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Kent State Board of Trustees June Meeting

At its June 2 meeting, the Kent State University Board of Trustees took action on the following items:

  • New Center for Ecology and Natural Resource Sustainability Will Expand Knowledge and Learning Opportunities

    To maximize established academic strengths in ecological and environmental science, and to provide students with new real-world learning opportunities in the exploding "green" industry, the Board established the Center for Ecology and Natural Resource Sustainability, effective Fall Semester 2011. The multidisciplinary center, which will be administered through the Department of Biological Sciences within the College of Arts and Sciences, will serve as a point of organization for Kent State’s wide range of education, research and outreach programs related to the study of the environment and its sustainability.

    The new center will benefit students in a variety of majors by providing unique educational opportunities, including experiential learning and course credit through activities related to ecology and natural resources. The center will serve as a "one-stop shop" for students, companies and agencies interested in internships in ecological sciences.

    While the center will foster new and expanded collaborations among the departments of Biological Sciences, Geography and Geology, it will be open to participation by faculty from all academic units. The center also is intended to enhance the university’s ability to leverage extramural funding, consistent with a heightened federal government focus on environmental issues and workforce development for the nation’s green industries.

    The new center, which does not require additional space or funding, was approved previously by the university’s Educational Policies Council and the Faculty Senate and was endorsed by the president and provost.

  • Renowned Kent State Scientist Named Trustees Research Professor

    The Board recognized the many scholarly contributions of Dr. Oleg D. Lavrentovich, the director of Kent State’s renowned Liquid Crystal Institute (LCI) whose own liquid-crystal research has earned international recognition, by appointing him to a five-year term as Trustees Research Professor. The professorship, which will begin July 1, 2011, will include teaching, advising students, continuing research, involvement in university committees, and participation in regional business and community groups and initiatives.

    Lavrentovich, who will remain a tenured professor in Kent State’s Department of Chemical Physics, will receive an annual salary of $140,000 and a renewable, $50,000 professional expense allowance to support a range of scholarly activities.

    After coming to Kent State in 1992 as a senior research fellow at the LCI, Lavrentovich joined the faculty in 1994. He has served as director of the LCI since 2004.

    Lavrentovich’s liquid-crystal research, which has attracted significant external funding, has been published widely in leading scientific journals and books.  He was a leader in obtaining a $15.2 million Ohio Research Scholars Program award for a regional Research Cluster on Surfaces in Advanced Materials that is being led by Kent State.

  • Construction to Proceed on Physical Link Between Campus and Downtown Kent

    The Board authorized the university to proceed with the design, bidding and construction of a project that will complete a physical link between campus and the downtown Kent business district. The link is in the form of the University Esplanade, a tree-lined walk from Lincoln Street to Haymaker Parkway, which will facilitate safe and convenient access to the downtown area.

    The University Esplanade, which will create a new pedestrian-oriented entry point to the Kent Campus, also will provide the community and visitors with an attractive and inviting space for conversation, casual recreation and study. It will be part of the regional Portage Bike and Hike Trail system and the Kent State University’s Sculpture Walk.

    The University Esplanade project is a key component of the economic renaissance of the areas near campus and downtown Kent. Construction is expected to begin next spring and to be completed during fall 2012 in conjunction with the opening of the PARTA (Portage Area Regional Transportation Authority) multimodal transportation facility and other projects in downtown Kent.

    About $2.58 million in university funds and a $700,000 grant from the Ohio Department of Transportation have been allotted for the project, which will include the demolition of purchased homes aligning Erie Street and parcels of land along the direct path between Lincoln and Willow streets; removal of the existing Erie Street; and construction of the University Esplanade extension with a combination of brick pavers and concrete, a prominent gateway structure, trees, shrubs and gardens, lighting, furniture and emergency phones.

  • Board Authorizes Continuation Operating Budget

    Because state appropriation and legislative tuition directives for Ohio’s public universities have not been finalized by the governor and the Ohio General Assembly, the Board enacted a continuation operating budget, effective July 1, 2011.  The action will allow the university to operate at the funding level set by the Board for the current fiscal year, which will end June 30.

