News Briefs


Return to Issue of June 16, 2008 

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Commission on Inclusion Establishes Mission, Seeks Feedback

Kent State’s President’s Commission on Inclusion has established an official mission to guide its ongoing efforts and is expanding initial conversations to solicit feedback from representatives across the university community.

Chaired by Kent State alumnus and Senior Pastor of Arlington Church of God Rev. Ronald J. Fowler, the commission seeks to develop a comprehensive, universitywide, broad-based initiative to improve the sensitivity and openness of individuals throughout the campus system to different views, styles and approaches to creating a welcoming environment for all. According to its mission statement, the commission “should deliver ideas and recommendations to the President that utilize best practice approaches from university, business and community life. The melding of these recommendations should be appropriate to the Northeast Ohio geography and rich centennial history of traditions at Kent State. A desired outcome of the Commission’s work would be to elevate Kent State University to the ‘next level’ of inclusiveness.”

In June and July, commission members will meet with representatives from student organizations, community leadership, administration, academic leadership, faculty, staff and safety forces in forums at the Kent Campus and Regional Campuses to solicit feedback regarding diversity and inclusion at Kent State. Planning includes additional opportunities to seek input from the entire university community beginning in the fall.

When it completes its work, ideas and recommendations will be forwarded to President Lester A. Lefton for consideration and action. Individual departments and leaders also will be responsible for building diversity programs throughout their operations.

The commission has been meeting regularly since February. Those interested in more information or who wish to provide suggestions for the commission should contact Debra Shuler at dshuler@kent.edu.

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PBS 45/49, WKSU-FM Team With WKYC to Add New Downtown Akron Studio

WKSU-FM will join forces with PBS 45/49 and WKYC to add a downtown Akron studio.

WKSU-FM will join forces with PBS 45/49 and WKYC to add a downtown Akron studio.

PBS 45/49 and WKSU-FM will join Cleveland-based NBC affiliate WKYC in group-leasing the ground-level broadcasting studios of downtown Akron’s United Building. The building is owned by the city of Akron.

WKSU-FM, which broadcasts NPR news, classical and folk music and public radio entertainment programming to 22 counties in Northeast Ohio, will house an Akron news bureau in the facility. The radio station currently operates satellite bureaus in Cleveland and Canton, along with its main studios on the Kent Campus. PBS 45/49, the only broadcast television station that spans the entire Northeast Ohio area utilizing various production studios throughout the region, will move some of its production operations to the Akron site that it will designate as the Western Reserve Broadcast Hub.

WKYC has occupied the highly visible space on the corner of Market and Main streets since 2001, broadcasting nightly local newscasts aimed at the Akron and Canton markets — originally over the air on PAX 23 and, more recently, on Time-Warner Cable’s Channel 23. When WKYC announced plans to terminate the nightly newscasts on Channel 23 as of May 30, PBS 45/49 President and CEO Trina Cutter and WKSU-FM Executive Director and General Manager Al Bartholet came together with an offer to sublease the United Building’s studio space.

Cutter said, “The area surrounding the United Building is a center for creativity with White Space Creative, the Mocha Maiden and Musica Bar. It’s the perfect place for a television studio. I look forward to the day when downtown Akron is a television production hub for the entire Northeast Ohio region.”

Bartholet added, “We are very happy to be able to take advantage of this unique opportunity. Maintaining production facilities in WKYC’s United Building studios will allow WKSU’s award-winning news staff quick and easy access to the tools they need to create Akron-based stories as news breaks. This development makes WKSU more integrated in the Akron community.”

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University Staff Advisory Council Sets Summer Meeting Schedule

The University Staff Advisory Council continues to meet during the summer months. The summer schedule includes meetings on Wednesday, June 25, and Wednesday, July 30. The group does not meet in August.

The June meting takes place from 9:30 to 11 a.m. in Room 316 of the Kent Student Center. Agenda items include information on the leave request procedure for employees who serve as poll workers on Election Day. There also will be a working session to discuss council goals for the upcoming academic year.

The July meeting also will take place from 9:30 to 11 a.m. at the newly renovated Franklin Hall. The meeting will include a tour of the facility.

University Staff Advisory Council is Kent State’s employee forum to share ideas and information related to university issues and topics. The group meets 10 times each year, and all university staff are welcome to attend.

For more information, visit the University Staff Advisory Council Web site or contact co-chairs Carla Wyckoff at cwyckof1@kent.edu or Nola Ruble at nruble@kent.edu.

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Education, Health and Human Services Readies for Accreditation Review

Kent State’s College and Graduate School of Education, Health and Human Services is scheduled for a fall 2008 accreditation review by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE). Federal regulations require that accrediting agencies allow for public comment on the qualifications of institutions or programs under consideration for first accreditation or continuing accreditation.

Both the council and Kent State recognize that graduates, parents, schools and community organizations have valuable perspectives on the quality of the programs that prepare teachers and other school personnel. As a result, interested parties are invited to submit written testimony on the college and graduate school to: Board of Examiners, National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education, 2010 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Suite 500, Washington, D.C. 20036-1023, or by e-mail to callforcomments@ncate.org.

