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Summary of Kent State University Board of Trustees Actions

Posted Dec, 15, 2010

At its Dec. 15 meeting, the Kent State University Board of Trustees took action on the following items:

Establishment of Center for Nutrition Outreach

Recognizing the important role of a Kent State nutrition outreach program that serves the university community and thousands of others across Portage, Summit and Stark counties, the Board established the Center for Nutrition Outreach in the College of Education, Health and Human Services, effective Spring Semester 2011.

Trustees explained that upgrading the program to a center is warranted because of the important and growing role of the program’s work in providing free nutrition education and wellness services. It is expected that the change will increase the visibility of these services and lead to external funding for the center, which serves the tri-county area in partnership with the Portage County Health Department and the Ohio Department of Health.

The establishment of the center was previously approved by the university’s Educational Policies Council and Faculty Senate, and was endorsed by the president and provost.

Naming of the George Jenkins and Jim Phelan Hall of Fame Plaza at Dix Stadium

The Board named the Hall of Fame Plaza at Kent State’s Dix Stadium in honor of alumni and former student-athletes George Jenkins and Jim Phelan. The plaza, located in the south end zone of the football stadium, will recognize Kent State football players who have retired jerseys, have played in the NFL or have been inducted into the university’s Varsity “K” Hall of Fame.

Trustees expressed gratitude to Jenkins and Phelan, who made lead gifts of $250,000 and $150,000, respectively, in support of the university’s Football Enhancement Plan. As part of the plan, the George Jenkins and Jim Phelan Hall of Fame Plaza will play a key role in cultivating ties between former student-athletes and alumni with the university, and attracting additional support for intercollegiate athletics.

In other actions:

  • The Board authorized the purchase of three properties in the city of Kent as part of a planned expansion to enhance academic, athletic, recreational and residential programs, and to extend the Esplanade pedestrian pathway into downtown Kent:
    • A .090-acre property at 330 Erie St. owned by Sylvia Liss for $180,000.
    • A .100-acre vacant lot on Erie Street owned by Pierre Dubois for $10,000.
    • A .120-acre property at 204 S. Willow St. owned by Christopher and Robin Heiman for $200,000.

Each property was appraised by independent appraiser and purchased for the appraised amount.

  • The Board authorized a $1.6 million project to renovate the parking lot area at the Music and Speech Center. The lot, which serves the building and its new Roe Green performance facility, has deteriorated over a 40-year life and has insufficient lighting. The design, bidding and construction of the project, which will include new asphalt surfaces and improved pedestrian circulation through the lot, will follow all state laws and regulations.
  • The Board authorized a $1.575 million project to replace the 50-year-old elevators in Lake and Olson residence halls. The design, bidding and construction of the project, which will allow for larger elevators and provide needed Americans with Disabilities Act access to upper floors, will follow all state laws and regulations.
  • The Board authorized a $1.115 million project to improve the Loop Road recreation fields on the Kent Campus. The design bidding and construction of the project, which will include two natural turf multisport fields, tennis and basketball courts, and field and pedestrian lighting, will follow all state laws and regulations. The project is scheduled for completion by Fall Semester 2011.
  • The Board authorized an energy-conservation project comprising the Ashtabula, East Liverpool, Geauga, Salem and Trumbull regional campuses to ensure compliance with House Bill 251, which requires a 20-percent energy reduction by fiscal year 2014. After the public solicitation and evaluation of proposals, all done in compliance with the Ohio Revised Code, The Brewer-Garrett Company was chosen to design and implement the project, which will include lighting retrofits or replacements; installation of occupancy sensors; and heating ventilating and air-conditioning, and exhaust systems enhancements. Specific improvements for each campus will be negotiated with the company, with the total cost estimated at more than $5 million.
  • The Board revised the name of the communications studies major within the doctor of philosophy degree to communication and information. The change reflects the new college-level administrative home and interdisciplinary focus of the program, which is offered through Kent State’s College of Communication and Information.
  • The Board revised the name of the environmental technology major within the associate of applied science degree to environmental health and safety, effective Fall Semester 2011. The change reflects the flexibility offered through three new areas of concentration that will be offered to students in the growing field of environmental technology: environmental technology, environmental safety and security, and occupational health and industrial hygiene.
  • The Board unanimously approved a resolution expressing appreciation for the service of Kent State alumnus and Board of Trustee member Patrick S. Mullin for his two years of service as chair of the Board, which ended at today’s meeting. Mullin’s nine-year term as a trustee began in June 2003, with his appointment by Ohio Gov. Bob Taft. Trustees commended Mullin for providing “inspired leadership in an extraordinary time in the university’s history,” including Kent State’s Centennial, the launch of the $250 million Centennial Campaign, approval of a new strategic plan for the university, the creation of a vice-presidential position to oversee the university’s diversity efforts, and the commemoration of the 40th anniversary of the events of May 4, 1970.

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Media Contacts:
Tom Neumann,, 330-672-8533
Emily Vincent,, 330-672-8595