News Briefs

TopReturn to Issue of Feb. 23, 2009

President Lefton to Give State of the University Address in Nation's Capital

Kent State University President Lester A. Lefton will update federal legislators, congressional staffers and alumni and friends in the Washington, D.C., area on key initiatives and accomplishments of the university during the evening of Feb. 24. Lefton’s address will take place in the Natural Resources Committee Hearing Room in the Longworth House Office Building on Capitol Hill.

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Diversity Leadership Training Offered Through Provost's Office

Vice Provost Steve Michael will host an eight-week Diversity Leadership Training series designed to prepare future diversity leaders here at Kent State University. In response to numerous requests, a "train-the-trainer" approach will be used to help create capacity to lead diversity efforts throughout the organization.

The desire is to have participation from each major administrative division; however, all are welcome to attend. A certificate of completion will be awarded. Potential participants must have earned a bachelor's degree in any discipline.

Michael will interview and select participants from a pool of those who have expressed interest. Respondents are asked to bring a resume to that meeting. The Diversity Leadership Training series is scheduled from Feb. 26 through June 1. Contact Keli Greene at or 330-672-2442 for more information or to schedule an interview.

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Kent State/NEOUCOM Technology Licensee Recognized for Cutting-Edge Innovation

Pathogen Systems, Inc. was honored for their work on an advanced biosensor device.

Pathogen Systems Inc., a technology company that has licensed liquid crystal technology born of a local partnership, was recently recognized by local business leaders as home to one of “the most exciting and impactful innovations” in Northeast Ohio. The recognition came in the form of an Innovation Award, presented annually by the Northeast Ohio Technology Coalition (NorTech), this year in partnership with Crain’s Cleveland Business magazine.

Pathogen Systems is developing a liquid-crystal-based biosensor that detects pathogens at low levels in real time. This pioneering technology was invented jointly by researchers at Kent State and the Northeastern Ohio Universities College of Medicine and Pharmacy. The device holds enormous potential for saving lives at the individual level and on a massive scale, and may also have vast commercial potential.

For more information about the NorTech Innovation Awards visit the NorTech Web site.

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Honors Week Deadline for Events Extended, Event Submission Form Now Available Online

The Honors College invites participation from across the university in Honors Week, which will take place from Sunday, April 5, through Saturday, April 11. Honors Week is dedicated to celebrating the intellectual and artistic life of Kent State University through lectures, symposia, art exhibitions, appearances by distinguished visitors and performances by dance, music and theatre ensembles. Past events have also included honorary society induction ceremonies, poetry readings, fashion reviews, brunches and dinners.

Events should embody the spirit and purpose of Honors Week, but they do not require significant expense. This campuswide celebration is an opportunity for all departments to offer events that sustain the vitality of the university and give students a sense of unity and belonging to something worthwhile and enduring.

If your unit would like to be a part of the Honors Week celebration, please complete this form and return it to Kimberly Huff in the Honors College by Wednesday, March 4. If you have questions, contact the Honors College at 330-672-2312 or for more information. Events will be included in online Honors Week publicity.

To register an event, submit this form.

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Legal Brief: There is an opening in my department and a family member clearly meets the qualifications for the position. Can he/she be hired?

"Legal Briefs" is a monthly article from the Office of the University Counsel designed to keep faculty and staff informed of legal issues and their implications. An archive of past Legal Briefs is available online. If you have an idea for a Legal Brief topic, send an e-mail to

Possibly. Kent State currently has several family relationships throughout the eight-campus system. However, there are university policies in place that address the issue of whether it is appropriate for one family member to appoint another family member into a position within their line of supervision or influence. This could include immediate relatives such as sons, daughters, spouses, siblings and stepchildren.

As explained in Policy 3342-6-04.2, "Administrative policy regarding employment of a near relative," there is no objection to the appointment of a family member so long as "one family member is not in a position to influence a decision in favor of or against the other." For example, if you hire this family member, are you the appointing authority that determines whether the position is eligible for a salary increase? Or are you the supervisor who has authority over the manager who determines whether the family member will receive more work hours during the week? If the answer is yes, the appointment may not be appropriate.

The policy also provides guidance should this situation already exist. According to the policy, "Any decisions involving such direct benefit or detriment shall be referred, where appropriate, to either an immediate supervisor or the proper appointing authority."

If you have any questions concerning the appointment of a family member to a university position, please contact Joe Vitale, director of talent management, at

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Call for Anniversary and Centennial Event Information for Future Publication

Is your school or department celebrating a landmark anniversary during the 2009-2010 academic year? Or, are other events in the works in honor of the university’s Centennial Celebration?

University Communications and Marketing wants to hear from schools or departments celebrating anniversaries and/or planning Centennial-related events during the 2009-2010 academic year. Upcoming issues of Kent State Magazine will devote sections to the university’s Centennial Celebration and departments marking milestones.

Please send information to Lindsay Kuntzman at before April 1. E-mails should include the anniversary year being celebrated or event scheduled, along with contact information for follow-up questions.

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Nomination Forms for 2009 Student Leadership and Honors Awards Now Available

All Kent State administrators, faculty, staff and students are invited to nominate outstanding university students and organization advisers for their academic accomplishments, leadership and service to Kent State and its surrounding community.

Nominators should submit a nomination form and letter highlighting the nominee's accomplishments and a description of why the nominee should be considered for an honor.

Award categories include:

Senior Awards:

  • Eric Rackham Award
  • Manchester Cup
  • Margaret Swanson Davis Award
  • Mary Manchester Award
  • Melvyn J. Feinberg Outstanding Senior

Leadership Awards:

  • Cindy Bowlby Award
  • Distinguished Student Leader Award
  • John B. Beacom Award
  • Student Leader of the Year Award

Student Organization Awards:

  • Leadership Excellence Award
  • Organization Excellence Award
  • Organization Advisor Excellence Award
  • Service Excellence Award

Nomination packets and more information about each award are available at the Center for Student Involvement in Room 226 of the Kent Student Center or online .

All nominations must be submitted to the Center for Student Involvement by 5 p.m. on Friday, March 6 to be considered. Winners will be honored at the 31st annual spring awards ceremony on April 14 at 6:30 p.m. in the Kent Student Center.

To learn more about the 2009 Student Leadership and Honors Awards, contact the Center for Student Involvement at 330-672-2480.

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Human Resources Question of the Week: Does Kent State offer any Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) training?

Yes. In an online training module, participants can learn what is required to be in FMLA compliance when an employee requests an extended leave. All university supervisors, managers, executives and their support staff will be expected to complete the online training. Once the training is complete, participants will then attend a one-hour, in-person session that will review relevant Kent State policies pertaining to the FMLA and the proper procedures to follow.

Employees who are part of the target audience should have received an e-mail from Human Resources containing instructions on how to access the online training. Click here to register and follow the prompts for online learning opportunities.

For more information, contact Bob Hall at or 330-672-0894.

View the HR Question of the Week archive.

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