News Briefs

Return to Issue of Sept. 15, 2008 


Staff Advisory Council to Hear From New Deans This Fall

The University Staff Advisory Council begins its fall meeting schedule on Wednesday, Sept. 24, from 9:30 to 11 a.m. in Room 316 of the Kent Student Center. The council is scheduled to hear from three of the university’s new deans at its monthly meetings, beginning with Dr. Dan Mahony, who will be at the September meeting. Mahony is the dean of the College and Graduate School of Education, Health and Human Services.

Other items on the Sept. 24 agenda include an update on domestic partner benefits, which will be offered to eligible faculty, unclassified and unrepresented classified employees beginning in January 2009. There will also be an update from the committee working on a restructuring of goals for the group.

The new deans from the College of Arts and Sciences and the Honors College are scheduled to attend the Oct. 31 meeting, which will be broadcast to the Regional Campuses.

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

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Former Kent State All-American Ben Curtis Visits Campus to Discuss Ryder Cup

Ben Curtis visited Kent State before heading out to join the United States team for this year's Ryder Cup.

Ben Curtis tees off at Kent State last week.

Ben Curtis, a member of the 2008 United States Ryder Cup team and a three-time All-American at Kent State, held a press conference on Thursday, Sept. 11, at the Kent State Ferrara and Page Golf Training and Learning Center to discuss this year’s Ryder Cup matches.

The winner of the 2003 British Open Championship, Curtis posted top 10 finishes this year at both the British Open and PGA Championship en route to claiming one of eight automatic spots on the Ryder Cup squad. A native of Ostrander, Ohio, Curtis currently resides in Stow.

The United States and Europe will square off in the 37th Ryder Cup matches beginning Friday, Sept. 19, to Sunday, Sept. 21, at Valhalla Golf Center in Louisville, Ky. The United States team has dropped the last three Ryder Cup competitions and five of the last six dating back to 1995.

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Legal Briefs

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 University 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.

My department has created a new entity (e.g., center, institute or entrepreneur collaboration) based at Kent State University. The name is unique, and we would like to protect it. Can the university provide any assistance in this area?

The answer is yes. The university has several resources in place to protect entities that are created as a part of university research, academic or entrepreneurial collaborations.

  • The creator/organizer should contact the Office of University Counsel to examine trade/service mark protection and registration issues. Service marks and trademarks that are registered with the United States Patent and Trademark Office can be used to discourage others from using a similar name/logo.
  • The creator/organizer of the university-based entity should also contact the university’s Office of Technology Transfer and Economic Development to examine intellectual property issues (such as patents, copyrights or further licensing) that may be created or relevant to the entity and its work. The office can also assist in exploring any applicable partnerships with outside companies or other entrepreneurial options.

As the university continues to develop more areas of excellence, both offices can provide critical protections for the establishment of a university entity. It is important to initiate these processes early in the development of the entity, to ensure the appropriate review and provide time to implement the best protections available.

For more information about services offered by the Office of Technology Transfer and Economic Development contact Greg Wilson, associate vice president for economic development and strategic partnerships, at For more information concerning the trade/service mark services offered by the Office of University Counsel, contact Jim Watson, associate university counsel, at

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Human Resources Question of the Week: When do domestic partner benefits take effect?

Beginning Jan. 1, 2009, Kent State University will offer domestic partner benefits to eligible employees. The benefits will extend to both same gender and opposite gender partners of university faculty, unclassified employees and unrepresented classified employees. The benefits offered to eligible domestic partners of these university employees are medical, prescription, vision and dental insurance; dependent life insurance; voluntary accidental death and dismemberment insurance (AD&D) and tuition fee waiver.

To initiate the domestic partner benefits process, the employee must complete an Affidavit of Domestic Partnership form, which will be available during the annual Open Enrollment period for health benefits. This year’s Open Enrollment period is Oct. 27 to Nov. 16. More details on domestic partner benefits, including eligibility requirements and a list of questions and answers, will be available soon on the Human Resources Web site at

For more information contact Loretta Shields, benefits manager, at 330-672-3107 or

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