Report Overview:
Total Clips (10)
Adult and Veteran Services, Center for (1)
Alumni (2)
American Association University Professors (AAUP); Faculty Senate; Office of the President (1)
Anthropology (1)
Applied Conflict Management, Center for (CACM); Political Science (1)
Athletics (1)
Government Relations; Town-Gown (1)
Higher Education; Tuition (1)
Students (1)


Headline Date Outlet

Adult and Veteran Services, Center for (1)
Colleges coveting veteran enrollment (Rider) 05/08/2012 Crain's Cleveland Business Text Attachment Email


Alumni (2)
Crain's publisher to receive SPJ distinguished service award 05/08/2012 Crain's Cleveland Business Text Attachment Email

Kent State Hosts Second Annual Alumni College 05/07/2012 Hudson Hub-Times - Online Text Attachment Email

Kent State University is hosting its second annual Alumni College on May 18-19. This fun, educational event provides opportunities to renew friendships...


American Association University Professors (AAUP); Faculty Senate; Office of the President (1)
No KSU faculty vote on Lefton (Garrison, Sosnowski) 05/08/2012 Record-Courier Text Attachment Email


Anthropology (1)
Infants' Flexible Heads Stretch Back Millions of Years (Lovejoy) 05/07/2012 Science Magazine - Online Text Attachment Email

...difficult, even if the overall size of the brain remained relatively small. "All of these are strong possibilities," says Owen Lovejoy, an anthropologist at Kent State University in Kent, Ohio, who edited the paper for PNAS. "There is now reasonable evidence that ustralopithecine] brains were to some degree...


Applied Conflict Management, Center for (CACM); Political Science (1)
KSU Prof Reacts To Alleged Bombers (Coy) 05/07/2012 AkronNewsNow.com Text Attachment Email

A Kent State University professor says the five men accused of plotting to bomb the Route 82 bridge won't be successful if they try to claim entrapment...


Athletics (1)
Kent State romps to another MAC golf title (Page) 05/08/2012 Plain Dealer Text Attachment Email


Government Relations; Town-Gown (1)
Delegation from Kent updates D.C. officials n MEETS WITH REP. RYAN ON PARTA GATEWAY WORK 05/08/2012 Record-Courier Text Attachment Email


Higher Education; Tuition (1)
Higher education: Paying the price (Zelko 05/08/2012 Crain's Cleveland Business Text Attachment Email


Students (1)
Kent State Student Excels Despite Down Syndrome 05/08/2012 Kent Patch Text Attachment Email


News Headline: Colleges coveting veteran enrollment (Rider) | Attachment Email

News Date: 05/08/2012
Outlet Full Name: Crain's Cleveland Business
Contact Name:
News OCR Text: Schools become more friendly to military

Unofficially, they refer to it as a Purple Operation.

An appropriate use of military vernacular to describe a joint effort among several universities and colleges in Northeast Ohio — including four-year, two-year, public and private institutions — to attract veterans to their campuses.

The mission is institutionally altruistic and regionally self-interested.

“Our view is we all win and Northeast Ohio wins having these young men and women coming home to continue their education in Ohio and hopefully staying in Ohio and finding jobs or opening businesses,” said Rick DeChant, executive director of veteran services and programs for Cuyahoga Community College, which has increased its veteran enrollment from 540 in the fall 2007 to 1,000 in the spring semester of 2012.

“It's going to be extremely beneficial to the region and to the state,” he said.

Veterans — especially those discharged with the Post-9/11 GI Bill, hands down the most generous educational benefit package since World War I — are a highly coveted group among colleges and universities across the country.

As such, institutions over the past five years have ramped up recruiting, shined up their campuses to make them more military friendly, streamlined processes and effectively pulled up their bootstraps to compete for this growing population of nontraditional, financially subsidized students.

Customizing services

Take the University of Akron, for example: The school is a standout in attracting student veterans with offerings that include a high-tech, veterans-only lounge at InfoCision Stadium, a fast-track, two-year degree in corrosive engineering technology and a groundbreaking partnership to deliver virtual therapy.

