Monday, 29 April 2019 10:20

KSU Names 13th University President

(Kent State University) The Kent State University Board of Trustees has appointed Todd Diacon, Ph.D., Kent State’s executive vice president and provost, as its next university president at a special Board meeting held Monday, April 29. President-elect Diacon will begin his term as Kent State’s 13th president on July 1. He succeeds President Beverly J. Warren, who is stepping down as president after five years of exemplary service to the university.

The Kent State University Board of Trustees has appointed Todd Diacon, Ph.D., Kent State’s executive vice president and provost, as its next university president.The Kent State Board of Trustees appointed a 16-member search committee, chaired by Trustee Shawn Riley, and launched a national search for President Warren’s successor. To prepare for the search, the Board solicited input from virtually every constituency: faculty, staff, students, donors, alumni, elected officials, the Kent community and others. Input received from these groups indicated that Kent State needs a dynamic, experienced leader who could build on the institution’s vision and strategic direction, enhance academic excellence and research, strengthen organizational capacity and sustainability, and raise Kent State’s profile and prominence.

“After a rigorous national search, we have found that leader,” said Ralph Della Ratta, chair of the Kent State Board of Trustees. “Today, in a unanimous vote, the Kent State Board of Trustees has elected Todd Diacon, Ph.D., as Kent State’s 13th president.

“The Board is confident that Dr. Diacon’s substantial contributions to Kent State’s advancement over the past seven years demonstrate that he is the right person at the right time to continue our remarkable momentum and progress,” Chair Della Ratta continued.

President-elect Diacon has 30 years of higher education leadership experience. In his current position as executive vice president and provost of Kent State, he is the second highest-ranking position behind the president. He joined Kent State in April 2012 and is responsible for all academic functions of the university, leading the administration, faculty, and staff within more than 20 academic units, including colleges, schools, departments, and regional campuses of an eight-campus system that enrolls more than 38,000 students.

“Dr. Diacon knows Kent State well and has a deep understanding of the university’s strengths and potential,” Chair Della Ratta said. “We all agree that he has the leadership ability to accelerate our momentum in reaching our highest aspirations. Dr. Diacon is committed to advancing Kent State’s position as a top-tier public research university and our intense focus on strengthening student success, research and academic excellence.”

President-elect Diacon’s contributions and deep experience in these priorities have been evident during his time as Kent State’s provost. He has been instrumental in developing creative ways to boost the university’s international reach and reputation, including establishing our American Academy at the Pontifical Catholic University of Paraná (PUCPR), a major university in Brazil.

He has helped the university attract world-class, talented deans, faculty and academic leaders, including most recently Christina Bloebaum, Ph.D., dean of the College of Aeronautics and Engineering; Michael Lehman, Ph.D., inaugural director of the Brain Health Research Institute; and Neil Cooper, Ph.D., inaugural director of the School of Peace and Conflict Studies. Dr. Diacon’s commitment to the recruitment of diverse faculty significantly increased the number of faculty hires from underrepresented groups, and contributed to Kent State earning the distinction as the No. 1 university nationwide in Forbes’ list of America’s Best Employers for Diversity 2019.

President-elect Diacon has contributed significantly to elevating Kent State’s academic excellence. During his time as provost, Kent State has enrolled five of its largest freshman classes, increased the number of undergraduate degrees awarded, raised the academic profile of the freshman class, improved graduation rates, and achieved record retention rates.

Before coming to Kent State, President-elect Diacon served as deputy chancellor at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. His duties included supervising the university’s strategic plan, leading special projects, co-directing university relations with state government, coordinating town-gown initiatives and directing the UMass Community College Connection to encourage community college students to enroll at UMass. In addition to his role of deputy chancellor at UMass, he was a professor of history.

Prior to UMass, President-elect Diacon worked at the University of Tennessee from 1989-2010, joining first as an assistant professor of history. During his career there, he held various positions, including director of the Latin American studies program, head of the history department, NCAA faculty athletics representative, professor of history with tenure, vice provost for academic operations and executive director for academic assessment and program support.

President-elect Diacon specializes in agrarian history and the history of central state power in Brazil. He has authored publications on student success and on the administration of higher education, and he has written several journal articles and two books. His book “Stringing Together a Nation” won the 2005 Warren Dean Prize for the most significant book on Brazilian history.

