Despite some treacherous winter weather and a recovering torn rotator cuff, Kent State University President Dr. “Bev” Warren stopped by City Council meeting on February 4th to catch up with Council members and chat a little town-gown relations.
Bev spent 40 minutes reviewing her first 9 months on the job and sharing her early observations about what’s working and what she hopes we can work on together.
She spent the better part of 2014 completing her listening tour — talking with students, alumni, business owners, faculty, and community groups to hear what Kent State University means to them and ask what they’d like to see her do to continue the positive momentum that the University has enjoyed.
Let’s face it, universities are under a lot of stress these days as state funding cuts and tuition caps have backed them into a financial corner at a time when the economy needs them more than ever to produce the next generation of innovative and productive workers. Plenty of cynics in media circles suggest that college education is the next big bubble to burst and that’s a tough spot for a new university President to find herself in.
But Bev has a remarkable ability to stay focused on the positive and see what opportunities are created by the current challenges and she’s not afraid to ask for help to finding those hidden possibilities. Bev may be a new university president but she’s well versed in higher education and no doubt she’ll lead Kent State University through this and come out stronger on the other side.
Bev shared her sense of priorities coming out of the listening tour and she listened to what the members of City Council thought about her observations. After the meeting Bev passed on the link on the KSU web site that lists her priorities and I think that’s a great framework for us to use to flush out even more collaborative projects to take on together and keep Kent moving forward.
2015 is shaping up to be a great year both on and off campus.