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Kent State Trustees Offer Faculty Buyouts; Freeze Most Tuition

A photo of the Kent campus
Walkway from Downtown to Kent State University

Kent State University is expanding the buyout it originally offered to staff members. Trustees voted Wednesday to make the retirement incentive program available to the faculty, too.

The university's master plan, “The Strategic Roadmap to a Distinctive Kent State," calls for an emphasis on research. That means recruiting research-oriented faculty. To help fund the shift, the school is hoping to use about $18 million in expected savings from employee retirements.

University Chief Financial Officer Mark Polatajko says, "100 hundred percent of those salary and benefits savings would be used to fund the cost of the program, but then also to re-invest that into a pool that would be available to hire on new tenure-track faculty that are really focused on research.”

Mark Polatajko, Senor Vice President of Finance and Administration
Credit Tim Rudell / WKSU
Mark Polatajko, CFO, Kent State University

In another move to emphasize Kent State’s standing as a research university, the trustees approved changing the name of the long-time aerospace technology program from the College of Applied Engineering, Sustainability and Technology to the College of Aeronautics and Engineering. 

The board also decided Wednesday to stand pat for now on in-state tuition and fees for undergrads due to  the current two-year price freeze mandated by state lawmakers for students who are Ohio residents. But the trustees did vote to bump-up out-of-state rates.

Senior Vice President Polatajko:  “In analyzing the data and specifically the pricing of Kent State University among its peers, we realized that we are in the lower third.  So, we strategically have been working with our board to, over a three-year period, get into an alignment so that we’re at the median in terms of pricing.”

Kent State University Senior Vice President for Finance and Aministration, Mark Polatajko

Starting this fall, out-of-state undergraduate students will pay an increased surcharge amounting to 2 percent more overall--about $84--per semester.