    Once the legislature has passed the state budget, the Board will meet to review and enact a balanced operating budget for fiscal year 2011-12.  The resolution also authorizes the Board chair, the Finance Committee chair, and the president to establish intended tuition subject to final review and approval by the Board, if circumstances prevent the Board from approving a final budget by June 30, 2011.

  • Annual Election of the President

    In keeping with the university’s constitution, the Board voted unanimously to re-elect Dr. Lester A. Lefton to a sixth term as Kent State University president. The university constitution requires the Board to hold an annual election of the university president.

    The Board also awarded the president the full value of his performance-based bonus pursuant to his employment agreement, effective July 1, 2010.

    The Board commended Dr. Lefton, who became Kent State’s 11th president in July 2006, for his efforts in leading Kent State to new heights of excellence, including records in enrollment, retention and private giving; major progress toward transforming the Kent Campus in ways that will improve the educational experience of students and help boost the economy of the city of Kent; continuing efforts in campus sustainability and internationalization; and meaningful action toward making all Kent State campuses more inclusive.

  • In other actions:
    • The Board established a legal entity in New Delhi, India, to serve as a strategic starting point for engaging in India’s exploding higher education market. The legal entity will allow Kent State to open a New Delhi office and conduct activities such as recruiting students and creating joint-degree programs with Indian universities while remaining complaint with local laws.
    • The Board established a legal entity in Geneva, Switzerland, the site of Kent State’s longtime, internationally respected study-abroad program. The action ensures that the university will be in compliance with all city and national laws and regulations as it conducts business such as hiring staff, paying bills and providing educational activities.
    • The Board unanimously approved a resolution expressing appreciation for the service of Student Trustee Katherine O’Brien, who completed a two-year term on the Board. O’Brien is a doctoral student in Kent State’s curriculum and instruction program. She has served as an adjunct faculty member at Kent State University at Stark.
    • The Board authorized the purchase of a Kent property located at 205 S. Willow St. as part of a planned expansion of the University Esplanade into downtown Kent. The two and one-half story residence, which sits on .233 acres of land, was purchased from owner Barbara L. Hartz for its appraised value of $210,000.
Posted June 6, 2011

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Sonia Alemagno Named Dean of Kent State’s College of Public Health

Sonia Alemagno
Sonia Alemagno, Dean of Kent
State’s College of Public Health.

Dr. Sonia Alemagno, professor of health policy and management and associate dean for the College of Public Health at Kent State University, has served the past year as the university’s interim vice president for research. When she returns to the College of Public Health on July 1, 2011, she will have a new title: dean.

Kent State Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs Robert G. Frank says naming Alemagno dean of the College of Public Health makes perfect sense. “Sonia has been an integral part of establishing our new College of Public Health and then getting it up and running,” Frank says. “The college has been growing rapidly with more than 250 students in its undergraduate and graduate programs. This growth can be attributed to Sonia’s hard work and ongoing dedication to the college. Sonia is a strong academic and intellectual leader who will work with us to take the College of Public Health to the next level while playing a major role in stimulating the development of community partnerships and collaborations across the entire institution.”

Alemagno takes over the deanship from Dr. Mark James, who has decided to return to his first love of teaching and relinquishes his deanship on June 30. As a faculty member, James remains committed to the College of Public Health and will work to develop two areas in which he has noted expertise: international global health programs and graduate-level instruction in the immunology of infectious diseases. James will serve as executive director of Global Health Programs.

Alemagno joined Kent State in 2009 to assist in the development of the new College of Public Health. She has held the position of interim vice president for research since July 1, 2010. Before joining Kent State, she was the chair of the Department of Public Administration and Urban Studies and director of the Institute for Health and Social Policy at The University of Akron.

Alemagno’s honors include a National Institutes of Health Career Development Award from the National Institute on Drug Abuse and The University of Akron Outstanding Researcher Award in 2005. In addition, she has been the principal investigator on research projects and Small Business Innovation Research funded by the National Institutes of Health, the Centers for Disease Control, the National Institute of Justice and the SAMSHA Center for Substance Abuse Treatment.

