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Message from Kent State President Lester A. Lefton

Posted Jan. 21, 2013

I am pleased to announce three realignments in our organizational structure that I believe will result in new operational synergies and allow us to leverage more internal expertise in engaging key external segments, effective Feb. 1.

The Office of the General Counsel, headed by Vice President Willis Walker, will include the management of state and federal government relations. This new alignment of government relations with general counsel will leverage the university’s legal expertise as we continue to address issues related to state and federal policy, structure and governance of higher education.

The Division of Human Resources will return to its earlier organizational structure of a stand-alone chief human resources officer at the cabinet level. Alvin Evans, associate vice president of human resources, will serve as interim vice president while a national search for a new vice president of human resources is underway.

The opportunity for greater synergy also exists in working with industry and Vice President Iris Harvey will take on additional responsibilities toward that end. As you know, Kent State has many and wide-ranging relationships with businesses and corporations that are managed by individuals throughout different divisions of the university. Harvey will work with them to optimize our effectiveness and maximize interactions with partners in industry and elsewhere; this builds upon the Division of University Relations’ existing assets in corporate and professional development.

A growing number of top universities are developing strategies to assist corporations and business enterprises in navigating the complexity of higher education organizations. I am confident this initiative will support university stakeholders in forming more strategic and mutually beneficial industry relationships.