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Kent State Streamlines Innovation With a New Hub

J.R. Campbell
J.R. Campbell is overseeing development of Kent State's Design Innovation Initiative.

Kent State University is launching a new initiative to streamline innovation across disciplines.

The Board of Trustees yesterday  approved $44 million to renovate the now-empty Art Building into the Design Innovation Hub. The hub will be complete with a dining hall and open, collaborative spaces.

J.R. Campbell is stepping down as head of Kent State’s nationally ranked fashion school to lead the project. He says he wants the hub to support innovation across departments.

“This initiative hopefully helps to break down a lot of the academic silos that exist within the university, and really creates a layer that allows us to connect across the disciplines in more meaningful way for both faculty and for students,” he says.

Campbell says he hopes to establish a Design Innovation Fellowship, open to students at Kent State and across the nation, to supplement their coursework.

The Design Innovation Hub is to open in 2020.