News Briefs


Return to Issue of Oct. 20, 2008

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Staff Advisory Council to Get Updates on Two Colleges, New Human Resources Training

The University Staff Advisory Council will meet on Friday, Oct. 31, from 1:30 to 3 p.m. in Room 317 Moulton Hall. The meeting will be broadcast to each Regional Campus, and all Kent State staff are welcome to attend.

Items on the agenda include an update on the Honors College from new dean Dr. Donald Williams and an update on the College of Arts and Sciences from assistant dean Jim Brown. Representatives from the Division of Human Resources will provide information on new online training for the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and the annual Open Enrollment period for health benefit selections. Regional Campus staff interested in attending the October meeting should contact their respective dean’s office for information on the location.

University Staff Advisory Council is the university’s employee forum to share ideas and information related to university issues and topics. For more information, visit the council Web site or contact co-chairs Carla Wyckoff at cwyckof1@kent.edu or Nola Ruble at nruble@kent.edu.

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Sustainability Task Force Seeks Volunteers

Thomas Euclide and Dr. Verna Fitzsimmons are serving as co-chairs of the Sustainability Task Force.

Thomas Euclide and Dr. Verna Fitzsimmons are serving as co-chairs of the Sustainability Task Force.

In his State of the University Address, President Lester A. Lefton announced the formation of a Sustainability Task Force. The goal of this task force — which will be co-chaired by Thomas Euclide, executive director of facilities planning and operations, and Dr. Verna Fitzsimmons, interim dean of the College of Technology — is to identify opportunities to make Kent State a leader in sustainability in a variety of areas, including operations, conservation and education.

Additional nominations currently are being accepted for this important committee. The team will be composed of university students, staff, faculty and community members with special knowledge or interests in a number of key areas with respect to sustainability. Some of the areas of interest include:

  • Energy conservation;
  • Supplies and equipment procurement;
  • Transportation;
  • Food procurement, preparation and packaging;
  • Architecture and construction;
  • Academic programs;
  • Recycling;
  • Residence halls;
  • Student involvement; and
  • Water conservation and quality

If you have an interest or know of someone who would be an asset to the task force, or if you have questions regarding the expectations associated with being a member of the team, please contact Euclide at teuclide@kent.edu or Fitzsimmons at vfitzsim@kent.edu as soon as possible. The first meeting will be scheduled for the week of Oct. 27.

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Kent State Mortar Board Chapter Receives National Awards

Kent State’s Laurels chapter of Mortar Board was among the outstanding chapters to be honored for their excellence at the 2008 Mortar Board National Conference, held this summer in Columbus.

The group was one of 59 to receive the Silver Torch Award, presented to chapters executing timeliness and dedication while exemplifying the ideals of scholarship, leadership and service. Recipients are selected based on a review of national records, requiring that the chapter meet all of the national minimum standards and deadlines.

Additionally, the Laurels chapter was among 23 groups to receive a Project Excellence Award for its project, “Literacy Panel/Pennies for Peace.” Project Excellence Award recipients are chosen by a selection committee that honors chapters with notable projects in the areas of scholarship, leadership, fundraising, service, the national Reading is Leading literacy initiative, alumni involvement or Mortar Board Week.

Michelle Duke, Mortar Board Chapter president, attended to accept the chapter’s awards.

Mortar Board is a national honor society that recognizes college seniors for outstanding achievement in scholarship, leadership and service. Since its founding in 1918, the organization has grown from the four founding chapters to 226 chartered collegiate chapters with nearly a quarter of a million initiated members across the nation. The Laurels chapter at Kent State was chartered in 1972 and currently has 33 members.

Mortar Board provides opportunities for continued leadership development, promotes service to colleges and universities and encourages lifelong contributions to the global community. Some notable Mortar Board members include former President Jimmy Carter, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, Lance Armstrong and former Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor. Learn more about Mortar Board at its Web site.

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Expert Says “It's About the Issues, Stupid” When It Comes to Presidential Election and Women Voters

Gertrude Steuernagel says women are concerned this election with real issues related to the economy, the rising cost of living, health care, education and foreign policy.

Gertrude Steuernagel says women are concerned this election with real issues related to the economy, the rising cost of living, health care, education and foreign policy.

