The Year

Kent State's Mike Morrow, coach of the women's golf team, was named SkyCaddie Central Region Coach of the Year.

Kent State's Mike Morrow, coach of the women's golf team, was named SkyCaddie Central Region Coach of the Year.

The National Golf Coaches Association recently announced its end-of-the-year awards, and for the second time in his 10-year tenure as Kent State’s women’s golf coach, Mike Morrow has been named the SkyCaddie Central Region Coach of the Year.

In 2007-08, Morrow guided the Golden Flashes to their 10th consecutive Mid-American Conference championship and eighth straight NCAA regional berth. In addition, Kent State finished 13th in the final Golfstat poll and 15th in the Golfweek/Sagarin rankings. Along the way, the Flashes won three tournaments for the fifth time in school history.

Morrow also received region coach of the year accolades in 2001, the same year he was named the national coach of the year by Golfweek.

An eight-time MAC coach of the year honoree, including this season, Morrow has led the Flashes to three NCAA Championship appearances in the last eight years. He also was recently selected to lead the American team at the 2008 Fuji Xerox USA vs. Japan Collegiate Golf Championship. The 33rd annual competition will be held July 16 to 18 at Tokyo Golf Club.

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Kent State and Lakeland Community College Representatives Identify Barriers to Enrollment

In December, the presidents of Kent State and Lakeland Community College announced a commitment to work together to expand higher education services to Northeast Ohio in both four-year and two-year degree programs. This Kent State University – Lakeland Community College joint needs assessment update includes the overall themes from interviews with staff and students.

The research team interviewed Kent State Ashtabula and Geauga Campus deans, the Lakeland Community College provost and both institutions’ enrollment managers and financial aid directors. Following are their opinions on barriers to enrollment:

  • In general, the cost of tuition is not the biggest barrier, as there are many options for loans and grants, and tuition is much lower than other higher education options. Money is a barrier to retention, but the costs of housing, utilities, food, taking care of a family, transportation, books and technology required for courses are the bigger problems.
  • In general, if people get in the doors to see staff members, staff find a way to help them. Letting potential students walk away without talking to someone willing to help them is the biggest mistake. The front line is the key — registration/ admissions/enrollment and financial aid staff, as well as specialists. People were very hands-on with helping students in a wide variety of bad situations.
  • Barriers to getting potential students to the door included fear and intimidation of the processes; the need to focus on immediate needs for family rather than longer-term planning; no family/friend support or encouragement for college (some parents won’t provide financial information so children can apply for financial aid); and uncertainty that there will be a job at the end (expressed most strongly in Ashtabula.)
  • Barriers to retention included a lack of academic success, basic skills/preparation for college-level work and problems in remedial courses, as well as work and family obligations that put education on the back burner. Family responsibilities are a big reason for non-finishers — few are because of insufficient financial aid.

The Kent State Survey Research Lab conducted a telephone survey of prospective students (those who applied in the last three years but did not attend) and non-completers (those who attended in the last three years but stopped or dropped out prior to completing a degree) from Kent State Ashtabula, Kent State Geauga and Lakeland Community College. A total of 99 interviews were conducted to gather qualitative data on barriers to enrollment and degree completion in these counties. The data presents a quick snapshot of the general barriers that students are currently experiencing in this region.

Barriers to Enrollment
Of the 52 prospective students interviewed who applied to Kent State or Lakeland but did not attend, 18 respondents (35 percent) indicated that they attended another college or university instead.

Of those 18 respondents, the majority attended another college or university in Northeast Ohio, with Cuyahoga Community College receiving the most mentions (five), followed by two mentions each for Youngstown State University, Lakeland and Kent State. (Two students applied at Kent State but attended Lakeland, and two applied at Kent State Ashtabula or Kent State Geauga but attended a different Regional Campus.)

A total of 34 of the 52 interviewed (65 percent) indicated that they did not attend another college or university instead.

When respondents were asked why they chose not to attend college, they indicated the following reasons. Responses were not broken out by location since no specific patterns emerged in the data per location:

  • Currently taking classes (enrolled during a later semester, some at a different Regional Campus, 9)
  • Family situation/personal problem (6)
  • Financial reasons (5)
  • Found a job (3)
  • No time (2)
  • No need for college (2)
  • Moved out of state (2)
  • One student each provided the following reasons: job pressures, talked out of it by counselor, program not as rigorous as others in the area, didn’t graduate from high school or too late to register.