Alemagno earned a master of arts in sociology from Kent State in 1984 and a doctor of philosophy degree in medical sociology from Case Western Reserve University in 1991.

She resides in Russell, Ohio.

Posted June 6, 2011

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Longtime Kent State Professor David C. Riccio Honored by Former Students and Colleagues

David C. Riccio
Kent State’s Department of Psychology hosted a
Festschrift to recognize David C. Riccio's life’s work
and service to the university.

Kent State University Professor David C. Riccio just wrapped up his 46th year as a faculty member in the university’s Department of Psychology, and he has no plans of calling it quits anytime soon. From May 19 to May 21, Kent State’s Department of Psychology hosted a Festschrift to recognize Riccio’s life’s work and service to the university with a scientific meeting and a reception.

On May 19 from 4 to 6 p.m., former students and colleagues gathered at a reception at the 11th Frame at Kent Lanes, located at 1524 S. Water St. in Kent.

The scientific program on May 20 and 21 consisted entirely of presentations by Riccio’s former doctoral students, including keynote speeches by three of his most distinguished former students.

“David Riccio is quite remarkable, both as a faculty member and as a person,” says Maria Zaragoza, professor and chair of Kent State’s Department of Psychology. “Riccio is an eminent scholar, an outstanding teacher and mentor, and an exceptionally generous colleague. His influence and example have helped to shape a departmental culture of community and collegiality that is rather unique.”

At least 30 of Riccio’s former doctoral students attended the events, including folks from 15 states and one who came in from Australia. Both the reception and the programs were free and open to the public.

Steven Harrod, assistant professor at the University of South Carolina and former Ph.D. student of Riccio’s, was one of the speakers. He says that Riccio was the main influence in his decision to become a research scientist.

“Professor Riccio positively influenced my life as my mentor,” Harrod says. “One unique attribute of his is that he spends a lot of time with students who need it. He has accomplished just about everything that you can as a scientist, but I don’t think that is what drives him. I think he is driven by being able to work with students and teach people.”

Riccio has had a long and distinguished research career at Kent State. He has published more than 170 journal articles, had 40 years of uninterrupted research funding from the National Institutes of Health and the National Science Foundation, and received Kent State’s Distinguished Scholar Award. In addition, he is the recipient of the university’s Distinguished Teaching Award and has mentored 42 Ph.D. graduates.

“Professor Riccio has provided extensive service to the psychology department, the university community and his profession,” says Zaragoza.

Posted June 6, 2011

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Welcome to the 2011 Class of FlashGuides

This year’s class of 24 FlashGuides is a diverse and
fun-loving group of students.

Destination Kent State is a three-stage orientation program that includes Advising and Registration, Welcome Weekend and the First-Year Experience course. This is the third year for the Destination Kent State program.

The June and July Advising and Registration program is a one-and-a-half-day experience that includes an overnight stay in a residence hall. Students are encouraged to invite family members to participate in the program. The students explore important topics including the differences between high school and college, navigating the university and properly preparing to be a college student. Family members learn about essential tools for a successful college experience, such as financial aid, as well as survival skills for being the parent/family member of a college student. The program concludes on the second day when the student meets one-on-one with an academic advisor and creates an academic plan.

This year, Advising and Registration sessions will be held between May 31 and July 15 with a break the week of July 4.

The Advising and Registration program helps students make the all-important first connection to the university. One way students make connections is through their relationship with an exceptional group of students called FlashGuides. They are part mentor, part ally, part cheerleader and part program organizer. This year’s class of 24 FlashGuides is a diverse and fun-loving group of students who participate in the program because they want to make a difference in the lives of new students.

Join the Office of Student Success programs in welcoming the FlashGuide class of 2011 to their positions. We all have a stake in their success!

