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Four Finalists Announced for Kent State Provost Position

The Provost Search Committee has announced the names of four candidates who have been invited to participate in campus interviews. The on-campus interviews will be held with various university constituencies, beginning Monday, Jan. 23. The four individuals selected are:

  • David A. Francko, Associate Provost and Dean of the Graduate School, University of Alabama. Dr. Francko will visit Kent State Jan. 23-24.
  • Todd A. Diacon, Deputy Chancellor, University of Massachusetts Amherst. Dr. Diacon will visit Kent State Feb. 1-2.
  • Bernard A. Mair, Associate Provost for Undergraduate Affairs, University of Florida. Dr. Mair will visit Kent State Jan. 30-31.
  • Timothy S. Moerland, Dean, College of Arts and Sciences, Kent State University. Dr. Moerland's campus interview will be held Jan. 26-27.

"We encourage members of the faculty, staff, students and members of the public to participate in the visits," says Dean Daniel F. Mahony, search chair. “We look forward to introducing these accomplished candidates to our university community and listening to your feedback.”

Faculty/staff forums are open to all and also will be streamed live on the search website at

During campus visits, the candidates will meet with vice presidents, deans, chairs and directors, and other faculty and administrative groups. President Lester A. Lefton plans to make his final selection by the end of February.

For more information about the candidates and details about their on-campus visit, visit

Posted Jan. 23, 2012

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Distinguished Professor Named Director of Kent State’s School of Communication Studies

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Paul Haridakis, Ph.D., has been named
director of the School of Communication

The School of Communication Studies at Kent State University welcomes Paul Haridakis, Ph.D., as its seventh director, as the school celebrates its 80th anniversary of providing communication education and scholarly work to the professional and academic community.

Haridakis earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in communication and rhetoric and a Juris Doctor (law degree) from The University of Akron before receiving a Ph.D. in communication studies from Kent State University.

His legal research mostly focuses on issues related to freedom of speech and access to information.  Haridakis’ communication research focuses on media use and effects. His published research covers a wide array of topics, such as the effects of television violence on aggression, the use of social media and YouTube videos for news and political information, the role of sports viewing on social identity, the protection of online privacy, the influence of media coverage of terrorism and Internet addiction – to name just a few.

Haridakis has co-authored or co-edited four books and about 45 articles, chapters and encyclopedia entries. His books are: Sports Fans, Identity and socialization: Exploring the Fandemonium; Research Methods: Strategies and Sources (7th ed.); War and the Media: Essays on News Reporting, Propaganda and Popular Culture; and Sports Mania: Essays on Fandom and the Media in the 21st century.

Haridakis has a notable tenure with Kent State, first serving as an editorial assistant for the Journal of Broadcasting and Electronic Media in 1986. He was also an editorial assistant for the Journal of Communication before turning his attention to teaching. He moved up the ranks from a teaching assistant to assistant professor, to associate professor, and finally to full professor all in less than 12 years.

"We are delighted to have Dr. Haridakis joining our leadership team in the college,” says Stan Wearden, Ph.D., dean of the College of Communication and Information at Kent State. “He is an experienced manager and an outstanding leader. Dr. Haridakis is also one of the nation's premier scholars in two distinct areas: uses and gratifications research, and legal scholarship on the right to information. His colleagues and I agree that he is clearly the right person to lead the school at this critical time."

Posted Jan. 23, 2012

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Proper Usage of NF and SF Grades

Reminder about the proper usage of the NF (Never Attended - F) and the SF (Stopped Attending - F) grades.

The NF grade denotes that a student never attended one class session nor did the student formally withdraw from the course. The NF grade will count as an F (zero quality points) in computing grade point averages. This grade is to be used ONLY when the student has had no attendance or activity in your course.

The SF grade denotes that a student stopped attending the course and did not formally withdraw. The SF grade will count as an F (zero quality points) in computing grade point averages and must be accompanied by a date of last attendance in the course. Faculty who cannot determine the exact date of last attendance may use the date of the last academic activity in which the student participated.