Stephen Motika, assistant dean for student success for Summit and University colleges at the University of Akron, said the university has developed a “very veteran-friendly culture” and currently has 1,300 veterans on its campus. In addition, 135 faculty and staff are military vets, including Mr. Motika, who served 20 years in the armed forces.

“Our veterans come all the way from being crewmen on atomic-powered submarines, which is very technical, to being infantry soldiers. They come with a variety of combat experience; a good number of our folks have been deployed three or four times in combat zones, others have never left the state,” Mr. Motika said. “Each of our veterans is a little different and because of that we try to customize our services to them as much as we can.”

Once on campus, student veterans can relax and connect in the Musson Military Veterans Lounge, and they soon will be able to receive specialized therapies and clinical health services in the lounge's soundproof conference room thanks to a new partnership with Louis Stokes Cleveland VA Medical Center, Mr. Motika said.

“Telehealth is an innovation from the VA to touch veterans virtually and to do many of their medical services virtually,” he said. “As I understand it, we will be the first university in the United States to come online.”

The program launched in April, and it is expected to begin with a pilot group of 12 veterans and focus on speech therapy. It also will bring clinical opportunities to the campus.

“We have a very active speech pathology department here at Akron,” he said. “So the idea is that the student veteran will be working with a speech pathologist at Wade Park in Cleveland virtually, but there will be a graduate student from the University of Akron sitting with them at their side in the conference room.”

Recruiting to the student ranks

Jim Drnek, dean of students and vice provost for student affairs at Cleveland State University, said innovative recruiting techniques have helped increase student- veteran enrollment by 74% since 2009.

“We are hoping to gain another 50% the next two years, that's our goal,” said Dr. Drnek, who has worked closely with the National Guard in Columbus. Information on CSU's vet program and an application for admission is included as part of an informational packet given to servicemen and women during re-entry ceremonies.

Additionally, the university's marketing team has found through research that veterans watch such television channels as Comedy Central, ESPN2, FX, the History Channel and Spike, Dr. Drnek said. CSU has purchased air time to broadcast commercials of current students — a male and female veteran — describing their positive experiences attending the urban university.

“Word of mouth is one of the most effective ways that we find to get veterans to come to your campus. Veterans talk to veterans,” said Joshua Rider, assistant director for the Center for Adult and Veteran Services at Kent State University. “We really try to attract veterans by ... treating the ones we have in the best possible manner.”

That means providing GI bill certification services that are accurate and on time so student veterans receive benefits in a timely fashion.

“We offer an office here that is a one-stop shop: A veteran can come in, they can apply for admission, GI Bill benefits, apply for financial aid and receive tutoring for free,” said Mr. Rider, who noted that Kent's student veteran population has doubled from about 300 in January 2006 to 600 currently.

This fall, Kent also will launch a Living Learning Community specifically for student veterans who are incoming freshmen. In the pilot program, which is designed for a group of 16 — 12 males and four females — veterans will live together in residence halls for two semesters and take a couple classes together to generate a shared experience, Mr. Rider said.

“There are going to be some additional surround services ... helping them with that transition from soldier to civilian,” he said. “They are used to camaraderie in the services. They are used to working as a unit and when you go out into the college environment there really isn't a lot of that at first.”

Private efforts

Recruiting veterans is a budding focus area for private institutions such as John Carroll University and Baldwin-Wallace College. Both are designated as Yellow Ribbon institutions by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, which means qualifying Post-9/11 veterans are able to attend the campuses tuition-free even though fees far exceed the $17,500 maximum annual educational benefit.

“This Yellow Ribbon program is actually what spurred us to actually go after this population because it is the first time private colleges could level the playing field,” said Nancy Jirousek, director of Adult & Continuing Education/Veteran Services for B-W.

How it works is the participating school and the VA have an agreement to split the difference of tuition fees that exceed the maximum benefit for qualifying veterans. In the case of B-W, that amount is close to $10,000, and B-W pays $5,000 and the VA pays the other $5,000. For John Carroll, annual tuition for 2012-2013 will be almost $32,000, leaving nearly $15,000 to be split between the university and the VA.

