News Briefs

Return to Issue of July 21, 2008 


Information Services to Upgrade SafeBoot Software

Beginning July 21, Information Services will begin an automatic upgrade of the SafeBoot full-disk encryption software installed on more than 1,100 university computers. The upgrade will result in greater compatibility and server performance of the program.

SafeBoot users should experience no functional changes as a result of the upgrade. However, the login screen that appears when users first start their computers will look slightly different. The upgrade will automatically download to computers after July 21, and the appearance of the login screen will change once a system has rebooted a couple of times.

In addition, in response to feedback received by the implementation team during the SafeBoot rollout, SafeBoot users now will no longer need to enter their user ID and password twice. Once users successfully enter their SafeBoot user IDs and passwords, they automatically will be logged into Windows.

As a reminder, SafeBoot heightens the security of sensitive data located on a computer by providing encryption of all data stored on its hard drive. In the event the computer is ever lost or stolen, the data itself will be safe.

Please contact the Helpdesk at 330-672-HELP (4357) or with any questions. Information also is available on the Information Services Web site.

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Spring Commencement Schedule Condensed

Next spring, Master's and Baccalaureate Commencement Ceremonies will take place on Saturday, May 16.

Spring Commencement Ceremonies will take place on Saturday, May 16, 2009.

Next spring, the Master’s and Baccalaureate Commencement Ceremonies all will take place on one day, Saturday, May 16, 2009. The goal is to continue to provide meaningful ceremonies in which all graduates can cross the stage and have their name read, but to make the timeframe more convenient for graduates, guests, faculty, staff and volunteers.

The condensed schedule will prevent ceremonies from being scheduled on Mother’s Day, a frequent occurrence currently. The change additionally is expected to aid in the recruitment of student volunteers, a difficulty for Sunday ceremonies, and to offer a day of rest for all ceremony staff and volunteers. No additional costs are involved.

Ceremony times will be scheduled for 10 a.m., 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. A breakdown of colleges recognized at each ceremony will be determined in early fall 2008. Check the Commencement Web site for more details as they are announced.

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Team Launched to Explore Academic Support Functions

In a concerted effort to demonstrate excellence in all aspects of the university, an important new initiative has been launched to enhance academic support functions.

Academic support functions are all of the services that students touch and interact with as they navigate the university. Examples include academic advising, registration, orientation, the Bursar’s Office, first-year experience and career planning. The goal is to ensure the highest student satisfaction and value with respect to these functions; to make interfacing with the university pleasant, easy, efficient and effective; and to ensure Kent State’s competitiveness with other institutions. In short, excellence in academic support will greatly enhance student experience and student retention.

A full-time team of experienced members of the university community has been assembled to pursue this new initiative. The team includes Gregory P. Hackett, Justin Hilton, Maureen Kennedy, Sarah Malcolm and Kjera Melton. They represent a broad cross-section of academic support and began working this month in dedicated facilities in the Michael Schwartz Center. They are collecting information deeply across the university to uncover every aspect of how students presently are served.

They are seeking to determine the challenges and issues faced concerning each academic support function, along with ideas for how each function could be performed better. The team also will be looking at other universities to gain insights into best practices. The result will be a plan to make each of Kent State’s academic support functions the finest in Ohio.

Information gathering will be conducted over the next several months. Development of a tactical plan is expected by year’s end.

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Ormiston Named Marshall University Provost

Dr. Gayle L. Ormiston will become the senior vice president for academic affairs and provost at Marshall University in August.

Gayle L. Ormiston was named provost at Marshall University.

Dr. Gayle L. Ormiston, associate provost for faculty affairs and curriculum, has been appointed senior vice president for academic affairs and provost at Marshall University, Provost Robert G. Frank announced recently. Ormiston will assume his administrative role at Marshall on Aug. 18.

Ormiston was named associate provost in July 2002. He joined Kent State in 1989 as a professor in the Department of Philosophy and served as chair of the department from July 1996 through June 2002.

“The Kent State University community is grateful to Dr. Ormiston for his unwavering leadership and dedication,” Frank says. “It is a pleasure to see him succeed as he continues to serve higher education at Marshall University.”

Ormiston received his doctoral degree in philosophy from Purdue University and his master’s and bachelor’s degrees in philosophy from Kent State.

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Strickland Establishes Ohio GI Promise

On July 8, Ohio Governor Ted Strickland established the Ohio GI Promise, which allows all veterans of the United States Armed Services, their spouses and dependents to attend Ohio colleges and universities at in-state tuition rates.

“This is a great benefit for veterans, as well as for Ohio,” Strickland said in the announcement. “It delivers real support to veterans, while helping strengthen Ohio’s strategic plan for higher education, which calls for attracting and keeping talent in the state. Who better to have as part of Ohio’s colleges and universities, workforce and communities than the veterans who have served, led and protected our country?”

The new program makes Ohio the first state to offer this benefit to veterans. It comes in response to the Federal GI Bill, signed into law on June 30, which doubles college benefits for eligible troops and veterans, essentially guaranteeing full scholarships at any in-state public college or university, as well as providing monthly stipends for housing.