“The Board of Trustees would like to express our deep appreciation to the members of the Presidential Search Committee for their dedicated service,” Chair Della Ratta said. “The search process was very inclusive, and today we celebrate an outstanding outcome. We all owe a special debt of gratitude to Trustee Shawn Riley, who has given so generously of his time and counsel as chair of the Presidential Search Committee. We are especially grateful for his engagement with the Faculty Senate Executive Committee and the Committee on Administrative Officers.”

Published in Local
Friday, 05 April 2019 17:50

Sam and Brad Show Podcast 4.5.19

On the Feel Good Friday edition of the Sam and Brad Show Podcast:

Andre Knott from STO joined to talk Trevor Bauer and his dominant pitching performance. (22 seconds in) 

Rob Senderoff, coach of Kent State men's basketball called in from Minnesota to talk Final Four and about his team's offseason. (14:41)

Assistant men's basketball coach of the Virginia Cavaliers men's basketball team Kyle Getter called in to discuss the team's appearance in the Final Four. (32:05)


Published in Sam and Brad
Tuesday, 29 January 2019 15:20

Jasen Sokol Show Podcast 1.29.19

Jasen and Bobbi's Tuesday edition of the Jasen Sokol Show Podcast. 
1. Doug Livingston from the Akron Beacon Journal spoke about former Akron mayor Don Plusquellic possibly running for office again
2 Jan Leach from Kent State University spoke about a tough week in journalism all across the board 
3. John Nicholas from the University of Akron spoke about the cyber attack on Akron.
Published in Jasen Sokol
Wednesday, 28 November 2018 10:22

Ray Horner Podcast - 11/28/2018

:17 - The Ohio State Buckeyes sit at six in the AP Top 25, which makes them on the outside looking in for the college football playoff. Ray thinks the Bucks have a case for the playoff, while Tony believes their loss to Purdue and narrow win over Maryland may have cost them

10:49 - We’re a year and a half from the 50th anniversary of the Kent State shootings, and the folks there want to preserve the memory. Dr. Mindy Farmer from Kent State talked about the Ohio History Connection award the school won in commemoration of the event.

15:31 - My, how things have changed in high school athletics. An offseason once meant an off season, but there are no off days in this world. Dr. Joe Congeni from Akron Children’s Hospital discussed the weight training schools are doing throughout the winter to prepare for sports like track, baseball, and even football.

21:07 - Could the Indians part ways with Trevor Bauer? How about Corey Kluber or Carlos Carrasco? While the window is still open, they may need to, as mentioned here by Ray and Tony.

28:05 - At 10 AM on Saturday, the Joe Siegferth Basketball Classic is happening over at Firestone CLC. Ron Linger, Akron Public Schools’ assistant athletic director, went over the bulk of the games.

Published in WAKR RAY HORNER
Tuesday, 06 November 2018 17:53

Sam and Brad Show Podcast 11.6.18

Sam and Brad spoke with Steve Doerschuk to talk about his article on Bruce Arians and his possible interest in coaching the Browns right off the jump.

Kent State men's basketball coach Rob Senderoff also joined the program at 15:33 to talk about the opening up of the Flashes' season here soon.


Published in Sam and Brad

A few tense moments at a pro-2nd amendment rally on Kent State campus Saturday afternoon, as protesters clashed with demonstrators.

The rally, wasn't officially a rally as KSU officials denied the permit to Kent grad Kaitlin Bennett who planned speakers but didn't apply for that permit in time. She was still within her rights, according to State Law, to hold an "open-carry" march on campus, which she did. Bennett's group, though, was met with protesters and at one point things escalated.

Four people were arrested, all for disorderly conduct, but one person was also charged with assaulting a police officer.

"We anticipated that this day might present some challenges, as opposing groups from the outside came to our campus to express their freedoms and be heard," said KSU President Beverly Warren said in a press conference after the event, adding, "While there was some heated challenges and exchanges today, I am pleased to say that today's events concluded with minimal violence and injury and no damage to University property." 

See the full press conference, courtesy of Kent State University's Facebook page, here

Published in Local
Thursday, 13 September 2018 17:01

KSU, Coach Lewis Prepare For Penn State

Coach Sean Lewis of Kent State University spoke with Sam and Brad ahead of their game with perennial power Penn State on Saturday.

 Kickoff is set for 12 noon in Pennsylvania. 

Published in Sam and Brad

Kent State head football coach Sean Lewis joined the Sam and Brad Show to talk about the Golden Flashes football team as they prepare for Howard Week #2.