Ms. Jirousek said 35 of B-W's 95 students who are using veteran benefits are in the Yellow Ribbon program.

It's not hard to do the math here. Without the Yellow Ribbon agreement, private tuition would be a tough sell for veterans, said Eric Patterson, director of Veteran Affairs for John Carroll, who founded the veteran program there in February 2011 after retiring from 20 years of service in Army.

“We set out to build a program that would honestly give something back from the university perspective to those incoming students in recognition to their service to our country,” Mr. Patterson said.

John Carroll does its best to award academic credit for military training and every incoming vet receives at least six credits, many times more. The record so far is 18 credit hours, he said. The university also gives a free meal plan to its student veterans, almost all of whom are commuters, and offers them attractively priced apartments that are a three-minute walk to campus.

These efforts are paying off. Enrollment numbers have tripled in a little over a year, from 10 student veterans to 30 currently on campus.

“We'll be at 45 in the fall,” he said. “We're building at the pace that is right for our university. One thing that we never like to do is to build so quickly so we don't have the support services in place. My goal is to have 100 student veterans within the next two to three years. I think that's the right number for us.”

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News Headline: Crain's publisher to receive SPJ distinguished service award | Attachment Email

News Date: 05/08/2012
Outlet Full Name: Crain's Cleveland Business
Contact Name:
News OCR Text: Crain's Cleveland Business publisher and editorial director Brian Tucker and longtime public relations executive Tony Kozlowski will receive the Society of Professional Journalists Distinguished Service Award.

They will be honored for their contributions to excellence in journalism and for their service to the Cleveland chapter of SPJ. Both men are past presidents of the journalism society.

The awards will be presented at a June 13 luncheon at the City Club of Cleveland along with a yet-to-be-announced student winner of the four-year Phillip W. Porter Scholarship.

A graduate of Kent State University, Mr. Tucker joined Crain's as editor in 1985 from The Associated Press, where he had been assistant bureau chief of the news service's 60-person Los Angeles bureau. He began his career in journalism as a part-time sportswriter at the Ashtabula Star Beaconand the Conneaut News Herald, in his hometown.

Mr. Tucker earned some notoriety — and respect — in the news business when he and several colleagues resigned their reporting jobs at the daily Mining Journal in Marquette, Mich., in 1977. The reporters quit after their publisher, John McGoff of Panax Corp., fired the editors of two of his newspapers, including the editor of the Mining Journal, when they refused to publish a biased and untrue article about President Jimmy Carter and his wife.

Keith Crain, chairman of Crain Communications Inc., applauded the award to Mr. Tucker.

“Brian Tucker is the consummate journalist,” Mr. Crain said. “Although he may now carry the title of publisher, he is and always will be a reporter at heart.”

Mr. Kozlowski for many years was a public relations executive with Standard Oil Co. (Ohio) and its successor, BP America Inc. He has played a leading role in managing the annual “Best of Ohio” journalism awards sponsored by the Cleveland, Cincinnati and Columbus chapters of SPJ.

The luncheon will be at the City Club at 850 Euclid Ave. at noon. Admission is $25. For more information or reservations, go online at http:// spjdsa2012.eventbrite.com.

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News Headline: Kent State Hosts Second Annual Alumni College | Attachment Email

News Date: 05/07/2012
Outlet Full Name: Hudson Hub-Times - Online
Contact Name:
News OCR Text: Kent State University is hosting its second annual Alumni College on May 18-19. This fun, educational event provides opportunities to renew friendships with fellow alumni, attend stimulating classes on contemporary topics from renowned faculty and experience campus. Register to attend by May 10. Visit www.ksualumni.org/alumnicollege2012 for more information and to RSVP.