Elena Apsatarova (Sophomore, Nursing)
Christen Bradford (Sophomore, Communication)
Robert Broome (Junior, Human Development and Family Studies)
Cassandra Creer (Junior, Hospitality Management)
Keri Dantley (Sophomore, Sports Administration) 
Rebecca Gilroy (Sophomore, Early Childhood Education)
Katie Gunderson (Sophomore, Fashion Merchandising)
Brooklynn Hansley (Freshman, Middle Childhood Education)
Madeline Hauck (Junior, Interpersonal Communication)
Jelena Hotic (Sophomore, Political Science)
Braylon Hudson (Sophomore, Psychology)
Kaitlyn Huml (Freshman, Early Childhood Education)
Jasmine Lattaker (Junior, Fashion Merchandising)
Marvin Logan (Freshman, Human Development and Family Studies)
Devin Mast (Freshman, Integrated Social Studies)
Ann Miller (Sophomore, Integrated Social Studies)
Jennifer Mitchkash (Freshman, Middle Childhood Education)
Symphonie Mosley (Freshman, Advertising)
Melanie Notch (Sophomore, Fashion Merchandising)
Matthew Orr (Sophomore, Pre-Managerial Marketing)
Rosylnn Porch (Freshman, Managerial Marketing)
Thomas Ream (Sophomore, Spanish)
John Soros (Freshman, Finance/Mathematics)
Rio Vincz (Sophomore, Middle Childhood Education)

Posted June 6, 2011

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Controller’s Office Reminders to Close Out the Fiscal Year

The University will complete the fiscal year on June 30, 2011. The following dates have been established for the receipt of documents in the Business and Finance area. In general, documents received after the due date will be recorded in the new fiscal year.

The Controller’s office appreciates timely submissions of documents to ensure that a timely year-end cut-off has occurred.  If you have questions, contact the Controller’s Office at 330-672-2392 or visit the website.

  • Cash deposits as of June 30, 2011 – due July 1 by 4 p.m. – Bursar’s Office
  • Credit memos/invoices for accounts receivable other system as of June 30, 2011 – due July 1 by 3 p.m. – Bursar’s Office
  • Cost Transfers – due June 17 by 5 p.m. – Controller’s Office
  • Interdepartmental charges and COR journal entries as of June 30, 2011 – due June 30 by 5 p.m. – Controller’s Office
  • Invoices for payments and P-card reconciliations as of June 30, 2011 – due July 8 by 5 p.m. – Accounts Payable
  • Petty cash reimbursements – due July 1 by 5 p.m. – Controller’s Office
  • Non-position control budget revisions as of June 30, 2011 – due July 1 by 5 p.m. – Budget Office
  • Purchase requisitions (date for final approval) – due June 24 by 5 p.m. – Procurement
  • Salary redistributions – due June 17 by 5 p.m. – Controller’s Office
  • Expense Reimbursements – due June 30 by 5 p.m. – Accounts Payable
  • Wire Transfers – due June 29 by 5 p.m. – Accounts Payable
  • Position control budget revisions – due June 24 by 5 p.m. – Budget office
Posted June 6, 2011

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Navigating the Relocation of Books and Journals in the Library


As many faculty and staff are aware, University Libraries is moving and rearranging books and journals in the Library. These changes will continue during the summer sessions, with the ultimate goal of housing 50 percent of the book collection in a new off-site storage facility. The following information will help save time and effort as you finalize plans for and conduct your summer classes and research projects:

  • Confer with subject librarians regarding any library-intensive assignment or research project.  The subject librarian listing is available at
  • For assistance when you are in the Library, go to the Reference Desk on the first floor.  For help from other locations, go to
  • Current journals are located on the first floor in the Quiet Study area.
  • All books can be found and requested in KentLINK for next-day delivery.
  • On a day-to-day basis during the move, certain call numbers won’t be accessible for browsing but will be retrievable.  Ask for help at the Reference Desk.
  • Updates and related information about the moving project are available at:

In addition, please feel free to contact these University Libraries staff members for more information:
Barbara Schloman, Associate Dean, Public Services

Tom Klingler, Assistant Dean, Technical Services

Joe Salem, Head, Reference and Government Information

Posted June 6, 2011

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