Kickoff is set for 3:30pm.


Published in Sam and Brad

Kent State men's basketball coach Rob Senderoff offered his thoughts on the NCAA Men's Championship in college basketball tonight between Villanova and Michigan as well as his thoughts on a new NCAA Basketball Tournament format. 


Published in Sam and Brad
Thursday, 18 January 2018 11:38

UPDATE: KSU Denies White Nationalist Speaker

UPDATE: Kent State University has rejected the request from white nationalist Richard Spencer to speak on May 4th at the Multicultural Center on campus. 

In a release, the college says they simple couldn't accomodate Spencer's request as April 30th through May 12th is an "exceptionally busy" time on campus. 


White Nationalist Richard Spencer, who is known for speaking tours at college campuses across the U.S., is reportedly part of a request to reserve the Kent State University Multicultural Center, on May 4th of this year, for a speech. is reporting that a Tweet sent out by Kyle Bristow (posted below), a lawyer who represents Spencer's National Policy Institute, acknowledged that Spencer's tour manager Cameron Padgett is working on the reservation, and that Padgett would have Spencer speak at the event on May 4th. 


May 4th, 2018, would be the 48th anniversary of the shooting of four unarmed college students by National Guardsmen on Kent State's campus during a Vietnam War protest. 

Spencer, meanwhile, is suing both University of Cincinnati and Ohio State University for not allowing him to speak on campus. 

Read more from



Published in Local
Thursday, 21 December 2017 15:31

AUDIO New KSU Coach Excited To Lead Program

New Kent State University head coach Sean Lewis spoke with Sam Bourquin on a Thursday afternoon shortly after he was announced as the 22nd football coach in school history.

Lewis comes to Kent from Syracuse University, where he served as offensive coordinator.  He will be taking over for coach Paul Haynes, who was the coach of the Golden Flashes from 2013-2017.


Published in Sam and Brad

Kent State University has announced a "tuition guarantee" program, similar to the University of Akron and Youngstown State University, along with several other statewide universities and colleges, that made announcements on their plans recently.

The tuition increase, which will be rolled out for incoming freshman starting Fall semester, 2018, and will freeze undergraduate tuition, mandatory fees, and room and board rates, including meal plans, for four years. Eric Mansfield with KSU says that there could be additional costs for specific programs, but the tuition guarantee applies to the base tuition.  

The Kent State Board of Trustees is meeting again in March of 2018 to discuss what the tuition hike will be. Mansfield added in an interview with the Ray Horner Morning Show on 1590 WAKR that while in-state, undergrad tuition has not increased since 2014, and the tuition guarantee does not affect current students, the Board will discuss in that meeting in March what will happen with the tuition for current students. 


Published in Local
Sunday, 29 November -0001 19:00

AUDIO Kent State Looking To Improve In 2017

The Kent State University Golden Flashes are looking to improve in 2017 playing a tough brand of football.

Kent State head coach Paul Haynes commended his team for their work ethic heading into fall camp.

"The guys had a great summer, very positive attitudes and worked hard getting ready for fall camp," Haynes said.

The team opens the 2017 against the defending national champion Clemson Tigers. 

Coach Haynes discussed his quarterback Nick Holley who was moved from wide receiver and the toughness he brings to the Flashes.

"There's an article I read from one of those quarterback guru guys that said that the quarterback has to be the toughest guy on the team, and that's why we moved him is because of just that, he's one of the toughest guys on the team."

Holley led the team in passing yards and rushing yards during the 2016 season.

 Kent State's non-conference schedule includes not only Clemson, but Howard, Marshall, and Louisville.

Published in Sam and Brad
Wednesday, 14 June 2017 09:24

KSU Freshman Dies After Football Practice

The Kent State community is mourning the loss of a freshman football player who died after practice Tuesday morning.

Tyler Heintz, 19, was transported to a local hospital after morning conditioning drills at Dix Stadium. There's no word on what symptoms he had, and the cause of death is still being investigated.

Late Tuesday evening, KSU released a statement: 

"Today, the Kent State University family mourns the tragic loss of one of our student-athletes, freshman football player Tyler Heintz. Tyler was transported to a local hospital by paramedics this morning following football conditioning drills at Dix Stadium. The cause of death is not yet known.Tyler was from Kenton, Ohio, and planned to study marketing and entrepreneurship in the College of Business Administration. Tyler was recruited as a rising star on our offensive line. Our heartfelt thoughts and prayers are with Tyler’s family and friends, as well as Coach Haynes and the team, our athletics staff and our student-athletes."