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News Headline: No KSU faculty vote on Lefton (Garrison, Sosnowski) | Attachment Email

News Date: 05/08/2012
Outlet Full Name: Record-Courier
Contact Name:
News OCR Text: No vote on Kent State University President Lester Lefton's job performance came before Faculty Senate Monday, but a few senate members aired their concerns on the lack of a collective bargaining agreement and “shared governance.”
“Why is the administration and faculty in a war over a concept and model of shared governance that has worked for decades, but now seems to be under assault?” asked George Garrison, president of Pan African Faculty and Staff Association. “There is always greater legitimacy to decision processes when the faculty have ownership in it.”
A group of faculty members is circulating a petition that would lead to a faculty senate vote on confidence' in Lefton's leadership if it garners 100 signatures from tenured and tenure-track faculty members.
The petition claims Lefton's administration has shown “flagrant disregard” for the American Association of University Professors' collective bargaining agreement with the university and has appealed arbitration decisions which favored the union.
The administration and AAUP have been negotiating a new contract for nearly a year.
“There is a large concern about the money the university has spent in litigation,” said Thomas Sosnowski, history professor at Kent Stark, who called the $100,000 in legal fees to appeal arbitor decisions “inappropriate and philosophically unsound expenditures.”
The petition has not yet made its way to Faculty Senate. A “no confidence” vote by the senate would be symbolic. The KSU Board of Trustees is the sole body with the power to hire or fire the university president.
The Board of Trustees has said it supports the leadership provided by Lefton, who has been president since 2006.

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News Headline: Infants' Flexible Heads Stretch Back Millions of Years (Lovejoy) | Attachment Email

News Date: 05/07/2012
Outlet Full Name: Science Magazine - Online
Contact Name: Michael Balter
News OCR Text: It isn't easy being born. Human babies have big heads, which makes their passage through the birth canal a challenge for both them and their mothers. Fortunately, an infant's skull can change shape as it squeezes through because its cranial bones don't entirely fuse together for at least 2 years after birth. A new study shows that this delayed fusion was also a feature of early humans who lived nearly 3 million years ago, even though their heads were much smaller than ours. One possible explanation is that walking upright created new obstetrical challenges even for small-brained human ancestors.

For chimpanzees and other primates, childbirth is relatively easy. The brain of a newborn chimp is roughly 155 cubic centimeters (cc) in volume, less than half that of a newborn human baby, although the overall size of the birth canal is about the same as in humans. Yet there is a big difference in shape between chimp and human pelvises. While the human pelvis has widened considerably over the course of evolution, the demands of upright walking have put constraints on how wide it can be. Bipedalism has also led to a marked vertical shortening of the pelvis, leading to what researchers call the "obstetric dilemma"—the difficult tradeoff between the demands of bipedalism and having babies.

Still, thanks to those unfused skull bones, the baby's head can not only be molded to fit through the pelvic canal, but can also accommodate the explosive brain growth that takes place after birth: In the first few years of life, the human brain doubles in size from about 400 cc to 800 cc, and ultimately reaches an adult average of about 1400 cc.

To see how far back in human evolution this delayed fusion goes, a team led by anthropologist Dean Falk of the School for Advanced Research in Santa Fe, New Mexico, looked at a key marker of skull fusion in a large number of fossil early humans, modern humans, chimpanzees, and bonobos. The centerpiece of the study was a new analysis of the nearly 3-million-year-old Taung child, an australopithecine roughly 4 years old at death discovered in South Africa in 1924 by the legendary anthropologist Raymond Dart. The specimen, which Dart assigned to the species Australopithecus africanus, includes a face, lower jaw, and a natural "endocast" of the skull made up of the rocky material that filled it. The endocast preserved many of the skull's features, including the sutures between its bones.

Falk, together with anthropologists Christoph Zollikofer and Marcia Ponce de León of the University of Zurich in Switzerland, used computerize tomography scans of the Taung endocast to closely examine the child's metopic suture (MS), which forms the joint between the cranium's two frontal bones. In human children, the MS begins to fuse on the end closest to the nose, closing like a zipper until it reaches the anterior fontanelle, the baby's "soft spot" (see illustration). The team found that the Taung child's MS was unfused, even though its brain was only about 400 cc and the brain of adult A. africanus is only about 460 cc.

