Kent State University Trustees Vote To Go Tobacco-Free, Increase Graduate Tuition

May 11, 2016

Today's Kent State Board of Trustees meeting began with a moment of silence for Trustee Richard Marsh who passed away in March.
Credit KABIR BHATIA / WKSU

Kent State University’s trustees have extended President Beverly Warren’s contract through 2020.

The Board of Trustees voted unanimously on the contract extension at Wednesday's meeting, saying they want to continue the work Warren has done since taking the helm in 2014.  Her goal is to increase enrollment by about 2,000 students by the year 2021.  She also wants to increase research by adding tenure track faculty, from 61 percent of the staff to 70.

“There’s no magic percentage," says Warren, "but we do know that the faculty who promote the research agenda, who have the grants that come to this institution, come from tenure track faculty.”

The board also approved tuition and fee increases for graduate and out-of-state students.  That’s to offset a state-mandated tuition freeze for in-state undergrads.

Smoke-free by '17
The Board of Trustees also approved a $200,000 plan to go tobacco-free by next summer.  The plan would ban the use of not only cigarettes, but also chewing tobacco and even e-cigarettes.  President Beverly Warren says it’s part of a push to become one of the nation’s healthiest campuses.


“You can’t be that if you’re not smoke-free [and] tobacco-free.  We know that if students don’t smoke before age 23, that they are less likely to smoke at all in their lifetime.  So it’s a learning environment that we think it’s our responsibility to try to promote a healthy campus.”

Much of the plan’s cost is for signage.  At Wednesday’s meeting, the Board of Trustees also approved the second phase of an energy conservation program.  It aims to reduce water and power use by 20 percent.