Tyler attended Kenton High School and many of his friends and classmates took to social media to express their condolences and their praise for Tyler, saying that he was a hard worker.

Tuesday was just his second practice with Kent State Football after being highly recruited out of Kenton for the KSU offensive line. 

In 2014, Kent State University football player Jason Bitsko died of natural causes just a few days before their season opener. 


Published in Local

There is no shortage of ideas about what to do with the land opened up by the removal of part of Akron's Innerbelt. An event held this weekend at Kent State University helped to work through some of those ideas.

A design charette, defined by Merriam-Webster as "the intense final effort made by architectural students to complete their solutions to a given architectural problem in an allotted time or the period in which such an effort is made," drew architects, designers, and community stakeholders to work on concepts for the soon vacant plot of land. Architect Craig Thompson said he hopes to have similar gatherings in Akron neighborhoods soon to gauge how the community wants the land used.

Thompson joined Jasen to discuss what the charette participants came up with.

Published in Jasen Sokol

Brad Russell was joined by NFL veteran, 3-time Pro Bowler Josh Cribbs, who announced his retirement from the league earlier in the week, thanking the Cleveland Browns and their fans.

Cribbs was undrafted out of Kent State and played with the Browns from 2005-2012.

 For the video link to Cribbs' announcement, click here.

Published in Sam and Brad
Thursday, 16 March 2017 11:50

KSU Hosting NCAA Watch Party Friday

For the first time since 2008, the Golden Flashes are dancin'! 

As a 14-seed, Kent State men's basketball team drew a first round match-up with number 3 seed UCLA. They're playing in the South bracket, which for some reason is playing their games out in California. 

The Golden Flashes and the Bruins tipoff at 9:57 p.m. EST, Friday night. While a few from the local fan base were able to make the trip to Sacramento for the first round game, the majority were not able to. 

With that in mind, Kent State University is hosting an official "watch party" on campus. The official "Hoopin' at the Hub" watch party will be held at the KSU Student Center and will feature giveaways, music, and of course cheering on the Flashes in round 1 of the tournamnet. 

The University says multiple big screens will be set up around the Student Center and there will be plenty of room for everyone to comforatably watch. 


Published in Local

Kent State has punched their ticket to the NCAA Tournament and will take on UCLA in the first round Friday in Sacramento, CA.

Rob Senderoff, head coach of the men's team talked about the victory over Akron in the MAC Tournament and what challenges lie ahead with the Bruins.


The full interview can be heard here. 

Published in Sam and Brad

The Kent State Golden Flashes are feeling good, coming off their upset of the University of Akron on Friday.

Head Coach of the Flashes Rob Senderoff joined the Sam and Brad Show Monday to talk about the big win as well as his team heading down the stretch of the regular season.


For the full interview, click here.


Published in Sam and Brad
Thursday, 16 February 2017 15:07

AUDIO Kent State, Akron Ready For Rivalry Game

Rob Senderoff, coach of the Kent State Golden Flashes men's basketball team spoke with Sam and Brad Thursday ahead of the game Friday between KSU and the University of Akron.

Tomorrow's game is sold out at Akron's James A. Rhodes Arena and can be seen on the ESPN family of networks.

The Flashes are 14-12 overall and 6-7 in the MAC. 


University of Akron head basketball coach Keith Dambrot also spoke with Sam and Brad as well to offer his take on tomorrow's contest.


 The Zips are 22-4 overall and 12-1 in the MAC.


Published in Sam and Brad
Monday, 13 February 2017 10:18

Akron, Kent State Rivalry Comically Renewed

Neighboring University of Akron and Kent State University have been rivals in the Mid-American Conference for some time now.

Well, ahead of their matchup on the basketball court on February 17th, the colleges are teaming up for a funny TV campaign to renew that rivalry in the friendliest of ways. 

They've released two new local TV spots (see below) featuring mascots "Zippy" the kangaroo from Akron and "Flash" the Golden Eagle for Kent State, and their one-time "sizzling romance" as the press release puts it. 


Published in Local
Tuesday, 15 November 2016 18:43

AUDIO Rob Senderoff Talks KSU Basketball

After a season-opening win over Cleveland State in the Coaches vs Cancer event.  Kent State University is looking to start the season at the MAC center off with a win.

