News Home
Quick Bites
News Archive
News Channel
Special Features
On AirNewsClassical
School Closings
WKSU Support
Funding for WKSU is made possible in part through support from the following businesses and organizations.

Hennes Paynter Communications

The Holden Arboretum


For more information on how your company or organization can support WKSU, download the WKSU Media Kit.

(WKSU Media Kit PDF icon )

Donate Your Vehicle to WKSU

Programs Schedule Make A Pledge Member BenefitsFAQ/HelpContact Us

Kent's journalism school faculty protest presidential search secrecy
The university says it abided by the law, and the process yielded the best candidate for president

Web Editor
M.L. Schultze
No one is criticizing the choice of Beverly Warren as Kent State's new president, but the secrecy of the hiring process has stirred controversy.
Download (WKSU Only)
In The Region:

Most of the faculty at Kent State’s School of Journalism and Mass Communication are protesting the secrecy surrounding the late stages of the university’s search for a new president. WKSU’s M.L. Schultze has more on the dispute over the process that led to the hiring of Beverly Warren.

LISTEN: The process of Kent State's presidential search stirs controversy

Other options:
Windows Media / MP3 Download (2:25)

 The Beacon Journal has been questioning the search for weeks, including why the university will not release the names of other finalists for the job and why it signed a contract that gave a private search firm control over key records. The paper also has challenged the sketchiness of some expense reports charged by the firm and the decision to shred the notes of some search committee members. 

Now the faculty at the journalism school is maintaining in a letter to the search committee and board of trustees that Kent State is violating at least the spirit of open government and public records law that the school teaches. 

Mark Goodman is a journalism law professor.

“I’m the first to admit that following the obligations of public records and public meetings laws creates a lot of work for government agencies. But the reason why those laws exist are beyond the difficulty. They really are about ensuring effective public oversight and public buy in to the decisions that are made.” 

The letter and spirit of the law
The university insists it abided by the letter of the law and followed a process that got Kent State the best candidate for president. Spokesman Eric Mansfield says no one has challenged the qualifications of Beverly Warren.

“It’s been more than three months since she was selected by the board of trustees. The cost of the search was reasonable compared to similar searches across the country. Certainly the person who was chosen, Dr. Warren, has the credentials that fit a person that we were looking for. And the invoices and the receipts that were released show the things that you would expect for a presidential search.”

And Mansfield notes the university released a list of its initial candidates for the job and a copy of the contract with the search firm.

 “Much has been made of the contract with the search firm. That contract was signed in August and then released to the media in August. And then followed. We didn’t get a lot of questions about it until after the process was concluded with the selection of Dr. Warren.” 

But Goodman maintains that the university has created controversy where none needed to be. 

“I think one factor that the university has totally failed to take into account is … the cloud that President Warren is going to come in under and I feel terrible for her that she has to experience that through no doing of her own.” 

The letter was signed by 28 journalism school faculty, including the former director of the school, Jeff Fruit, and Jan Leach, the former editor of the Beacon Journal.



Listener Comments:

There really was too much secrecy behind the selection process. Hopefully the letter by the faculty members will convince the board to provide more information from the selection process. It's only fair that as a students attending Kent State everyone understands just who Dr. Warren is and why she was considered "the best" candidate. With so much secrecy one can't help but question how just the selection process was.

Posted by: Samantha Feuer (United States) on April 22, 2014 3:04AM
Add Your Comment


E-mail: (not published, only used to contact you about your comment)


Page Options

Print this page

E-Mail this page / Send mp3

Share on Facebook

Stories with Recent Comments

Local club works to bring back the once-prevalent American elm
I would love to help! Where would I get some of the new Strain so I could plant them?

Ohio Rep. John Boccieri sworn into office and hopes to look for 'middle ground' with colleagues
Welcome back to the Statehouse, John. You are a terrific representative in the truest sense always representing the people's voice in teh district you serve. ...

Lawmakers call for indefinite freeze on Green Energy standards
It's a shame the Hudson Rep. Chooses to mimic the words of the extreme right senator on his way out to join ALEC when we know the Pope was just here because of...

Youngstown Schools file suit against the Ohio Department of Education to stop the implementation of an academic distress commission
Voters should ask WHY this plan was rushed into law under the cover of darkness. What clues point to the beneficiaries of this plan? Both Patrick O'Donnell of...

Great Lakes conference considers a range of threats
Your article states "Studies discovered over half of all PAHs found in the Great Lakes region come from a single source: Coal tar sealants.". I'm curious to whi...

ODOT awards Kent-based Davey Research Group nearly $50,000 to improve highway landscapes
This is an outrageous waste of taxpayer's money. Good for only Davey Tree and their cronies in the State government. It takes $50k to figure out the way to save...

Canton: another Northeast Ohio city is planning its comeback
Historic Ridgewood and the Stark Metropolitan Housing Authority have no seats at the table. Very flawed right out of the gate. Ridgewood pays a huge percentage...

Property owners oppose a wind farm in Northern Ohio
Here is a link, exposing the connivance of the fossil fuel industry, in trying to prevent us from moving away from their outdated, filthy, and expensive forms o...

A new industry in Ohio aims to repurpose river sediment
and where do those PCB's end up??the story never says

A safe space: How Northeast Ohio colleges try to fight sexual assault
Very good and thorough job on a very sensitive topic!

Copyright © 2015 WKSU Public Radio, All Rights Reserved.

In Partnership With:

NPR PRI Kent State University

listen in windows media format listen in realplayer format Car Talk Hosts: Tom & Ray Magliozzi Fresh Air Host: Terry Gross A Service of Kent State University 89.7 WKSU | NPR.Classical.Other smart stuff. NPR Senior Correspondent: Noah Adams Living on Earth Host: Steve Curwood 89.7 WKSU | NPR.Classical.Other smart stuff. A Service of Kent State University