Any time an NF or SF grade is assigned (including as a midterm grade for freshmen), an email is automatically sent to the student to inform him/her of the grade that has been reported. The message also encourages the student to address  registration in the course if the notification is received prior to the withdrawal deadline. Therefore, it is very important to report these grades as soon as possible once the instructor notices that a student has not been active in the course, or has stopped all activity in the course. If the student later returns to the course, the NF or SF grade can be changed up to the point at which grades are finalized for that part of term.

It is very important for all instructors to utilize these grades appropriately. The Student Financial Aid office relies heavily on the NF and SF grade information provided by instructors when determining whether or not the university must return financial aid to the funding agency.

If you have any questions about the NF or SF grades and how they are to be used, please contact Associate Registrar Jeff Gardner at 330-672-3131 or

Posted Jan. 23, 2012

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Enrich Your Students’ Classroom Experience With Diversity Initiatives

100 Commitments Initiative provides avenue for faculty to submit research, presentations

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The 100 Commitments Initiative commits to inclusive
excellence at Kent State. Participants explore what diversity
means at Kent State University thorugh a variety of activities.

Kent State’s 2012 100 Commitments Initiative officially kicks off on
Jan. 23 and runs through Jan. 26.

Last year, the Division of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, under the leadership of Vice President Alfreda Brown, launched the 100 Commitments Initiative to bring inclusive excellence to the Greater Kent State community. More than 1,000 students, faculty and staff were successfully engaged in exploring the different areas of diversity that make up Kent State University.

“This year, we are encouraging participants to connect across the divide by delving into the different commitment activities for a deeper learning experience," says Michele Davis, co-chair, 100 Commitments Initiative. “Faculty members are encouraged to interweave some of the commitment activities, i.e., reading articles, going to an event, etc., that touch on the 10 designated categories of diversity into their classes.”

Last year, two faculty members enriched their classes significantly by using the 100 Commitments Initiative to develop academic dialogue amongst their students.

In addition, faculty members and graduate students are encouraged to submit links to their research, publications and presentations that are related to diversity issues. These links will be provided to 100 Commitments participants as a possible reading activity in fulfilling their commitment to inclusive excellence at Kent State. If your research relates to one of the following diversity categories, please submit a link to to have it placed in the online Diversity Resource Library:

  • Ability Awareness
  • Diversity of Sexual and Gender Expression
  • Veterans, Current and Aspiring Service Members
  • Socioeconomic Status
  • Diversity of American Culture
  • Generational and Age Differences
  • Gender—Women’s Issues and Nontraditional Gender Roles
  • Religion and Spirituality
  • People From Other Nations
  • Diversity in General

By understanding and embracing diversity, Kent State hopes to create an atmosphere where all students, faculty and staff feel welcomed and encouraged to strive to their greatest potential. In addition, as the workforce is becoming increasingly globalized, 100 Commitments will help to ensure that our students graduate with 21st-century workforce skill sets.

Registration tables will be set up in the Kent Student Center the week of the kick-off. Students, faculty and staff can also go to to register online. Let’s all commit to Inclusive Excellence!

For more information, visit or contact Davis at 330-672-0414.

Posted Jan. 23, 2012

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Register Now for the Black Squirrel 5K

Get in line for the Student Recreation and Wellness Center’s second annual Black Squirrel 5K Race.

The Black Squirrel 5K, which is named after Kent State University’s famous black squirrel, begins at 8 a.m. Saturday, April 14, but joggers who sign up before Feb. 1 will receive a discounted price on registration.

Early bird registration costs $20 and is available now through Feb. 1. Once early registration ends, regular registration costs $25, and late registration $30. Registration is available online and at the Student Recreation and Wellness Center.

Greg Bailey, assistant director of Recreational Services, hopes to see participant attendance just as high as last year because of the important of the race to the Student Recreation and Wellness Center.

“We continue to do the Black Squirrel 5K Race because it is consistent with our department’s mission of promoting healthy lifestyles,” Bailey says.

Not only will the first 500 registered joggers receive a free T-shirt, all participants will receive a free buffet and get the chance to win door prizes.