Barriers to Degree Completion
Of the 47 non-completers interviewed, 12 students (26 percent) indicated that they attended another college or university after Kent State or Lakeland. A variety of schools and universities in Northeast Ohio were mentioned.

A total of 35 students (74 percent) indicated that they did not attend another college or university after stopping or dropping out of Kent State or Lakeland. When respondents were asked why they stopped attending college, they indicated the following reasons:

  • Financial reasons (6)
  • Currently taking classes (took a break but re-enrolled, some at a different Regional Campus, 5)
  • Graduated (4)
  • No time (3)
  • Found a job (3)
  • Family situation/personal problem (2)
  • Taking a break this semester (2)
  • One student each provided the following reasons: too far away, no need for college, incarcerated, moved or courses too difficult. Four students did not indicate a reason they stopped attending college.

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Kent State Students Win Statewide Organ Donation Promotion Competition

Kent State's public relations students won the statewide

Kent State's public relations students won the statewide "Do It Now" organ donation promotion competition.

Kent State public relations students won the statewide “Do It Now” College Competition, which was aimed at increasing the number of organ and tissue donors in the Ohio Organ Donor Registry.

Funded by the Second Chance Trust Fund, Donate Life Ohio, its affiliated organ procurement organizations and tissue and eye recovery agencies, partnered with the colleges throughout the state to increase the number of registered organ and tissue donors.

For the past eight months, teams from 13 Ohio colleges and universities have rallied to increase the number of organ donors, all in hopes of decreasing the wait list for organ donation. As part of the statewide initiative, each group had a specific target for the number of new registrants they were expected to sign up in their communities based on population and opportunity within their respective regions.

The Kent State team is projected to have added more than 12,500 new organ and tissue donors to the Ohio Donor Registry. The overall competition added approximately 125,000 individuals to the Ohio Organ Donor Registry. Kent State’s Public Relations Student Society of America chapter will be awarded $5,000 for winning the competition.

The Kent State team implemented a recruitment plan comprised of a range of strategies, including word-of-mouth communications, social media and donor registration event drives.

Individuals wanting to register to be an organ or tissue donor can continue to do so online, by filling out a donor registration form or by visiting their local Bureau of Motor Vehicles.

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Human Resources Question: When does the period for unclassified performance evaluations end?

The deadline to conduct performance evaluations for unclassified employees is June 16.

Employees are encouraged to complete a self-evaluation before meeting with their managers to review their performance. Unit managers will determine the model of the self-evaluation and notify employees as to whether the form should be accessed online or through the HR Forms Library.

Online Self-Evaluation Access for Employees: Model A, B, C, or D

  • Employees can access an online self-evaluation by logging onto the Employee Services page.
  • Select “Performance Evaluation-Unclassified” located under Main Topics.
  • At the top right corner of the page under Resources, select “2008 Administrative and Professional Staff (Unclassified) Self-Evaluation.”
  • A log-in window will appear; use your FlashLine ID and password.
  • You will see the Homepage for viDesktop. In the Evaluations section, select the “2008 Administrative and Professional Staff (Unclassified) Self-Evaluation” model assigned by your manager.

A series of tutorials are available to assist employees with accessing and completing the online self-evaluation. You can view the tutorials online; select the Online Performance Evaluation Tutorials link in the Resources column.

Self-Evaluation HR Forms Library access:

  • Access the evaluation from the HR Forms Library.
  • Print a hard copy, complete the self-evaluation and submit it at least one week prior to the performance evaluation discussion.

When managers complete the performance evaluation online, an electronic copy of the evaluation will be recorded in viDesktop and automatically sent to Human Resources. Managers completing performance evaluations from the HR Forms Library will need to submit the evaluation to Karen Watson, Employee Relations, Terrace Hall Annex.

For additional information, contact Watson, employee relations specialist/staff ombudsman, at 330-672-4636 or Connie Crowley, employee relations specialist, at 330-672-7505.

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