Coach Rob Senderoff of the men's basketball team joined Sam Bourquin in studio Tuesday to talk about his team as they prepare to face Mississippi Valley State on Wednesday.


Published in Sam and Brad
Kent State University says it'll be the largest fundraising campaign in its history.
And KSU has its eye on replacing an aging building...the Kent State board of trustees says it supports a new home for the College of Business Administration.
Vice president for institutional advancement Stephen Sokany says the current College of Business Administration building is over 40 years old, and not able to handle growth.
"We have seen the College of Business enrollment grow by about 11 percent in the last five years," Sokany tells "We are currently teaching classes for our business students in about nine different facilities on the Kent campus."
Sokany says the building would cost about $50 to 60 million.
He wouldn't set a goal for the overall campaign.
The largest campaign was the Centennial Campaign between 2003 and 2012, which raised $265 million.
Published in Local
Tuesday, 02 August 2016 13:33

Colleges Invest In Manufacturing Education

Local colleges are showcasing some of the manufacturing opportunities that have opened for the schools after receiving grant money from the state to help better train students for the workforce. Chancellor John Carey with the Ohio Department of Higher Education stopped by the University of Akron to hear directly from those who have benefited from the grant.

Chad Soukup, a junior at Kent State University, says he will be one of the first students at KSU to work with the schools 3D printer.

"It's one thing to get book knowledge, but then when you actually get the hands-on knowledge you get to see what it's really like," said Soukup. "So you get to see both sides of it."

The RAPIDS grant has helped colleges purchase equipment, like 3D printers, to help better train students for real world experience in manufacturing.

"It's something that was developed from the Governor talking to businesses, " said Carey. The businesses were saying that the students were not being trained on the right equipment."

Purchasing new equipment became a financial challenge for colleges. Instead of getting new equipment, universities would use the "leftover" or older equipment that was no longer being used by companies. But that proved to become a challenge because the students were not getting trained with up-to-date technology in the manufacturing field.

UA, KSU, Stark State College and other local universities have been able to use the money to further advance the education programs in its manufacturing departments.

Published in Local
Wednesday, 13 July 2016 12:21

KSU Pokemon Ban Doesn't Exist

No. Pokemon Go hasn't been banned on Kent State University's campus.

You may have come across a screenshot of KSU's student code of conduct policy on the university's website that says the popular "Pokemon Go" is banned on campus.


But if you take a closer look, you'll find that it's been photoshopped.

University officials say that ban doesn't exist. So that means users can continue capturing those digital creatures on campus.

Published in Local

Former Kent State University pitcher Eric Lauer has been enjoying things as of late, after being drafted 25th overall by the San Diego Padres in the 2016 MLB Draft.

Lauer joined the Average Sports Show to talk about the process and what it's like knowing that all of the work that he's put into his craft has paid off.

"It was just nice knowing that someone was willing to take the chance on you and let you keep going in your career," he said.

 The former Golden Flash had one of the lowest ERA's in program history and he says one of the best things about his mindset is keeping it simple by getting guys out and just throwing strikes.

 He says he's been working on his changeup, and perfecting his fastball for the professional level.

Published in Brad Russell
Thursday, 07 April 2016 13:24

KSU President Diagnosed With Breast Cancer

Kent State University president Beverly Warren is dealing with a serious health issue, but is looking for a full recovery.

The university announced today that Warren has breast cancer.

She told the KSU community that she'll take a leave of absence and will have surgery.

But she also said the cancer is in "a very early stage", and says expectations are high for a full recovery.

(KSU president Beverly Warren, letter to KSU community) Members of the University Community,

I am grateful for the sense of community and mission that we have shaped over the last 22 months and appreciate the honest and open communication that has guided our actions. It is in that spirit that I am writing to share some personal health news. During a recent physical examination, I learned that I have breast cancer that will require surgery. My outstanding medical team at the Cleveland Clinic has assured me that the cancer is in a very early stage and that there is high expectation for a full recovery.

Thank you all for the outstanding work and caring attitude that has created the remarkable success of this academic year. I am deeply disappointed that the timing of my surgery means that I will have to miss some of the year-end celebrations that make this university such a special place. Know that I will be with you in spirit and am so proud of the diversity of accomplishments that contribute daily to a distinctive Kent State.

