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Letter from new KSU president to faculty, staff

Beacon Journal staff report

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Shortly after her selection as the 12th president of Kent State, Beverly Warren issued a letter to faculty and staff at the university:

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Students, faculty and staff,

I am writing to you today with a sense of deep humility and unbridled enthusiasm. This letter will be the first of many communications over time as we work together to define the best possible future for this outstanding institution. While I will begin my tenure on July 1, 2014, I look forward to the next few months while I will listen, learn, and begin to understand the distinctive features of the Kent State community.

I look forward to continuing the momentum established by President Lester Lefton during his outstanding service to this institution. There is a sense of pride in the Kent State community that resonates and has defined Kent State as one of the Best National Universities by U.S. News & World Report. Other points of pride include record student enrollments, the addition of 21st century facilities on every campus, and a new era of cooperation with the city of Kent. The naming of the Esplanade in honor of President Lefton is a true testament to his legacy of influence. We can build on that momentum to ensure that Kent State remains a destination university for students, faculty and staff and that we strive together every day to make a difference in the lives of others.

A focus on academic quality and student success will be the prime ingredient to define our work together. I currently serve as provost and senior vice president for academic affairs at Virginia Commonwealth University and have worked over the last four years to implement our university’s strategic plan, Quest for Distinction. I believe deeply in the transformative power of the university experience, one that changes lives and serves the greater good. Universities are hubs for innovation, discovery, and learning, and are particularly powerful when individuals from diverse backgrounds offer insights and perspectives that strengthen the collective vision we share. I look forward to working with you to ensure that we continue to embrace the value of a diverse and inclusive environment.

I hope to meet many of you while I am on campus over the next two days. Additionally, I will be returning to campus over the next six months to meet with students, faculty and staff across the Kent State campus system and with alumni and friends before I begin my tenure in July. I am eager to listen and learn from you.

I thank you for this tremendous opportunity. While I have so many wonderful colleagues at VCU and have enjoyed my 14 years of service there, I am very much looking forward to forging new relationships and to learning more about this great university and its most valuable asset — its people.

With warmest regards,

Beverly J. Warren


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