Every day, news and radio commentators marvel at the extremely difficult choice for some women in the upcoming president election — vote for a female vice presidential candidate despite your core beliefs? Others wonder if those faithful to Senator Hillary Clinton and her issues will cross over to vote for the Republican ticket.

The reason women voters supported Clinton had more to do with their view that she was the most qualified candidate, says Dr. Gertrude Steuernagel, professor of political science at Kent State University, who researches the gender gap in voting behavior and political participation habits. By portraying female voters as those with short attention spans, interchangeable preferences and focused only on a person's gender rather than the policies they represent is both insulting and short sighted, Steuernagel says.

Steuernagel, coauthor of the books Women and Public Policy: A Revolution in Progress and Women and Political Participation, says women are concerned this election with real issues related to the economy, the rising cost of living, health care, education and foreign policy. Political candidates, Steuernagel says, must give compelling reasons and suggest specific policies and solutions to claim the female vote this year.

More information about Steuernagel is available online.

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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.

Question: Where can faculty and staff go to find out about state and federal regulations that may apply to their unit?

Answer: The Offices of University Counsel and Internal Audit recently compiled an extensive list of several local, state and federal regulations that is available online at the University Counsel Web site. Once at the site, click “Compliance Updates” to find a searchable database that contains information about:

  • the regulation’s full name;
  • the contact person at the university for the responsible department;
  • university policies associated with the regulation;
  • links to external sites regarding the regulation;
  • a summary of the regulation; and
  • a brief explanation of certain requirements that departments must complete to ensure compliance with the regulation.

The site can be used as a resource by university staff, faculty and students to research the regulatory responsibilities of several university departments and personnel. It also provides the user with an opportunity to contact the office or individual whose position/area is most directly related to a given regulation.

Information in the database is updated as new regulations become final. University personnel are encouraged to contact the Office of University Counsel with any additional information concerning the regulations already in the database, as well as to suggest new regulations that should be included.

For more information, contact Mike Pfahl, assistant university counsel, at mpfahl@kent.edu.

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University Health Services Offers Flu Shots

Get your flu shot now to avoid illness this winter.

Get your flu shot now to avoid illness this winter.

To fight the winter bug, OneWellU, the university’s wellness program, and University Health Services are once again offering flu shots at several campuses. The clinics are open to Kent State faculty, staff and their eligible dependents.

For employees and their dependents covered by Anthem or Medical Mutual, the cost of shots will be covered in full. For those not on a Kent State medical plan, the cost is $25, payable by cash or check at the time of the immunization.

The remaining 2008 flu clinic schedule is as follows:

  • Kent Campus
    Tuesday, Oct. 28, and Wednesday, Oct. 29
    9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
    DeWeese Health Center, Conference Room A, Lower Level
  • Salem Campus
    Wednesday, Nov. 5
    10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
    Nursing Lab
  • Geauga Campus
    Thursday, Nov. 6
    10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
    Location To Be Determined
  • Trumbull Campus
    Monday, Nov. 10
    9 a.m. to Noon
    The Commons
  • Stark Campus
    Thursday, Nov. 13
    9:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.
    Conference Room 1, Main Hall
  • East Liverpool Campus
    Tuesday, Nov. 18
    10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
    Dean’s Conference Room, Third Floor, Main Building
  • Tuscarawas Campus
    Thursday, Nov. 20
    10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
    Science and Tech Building

Appointments are necessary for the shots, and registration can be completed online. For more information visit the University Health Services site or call the Benefits office at 330-672-3107.

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Human Resources Question of the Week: When is the Open Enrollment period for 2009 health benefits? 

The Open Enrollment period for eligible employees begins Monday, Oct. 27, and runs through midnight on Sunday, Nov. 16. There are several additions to benefits that will be available to faculty, unclassified employees and unrepresented classified employees in 2009. These include domestic partner benefits, a new insurance option in the form of voluntary accidental death and dismemberment (AD&D) insurance and no increase in the cost of health care plans for the coming year. In addition, employees will be able to complete the online enrollment process through FlashLine, the university’s secure portal.

Open Enrollment information will be mailed this week to eligible employees at their home addresses. Employees should also look in next week’s e-Inside for highlights of what’s available during the Open Enrollment period.

For questions, contact the Benefits Office at 330-672-MyHR(6947) or benefits@kent.edu.

View the Human Resources Question of the Week archive.

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Return to Issue of Oct. 20, 2008


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