I will remain active and involved in the business of the university throughout my recovery and I expect to have a reduced public schedule into May. I have complete confidence that all of you and our university cabinet, led by senior vice presidents Todd Diacon and Mark Polatajko, will continue our work together to ensure a successful conclusion to this academic year.

I cannot stress enough that my diagnosis came as part of a routine physical exam. I hope that my experience will reinforce the value of routine preventive health care and the importance of a commitment to wellness that will help us realize our vision of Kent State University as one of the nation's healthiest campuses.

Best regards,

Beverly Warren

Published in Local

Kent State University and its former softball coach have been sued by a former player, who says the coach covered up a rape.

The Record Courier reports that the player names the son of former KSU softball coach Karen Linder, a former baseball player she claims was intoxicated and claims he raped her in her dorm room in December 2012.

The suit says Karen Linder and KSU athletic director Joel Neilsen didn't act according to university sexual harrassment policy, even after the former softball player filed a Title IX complaint. reports the suit says that Kent State's Title IX coordinator and Nielsen had decided to conduct a "surprise interview" of Linder, instead of following that policy.

Kent State University has issued a brief statement:

"When we are formally served with the complaint, we will answer accordingly.

The University is strongly committed to Title IX and we take these matters very seriously. We follow all policies and procedures related to Title IX, taking measures above and beyond what is required to ensure all students, staff and faculty are aware of their rights and responsibilities."


On the Web: (Kent-Ravenna) Record Courier,
                   Kent Wired (Kent State student media),


Published in Local
Thursday, 21 January 2016 17:27

Pino: "Absolutely Not" Tied To ISIS

The Kent State University associate professor reportedly under investigation by the FBI is speaking out.

Julio Pino talked to reporters after classes Thursday afternoon, saying "absolutely not" when asked if he was an ISIS sympathizer or recruiter.

"I do not endorse violence, I do not advocate violence, nor do I practice it," Pino told reporters.

"I've always tried to focus on my duties," Pino continued, "which are to my family, to this community, to this university, and quite obviously to my students...and I shall do so as long as I'm able to."

Pino declined to speculate if he'll step down from his job, though he told NewsChannel 5's Bob Jones earlier Thursday that he should "absolutely not" step down, saying he was doing his job, teaching two classes.

A spokesperson for the KSU faculty union tells that Kent State could act "quickly" to stop Pino from teaching, with pay, if it perceives a threat.

But statements from KSU president Beverly Warren have said that there "is no threat" to the university.

Published in Local

Kent State University history associate professor Julio Pino has been under investigation for alleged ties to ISIS for the last year and a half, according to a report from student publication The Kent Stater.

An FBI agent told the paper there is no direct threat to the university, and KSU spokesman Eric Mansfield said the university is cooperating with the investigation. No charges have been filed.

Pino denied any wrongdoing or ties to ISIS in a video recorded by

This is not the first time Pino has been in the headlines. He drew criticism in 2014 for a letter on History News Network blaming "academic friends of Israel" for the murder of over 1,400 Palestinian children. In 2011, Pino shouted "death to Israel" during a presentation on the Kent Campus by former Israeli diplomat Ishmael Khaldi, leading then-university president Lester Lefton to call the outburst "an embarassment to our university."

UPDATE: Kent State university Beverly Warren has issued an official statement to the KSU community in response:


Dear Members of the Kent State Community,

Many of you have heard unsettling news overnight that the FBI has been on our Kent Campus investigating a serious matter. We are cooperating with the FBI, and we have been assured that there is no indication of a threat to campus. As this is an ongoing investigation, it is not prudent to speak further about the case.

We continue to find Julio Pino's comments reprehensible and counter to our core values of civil discourse and respect. As a university, we do not defend his views, and he does not speak on behalf of Kent State or members of our community.

Campus safety continues to be our top priority at Kent State, and we remain committed to providing a safe learning environment for our community.

Beverly Warren
Kent State University

Published in Jasen Sokol

Kent State University and its faculty union have reached a new tentative agreement.

That's according to a release from KSU, which says the new collective bargaining agreement with the American Association of University Professors' Kent State chapter runs for three years, and covers both tenured and tenure track faculty members.

The deal will be presented to both sides this week, and details will not be released until the pact is ratified.

(Kent State University, news release) Kent State University and the American Association of University Professors-KSU have reached tentative agreement on a new three-year collective bargaining agreement for tenured and tenure-track faculty.

The parties will present the tentative agreement for approval to their respective constituents this week. Details of the tentative contract will be released after ratification.

