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Kent State Receives 2014 Leadership 500 Excellence Award

Posted Jun. 9, 2014

Leadership award salutes top leadership practitioners and highlights their roles in the industry

Kent State University has been selected as a recipient of the 2014 Leadership 500 Excellence Award by at the Global Leadership Excellence Forum held in Vail, Colorado, in April.

This award comes in recognition of Kent State’s Division of Human Resources commitment to leadership development, in particular, the division’s Institute for Excellence. The mission of the Institute for Excellence at Kent State is to develop and promote a culture of excellence. Through its unique 10-month development opportunity for administrators and individual contributors, the institute is designed to improve the performance of Kent State’s current and next-generation faculty and staff leaders.   

“The Division for Human Resources’ Institute for Excellence has proven to be a valuable resource for our current and emerging leaders,” says Kent State President Lester A. Lefton. “The institute continues to develop and promote a culture of excellence for faculty and staff at our university by building competency in collaboration, agility, foresight and strategic thinking.”

For the past 30 years, Leadership Excellence has identified and recognized the Top 500 leadership organizations and their strategies and solutions. Kent State ranked in the top 15 in the nation, a ranking higher than many of the nation’s most prestigious institutions. This year’s Top 500 award winners were published in the April issue of Leadership Excellence Essentials and are now available online at

“Leadership is an art that requires constant practice and focus to master,” says Debbie McGrath, CEO of “The organizations recognized in the Leadership 500 Excellence Awards program significantly help their organizations grow and develop their leaders through some of the most impactful programs we have ever seen.”

“The Division of Human Resources is honored to receive such a prestigious award on behalf of its work with the Institute for Excellence,” says Joe Vitale, Kent State’s interim vice president for human resources. “The investment that is made on behalf of the division, and the individual participants, demonstrates a mutual and relentless commitment to provide best practices in leadership acumen while empowering our next-generation leaders.”

The Institute for Excellence at Kent State is now in its fourth year. With an alumni base of more than 90 members to date, the institute started as a vision of Lefton and his cabinet. It has proven to be an invaluable tool to help high performers become better leaders and create a culture of excellence at Kent State. 

Since its founding as a teacher-training school in 1910, Kent State has become an engine for economic, cultural and workforce development in the region and beyond as one of the premier Ohio colleges. Kent State also has earned acclaim for applying new knowledge to address the needs of the communities it serves and society as a whole through a vast array of continuing education courses and much more.

For more information about Kent State’s Division of Human Resources, visit