July 31, 2008

A New Tradition Begins for Kent State University Stark’s Tenured Faculty

NORTH CANTON, Ohio, July 31 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- After spending six years teaching, writing research projects, presenting papers and surviving stressful reviews with department heads, the faculty who finally attain tenure - a major achievement in higher education - receive a generic letter from the university administrator for this momentous occasion. To Betsy V. Boze, dean of Kent State University Stark, the largest Regional Campus in the Kent State University network, this simply wasn't right.

This realization came to her at a recent conference when the speaker commented about tenure being reduced to a form letter. "I had never thought of this before - even when I received tenure," says Boze. "Earning tenure deserves acknowledgement above and beyond an impersonal letter." Traditionally, universities do not publicly celebrate faculty members who reach tenure. Therefore, the magnitude of this achievement can appear minor to other members of the campus who do not understand the painstaking process involved. Boze approached the Kent State Stark Faculty Council with the proposal of a new tradition that will not only recognize the faculty, but also will allow students and staff to realize this special accomplishment. The Council wholeheartedly accepted the proposal.

Beginning in spring 2008, each recently tenured faculty member is invited to choose a book that has inspired their professional and personal life and submit an inscription explaining the influence the book has had on them. The inscription, along with the faculty member's signature and the date they received tenure, is placed in two copies of the chosen book. One book is added to the general circulation in the Kent State Stark Resources Center and the second is placed in a faculty collection within the library that will contain the choices of every future tenured faculty member.

Five deserving Kent State Stark faculty members received tenure in 2008. "This is a great idea. It's a way for faculty to leave a permanent imprint and to share their commitment to the field they love, in a personal way," says Assistant Professor of Music Sebastian Birch, one of the first to participate in the new tradition. "It is my hope that some of my students will be as captivated by the book as I am," he says of his choice, The Fundamentals of Musical Composition. Included among the other books selected by the newly tenured faculty were The Bhagavad Gita and The Language of the Muses: The Dialogue Between Roman and Greek Sculpture.

"In the world of academia, it's sometimes easy to overlook the hard work required to earn tenure," says Boze. "This is one way to honor those who reach that goal, acknowledging them with a lasting gesture that can be enjoyed and celebrated by all members of the campus community."

At the annual Kent State Stark faculty dinner, which takes place at the end of the academic year, the professors who have earned tenure are announced. This year, each stood before their peers and proudly told a little about the book they chose and how it inspired them to reach this key milestone in their career.

About Kent State University Stark:

Kent State Stark is the largest regional campus of Kent State University and serves 10,000 students each year, comprised of 5,300 enrolled in academic coursework and 4,700 enrolled in professional development courses. Kent State Stark offers 11 bachelor's degrees and two master's degrees, in addition to associate degrees. The campus is located in Jackson Township and consists of seven major buildings. The University Center - Professional Education and Conference Center, which houses the Office of Corporate and Community Services and the Small Business Development Center, is accredited under the stringent guidelines of the International Association of Conference Centers. Always striving to enhance education through technological advancement, Kent State Stark features indoor and outdoor, campus-wide wireless Internet. Combining the best of a major university and a liberal arts college, Kent State University Stark serves our region as a key intellectual resource providing access to academic, economic and cultural advancement through excellence in teaching and learning. To learn more about Kent State University Stark, visit http://www.stark.kent.edu/.

CONTACT: Cynthia Williams


Kent State University Stark Campus

CONTACT: Cynthia Williams of Kent State University Stark Campus,+1-330-244-3262

Web Site: http://www.stark.kent.edu/.