Published in Local

Kent State University has settled a federal civil rights lawsuit involving the denial of a an emotional support dog for someone with a psychological disability in student housing.

The U.S. Department of Justice says Kent State will pay a 145 thousand dollar settlement to two former students, along with a fair housing group, and the U.S. government.

The Justice Department says KSU will also adopt a new housing policy allowing support animals for students who need them for theraputic reasons.

Kent State officials say the consent decree "speaks for itself" and had no further comment.

(U.S. Department of Justice, news release) The Justice Department announced today that Kent State University (KSU) has agreed to pay $145,000 to settle a civil rights lawsuit alleging that the university had maintained a policy of not allowing students with psychological disabilities to keep emotional support animals in university-operated student housing. Under the settlement agreement, which must still be approved by the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio, KSU will:

• pay $100,000 to two former students who sought and were denied a reasonable accommodation to keep an emotional support dog in their university-operated apartment;
• pay $30,000 to a fair housing organization that advocated on behalf of the students;
• pay $15,000 to the United States; and
• adopt a housing policy that will allow persons with psychological disabilities to keep animals with them in university housing when such animals provide necessary therapeutic benefits to such students and allowing the animal would not fundamentally alter the nature of the housing.

"This settlement shows the department's continued and strong commitment to ensuring that students in university housing are afforded the protections of the Fair Housing Act," said Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Vanita Gupta, head of the Civil Rights Division. "Those protections include accommodations for students with disabilities who need assistance animals in order to have an equal opportunity to enjoy the benefits of university housing."

"Kent State University is to be commended for reaching an agreement that will benefit its students," said U.S. Attorney Steven M. Dettelbach of the Northern District of Ohio. "This agreement will help many people who are working hard to earn their fair share of the American dream."

The proposed settlement would resolve a lawsuit filed by the department in 2014. In that lawsuit, the department alleged that KSU violated the Fair Housing Act when, in 2010, it denied a request to allow a student with a psychological disability and her husband to keep an emotional support dog in their university-operated student apartment. The students, along with the Fair Housing Advocates Association in Akron, Ohio, filed a complaint with the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). HUD investigated the complaint, determined that KSU had violated the Fair Housing Act and referred the matter to the department. Under the proposed settlement, KSU has agreed to change its policy to accommodate similar requests going forward.

"Providers of on-campus housing have the same obligation to comply with the Fair Housing Act as other housing providers," said Gustavo Velasquez, HUD's Assistant Secretary for Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity. "Today's settlement reinforces the ongoing commitment of HUD and the Justice Department to ensuring that individuals with disabilities are granted the accommodations they need to perform daily life functions."

The federal Fair Housing Act prohibits discrimination in housing on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, familial status, national origin and disability. More information about the Civil Rights Division and the laws it enforces is available at Individuals who believe that they have been victims of housing discrimination can call the Justice Department at 1-800-896-7743, e-mail the Justice Department at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or contact HUD at 1-800-669-9777 or through HUD's website at

Published in Local
Tuesday, 26 May 2015 12:24

Students Dig Up Pig Remains

A group of forensic archaeology students will be spending the next few weeks uncovering a mystery that lies beneath a pair of shallow graves in a wooded area in Bath Township.

It's a crime scene -- but it's not what you think. It's not real.

Everything has been set up -- including the remains of two pigs purchased from a local butcher. The animals were buried about a year ago in shallow graves in a wooded area staged as a mock crime scene.

"One of the reasons we developed this is it gives [students] practice mapping something very complicated," said KSU Assistant Anthropology Professor Dr. Linda Spurlock.

Archaeologist and UA professor Linda Whitman is one of the instructors in the three-week course designed to introduce students to forensic work and hands-on experience in the field.

"We take the bones back to the lab where they get washed and reconstructed and they look for the manner and cause of death," said Whitman.

While the story behind the pig's death is made up, the process is real -- including the smell left behind as students slowly uncover the decomposing fat, bones and clothing.

"This is what I like to do. I like to dig up bones," said UA Anthropology student Paige Dobbins. "It's kind of exciting to go from learning about it in the classroom to actually getting to dig to it."

Although it may appear to have some of the same qualities as a recent episode of Law and Order, there are still plenty of differences when compared to the real-life, forensic process.

"It's not quite as sexy as it is on television," said Dobbins. "It's a lot of dirt and decomposed fat."


Published in Local