Kent State currently is waiting to receive final rules and regulations regarding the Ohio GI Promise from the Ohio Board of Regents. For more information and an overview of the program, visit the Ohio GI Promise Web site, the Federal GI Bill Web site or call the telephone hotline at 877-VETS-OH-1 (838-7641).

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University Staff Advisory Council Holds July Meeting

The University Staff Advisory Council will hold its final meeting of the summer on Wednesday, July 30. This month’s meeting will take place from 9:30 to 11 a.m. in Room 110 Franklin Hall.

The meeting will be a working session to continue discussing the council’s goals for the upcoming academic year and will conclude with a tour of Franklin Hall, which is the new home for the School of Journalism and Mass Communication. Parking is available in the Rockwell lot or on Hilltop Drive.

University Staff Advisory Council is the university’s employee forum to share ideas and information related to university issues and topics. All staff members are welcome at the meeting and to join in the discussion about goals. There will be no August meeting.

For more information, visit the Web site or contact co-chairs Carla Wyckoff at or Nola Ruble at

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Football and Basketball Game Day Crews Needed

Volunteers are needed to serve on game day crews for Kent State football and basketball games.

Volunteers are needed to serve on game day crews for Kent State football and basketball games.

Kent State’s Department of Intercollegiate Athletics is looking for individuals interested in serving on the game day crew for football and men’s and women’s basketball. Duties may include keeping the official book, scoreboard operation and/or game clock operation.

Individuals must be willing to commit to working the entire home schedule for the respective sport’s season. Compensation includes game day meals, tickets and a per-game stipend. Individuals MUST have prior game operations experience.

Interested individuals should contact Cynthia Stone, facilities and operations manager, at 330-672-7493 or via e-mail at

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Legal Briefs: What to do if you are served with a subpoena for a university-related legal action

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. An archive of Legal Briefs from 2008 and past years is available online.

A subpoena is an order of the court, which may command you to appear “at or by” a specified date, time and location. When presented with a subpoena for a work-related issue, the first action you should take is to refer the courier to the Office of the University Counsel for the purpose of accepting the subpoena (referred to as “accepting the service”). If you have already accepted service of the subpoena, you should immediately contact University Counsel.

The most common subpoenas you may encounter in the workplace are:

  • Subpoena ad testificandum — a subpoena ordering the addressee to appear as a witness and give testimony in a matter.
  • Subpoena duces tecum — a subpoena ordering the addressee to appear and to bring specific documents or records.

Because of the time sensitive nature of all subpoenas, it is important to ensure that University Counsel receives the subpoenas as soon as possible. If you send the subpoena via campus mail, you should contact the office first to notify staff that the subpoena is on the way. Do not ignore a subpoena, even if it addresses something you are unfamiliar with or asks for documents you don’t have. Failure to respond to a subpoena in a timely manner can result in a charge of contempt of court for the addressee or other legal consequences for the university.

The Office of the University Counsel is located in the Executive Offices on the second floor of the Library. For additional information, contact 330-672-2982.

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Guidelines Clarified for Ohio Election Poll Workers

Kent State employees can request poll worker leave for state elections.

Kent State employees can request poll worker leave for state elections.

The state of Ohio holds elections several times during each calendar year. Kent State recognizes that there is a need for a pool of available individuals to serve as poll workers during an election. That is why the university has established guidelines on poll worker leave for university employees, in accordance with Ohio Revised Code, Section 3501.28.

The guidelines, which take effect immediately, provide paid leave for full- and part-time classified and unclassified university employees who serve as poll workers during a general, primary or special election in Ohio. The procedure for requesting leave is as follows:

  • The request must be submitted to the employee’s immediate supervisor at least 14 calendar days prior to the date of the election;
  • The request must be in writing;
  • The request must include the employee’s intent to serve as a poll worker and specify the county in which the employee intends to serve;
  • The request must include the employee’s “certificate of appointment,” which is issued by the respective Board of Election office; and
  • Following Election Day, the employee must submit a completed and signed Poll Worker Verification Form to his/her immediate supervisor.

The decision to grant poll worker leave remains with the supervisor, subject to the operational needs of the work unit. Incomplete requests or requests with missing documentation will not be considered until the error is corrected.

The complete provisions of the poll worker leave guidelines, and the poll worker verification form, are available online. If you have questions, contact Joe Vitale, director of talent management, at 330-672-2100 or

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Human Resources Question: How can I become an advisor for a student organization?

The Center for Student Involvement offers an array of resources that provide opportunities for leadership and participation in student-initiated projects and organizations. Currently there are approximately 200 student organizations ranging from Academic/Professional, Cultural/Religious, Greek, Honorary, Media, Political, Recreational, Service and Special Interest.

The university requires that each student organization be advised by at least one faculty or staff member. Organizations rarely become successful without the active involvement of an advisor. Expectations of student organization advisors include:

  • Having a genuine interest in the goals and objectives of the organization;
  • Willingness to meet with the group and individuals on an occasional basis;
  • Availability during each semester to give guidance to the organization concerning financial, personal and programming matters;
  • Taking part in some of the organization’s activities; and
  • Developing a supportive atmosphere where students help themselves under your guidance.

The Center for Student Involvement has many organizations looking for an advisor. If you are interested, please contact or 330-672-2480. The office is located in Room 226 of the Kent Student Center.

View the Human Resources Question archive.

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