CHAMPION - Beverly Warren has a vision of one university spread over eight campuses. Kent State University's new president spent recent days in Trumbull County and continues Friday in Salem as she travels across the different faces of the university in a quest to discover the ''heart'' of it.
"It's a great opportunity to serve not only northeast Ohio but the world with this eight-campus system," she said Tuesday as she wrapped up her two-day visit to the Trumbull campus after a lunch with area officials and constituents.
The Presidential Listening Tour began July 9 in East Liverpool, continued July 22 and 23 in Stark and Akron, and Monday and Tuesday at the Trumbull campus.
"Kent State Trumbull is a beautiful campus. It has lots of potential for growth,'' she said. ''There's a real energy here in Warren.''
Next week, Warren will visit the Tuscarawas campus as she continues her tour.
The mission of the tour, Warren said, is to ask community members, faculty, staff, students and alumni to describe the "heart of Kent State and what we might to do better articulate the heart of Kent State" as well as to find out what their perceptions of the college are and how it can become an even greater university.
Some suggestions that were made during her time this week included greater clarity on the mission statement of Kent State as well as ways to ensure better collaboration with Eastern Gateway Community College, Youngstown State University and the Trumbull Career and Technical Center.
With regard to the mission statement, Warren posed, "How can we be more clear about the center of excellence that we have?"
She said she was impressed with the Trumbull campus as well as the surrounding community.
"I have found the community in the Mahoning Valley to be very warm and welcoming. This is really a great place. The hospitality is phenomenal," she said.
Warren also said the Trumbull campus presented a "real potential" for work force development, especially with regard to the jobs being created in the Mahoning Valley. She said that Kent State will play a critical role in continuing the trend of developing that work force.
Another thing that impressed her was the testimony of Kent State Trumbull student David Barnes, who spoke during the Tuesday luncheon.
"He had scholarships to go elsewhere and he chose Trumbull. Through his Trumbull education and experience, he was accepted into Stanford Law School. It's those shining examples of the quality of education that is available right here in Trumbull County," she said.
Warren said one thing that was evident about the faculty at the campus in Champion was that they were very vocal about being available to students outside of class time.
"Real, caring concerns for students and student learning was very evident. They love their students, they love their community," she said.