Comments must address substantive matters related to the quality of professional education programs offered at Kent State and should specify the respondent’s relationship, if any, to the institution (e.g., graduate, present or former faculty member, employer of graduates). Copies of all correspondence received will be sent to Kent State for comment prior to the review. No anonymous testimony will be considered.

Letters of comment should be received no later than Monday, Sept. 1.

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Joint Needs Assessment Second Phase Evaluates Educational Needs

The second phase of the Kent State University — Lakeland Community College joint needs assessment is evaluating unmet short-term educational needs, identifying not-yet-conceived opportunities and determining how best to increase participation in higher education and implement innovative solutions.

This phase of the study is being conducted by a third-party research provider. A request for proposals was issued, and Great Lakes Marketing was secured as the vendor for phase two of the research. It includes creating a blog to gather comments, interviewing community members, identifying gaps in current program offerings from all higher education providers in the tri-county area and facilitating discussions with Kent State and Lakeland faculty and regional thought leaders to identify higher education opportunities.

Following are several themes gathered on the blog:

Cost Issues

  • Tuition is not the biggest financial concern for students. The cost of textbooks plus loss of income from not working or working reduced hours add to the financial burden, especially if a high-paying job is not available after degree completion.
  • More and larger grants should be available to students so they don’t have to take on large loans.
  • Veteran benefits and payments are not handled correctly, resulting in tuition refunds to the student being delayed and problems with the bursar’s office.
  • Many mid- to low-income families don’t know that need-based financial aid is available.

Degree Completion Issues

  • Credits are lost when transferring from one institution to another due to different course and degree requirements.
  • Degree completion should not be dependent on taking a large percentage of classes on campus. Some students cannot finish their degrees due to the lack of online courses in their area of study.
  • An e-mail question/answer exchange for counseling, advising and course selection would be very helpful since quick and easy access to advisors is critical.

Perception Issues

  • Many families and students do not understand the long-term benefits of higher education; their decisions are motivated by the immediate concerns of the time commitment necessary and the lost income potential.

Read more on the Graduate Ohio blog.

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Kent State University - Lakeland Community College Joint Needs Assessment

Kent State Student’s Dissertation Research Leads International Physics Experiment

A Kent State doctoral graduate was recently the lead author on an article in the prestigious journal Science. The research results could help guide further study of puzzling nuclear phenomena such as neutron stars, or pulsars. Dr. Ramesh Subedi’s dissertation research was the basis of the article, which reports on research performed by more than 60 scientists at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility.

The paper in Science contains the key results of Subedi’s doctoral dissertation. His research advisors were Dr. John Watson of Kent State and Dr. Douglas Higinbotham of Jefferson Laboratory, both of whom were key participants in the research.

The experiment found that protons are about 20 times more likely to pair up with neutrons than with other protons in the nucleus. The result, based on the first-ever simultaneous measurement of such pairings and their constituents, could have implications for understanding the structure of nuclear systems from light nuclei to neutron stars. The research was conducted in part with large neutron detectors, which were assembled and tested at Kent State.

The paper, titled “Probing Cold Dense Nuclear Matter,” was published online by the journal Science, at the Science Express Web site. Science and Science Express are published by the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the world's largest general scientific organization.

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Legal Briefs: Document Imaging and Public Records

“Legal Briefs” appears in e-Inside monthly to keep faculty and staff informed of legal issues and their implications. Content is provided by the Office of the University Counsel, whose mission is to ensure high-quality legal services to Kent State in a timely, cost-effective manner, to reduce litigation and to ensure legal compliance.

Information Services has implemented a document imaging project, which allows departments to convert paper records to electronic files. Once the records are converted, does your department need to keep the original documents?

By law, public employees are required to ensure that all public records documents under the Ohio Public Records Act are protected and accessible. According to the Ohio Revised Code, Section 9.01, a record can be reduced to electronic form and the originals discarded if four standards are met:

  • Reliability – The established format for the electronic record must be reliable and in a format that is commonly-accepted (i.e., a TIF file).
  • Authenticity – The established procedure for document imaging must ensure the authenticity of the record and that it has not been tampered with or altered. Kent State uses software to track users as records are accessed and has tight controls to prevent unauthorized modifications of the document.
  • Integrity – The final production must maintain the document’s integrity in that it will exist in electronic storage in its complete form.
  • Usability – The electronic document must be able to be retrieved and reproduced when necessary. The university has an electronic filing system (Application Xtender or a similar interface) that has user-friendly document recovery features, as well as disaster recovery capabilities.

Because document imaging is a relatively new practice, there may be some exceptions to the above requirements for discarding original documents. In addition, even though a department transfers its records to an electronic format, the document ownership and retention responsibilities remain with the department. More information on best practices is available at the state of Ohio's Electronic Records Commission Web site.

If your department is implementing a document imaging program and you have questions concerning the retention of the original documents, call the Office of the University Counsel at 330-672-2982.

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Return to Issue of June 16, 2008 


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