“The Black Squirrel 5K will use a chip timing device to provide instantaneous results,” Bailey says.
Bailey explains that the Black Squirrel 5K provides an additional race in the spring that is similar to the annual Kent State Bowman Cup Race in the fall.
According to Bailey, this year’s course start will begin in front of the Student Recreation and Wellness Center, as does the Bowman Cup, to alleviate congestion that runners experienced at last year’s start. Police will patrol for safety purposes at the starting point.

Money will be awarded to the top three winners.

  • First place: $75
  • Second place: $50
  • Third place: $25

The center will present joggers with awards based on age group as well.

The Black Squirrel 5K is open to joggers ages 5 to 80. Registration fees are nonrefundable and cannot be transferred to another jogger.

For more information about rules and regulations, visit

Posted Jan. 23, 2012 | Katie Fickle

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Inform Your Female Students About the Women’s Center Foundation Scholarship

The Women's Center at Kent State University has been a motivating force behind the advancement of women in higher education. An integral part of the center’s effort is to empower women with financial assistance in obtaining a college degree.

The Women’s Center endowed scholarship fund, established in 2003, enables the center to provide two Kent State University female students with $500 scholarships. To date,16 women have received scholarships.

Applications will be accepted for the 2012-2013 school year through Tuesday, Feb. 14, at 5 p.m.

Eligibility and Selection Criteria

  • Applicants must be a female sophomore, junior or senior enrolled at Kent State University as a full-time student during the 2012-2013 academic year
  • Strong academic performance
  • Demonstrated leadership and contribution to women’s issues on campus and in the community

To apply, encourage your female students to submit a résumé, reference letter and the application found at to the Women’s Center by Feb. 14, at 5 p.m.

For more information, contact the Women’s Center at 330-672-9230.

Posted Jan. 23, 2012

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Have Outgoing, Energetic Students?

Encourage them to audition for Kent State’s mascot position

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Encourage an outgoing, energetic student to audition for
Kent State's mascot position.
The Kent State Department of Intercollegiate Athletics seeks an energetic crowd pleaser to play the role of the number one fan of the Blue and Gold: Flash, the golden eagle.

The university is looking for Kent State students who are athletic, possess a high energy level and love to be the center of attention. In addition to pumping up the crowd at various sporting events, Kent State’s beloved mascot also makes appearances in the community at charity events, weddings, birthday parties and much more. Students will be compensated.

Tryout Requirements:
  • Candidates must show a valid Kent State ID.
  • For safety reasons, candidate must be 5’7” or taller.
  • Candidates will be asked to react to 2-3 game-day scenarios.
  • Candidates will improvise a short 20-30 second dance; music will be provided.
  • Judges will look for the following qualities in a candidate:
     -  Improvisation
     -  Strong leadership skills
     -  Charismatic presence/personality
     -  Confidence
     -  Independence
     -  Enthusiasm
     -  Athletic skills and abilities appropriate for required activities

If you know any students who fit the bill, encourage them to call 330-672-8414 or email to set up a tryout.

Posted Jan. 23, 2012

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Kent State Students Can Earn Recognition in Web Design Contest

Kent State University faculty and staff are encouraged to inform their students about the University System of Ohio’s Choose Ohio First Website Design Contest.

This is an opportunity for Kent State students to practice their website building skills and gain recognition for their work. The team or individual who submits the winning entry will receive a letter of recognition from the Chancellor of the Board of Regents, in addition to recognition on other Web outlets.

Registration is open now through Friday, Feb. 5, for Ohio college and high school students to design a website to recruit talented students into STEMM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics and Medicine) fields.

The website design must encourage middle and high schools students to enroll in a STEMM program at one of the 41 Ohio colleges and universities participating in Choose Ohio First, and also highlight the Choose One First Scholarship. The scholarship offers students studying a STEMM field awards ranging from $1,500 to $4,700 per year.

Students may work individually on the project or in teams. The website must include the Choose Ohio First brand and emphasize the organization’s programs and its participating institutions. The website design should be easily accessible, provide scholarship award amounts and comply with all browsers.  

Applicants must visit  to register.

Judging starts Tuesday, April 3. The top websites will be available on for the public to vote from April 16 to 29. The public’s vote will count as 25 percent of the total vote. A winner will be announced Monday, May 7.

For more information and for contest guidelines, visit

Posted Jan. 23, 2012 | Katie Fickle

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