The researchers compared the Taung child's MS to that of several hundred chimps and bonobos, more than 1000 modern humans, and 62 hominins, or ancient humans, including australopithecines, Homo erectus, and Neandertals. A clear pattern emerged: The MS of chimps and bonobos fuses very shortly after birth; whereas, like the Taung child, the MS of both early and later hominins tends to fuse only after the eruption of the first molars, at 2 years of age or later. The results are reported online this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS).

So why do the skulls of early, small-brained hominins already show the fusion patterns of later, big-brained species? Falk and her colleagues propose three possibilities. First is the "obstetric dilemma," which may have already been a problem for early hominins as they began to walk upright. Thus the brain of an adult A. africanus, while small by modern human standards, is still about 22% larger than that of a chimp. Second, the team suggests, the delayed fusion might have been necessary for accelerated brain growth after birth, which might already have been a feature in early hominins. Finally, changes in the organization of the australopithecine brain, such as an apparent widening of the frontal lobes, might also have made the trip through the birth canal more difficult, even if the overall size of the brain remained relatively small.

"All of these are strong possibilities," says Owen Lovejoy, an anthropologist at Kent State University in Kent, Ohio, who edited the paper for PNAS. "There is now reasonable evidence that ustralopithecine] brains were to some degree enlarged over those of living chimpanzees, and it is reasonably certain that they were reorganized."

But Robert Martin, an anthropologist at the Field Museum in Chicago, Illinois, urges caution about interpreting the results. He says that the team has placed too much emphasis on both the Taung child endocast as its key specimen and the MS itself, whose age of closure is "notoriously variable" in modern humans. Martin thinks the team would have done better to concentrate on the closure of the anterior fontanelle "soft spot," which he says might be a more reliable indicator of when overall skull fusion takes place.

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News Headline: KSU Prof Reacts To Alleged Bombers (Coy) | Attachment Email

News Date: 05/07/2012
Outlet Full Name: AkronNewsNow.com
Contact Name: Chris Keppler
News OCR Text: A Kent State University professor says the five men accused of plotting to bomb the Route 82 bridge won't be successful if they try to claim entrapment by the FBI.

"These men clearly had intent," said Dr. Patrick Coy, director of Kent State University's Center for Applied Conflict Management. "They also didn't have the means. The FBI provided the means. Given their subsequent actions, I think it's going to be very difficult for these men to argue an entrapment case successfully."

The reference to subsequent actions stems from the alleged bombers' decision to plan and program what they thought was a working bomb.

Coy says there are numerous historical accounts where violence tarnished reputations of groups that were, by definition, non-violent. One of the suspects, according to Coy, tried unsuccessfully to rally Occupy Cleveland to engage in non-peaceful and potentially violent activities.

"To engage in petty violence and vandalism and advocate arrest and confrontation. That was turned away. The Occupy movement, or the people there, apparently said, 'No, we're not interested in that,' and they left disgusted," said Coy.

An attorney for one of the suspects said last week that his client was entrapped by the FBI.

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News Headline: Kent State romps to another MAC golf title (Page) | Attachment Email

News Date: 05/08/2012
Outlet Full Name: Plain Dealer
Contact Name:
News OCR Text: The Kent State men's golf team, led by medalist Corey Conners, claimed its fourth straight Mid-American Conference title by overpowering the field en route to a 40-shot victory over the weekend at Rich Harvest Farms in Sugar Grove, Ill.

The tournament was shortened to 54 holes because of thunderstorms Sunday.

It was the 20th MAC title in program history. Eastern Michigan was second. Akron tied for eighth with Bowling Green.

“Just a remarkable performance by our guys all week,” said KSU coach Herb Page. “Rich Harvest is a challenging golf course, and our guys did a tremendous job of limiting their mistakes and staying focused to the task at hand.”

KSU posted a 9-under score of 855. Conners, a sophomore, fired a 7-under 209 (70-67-72). He is the fourth consecutive KSU golfer to win the MAC individual title.

KSU junior Kevin Miller was runner-up at 5-under 211. The 2011 individual champion, senior Mackenzie Hughes, tied for fourth at 1-over 217. Taylor Pendrith tied for eighth at 220, and sophomore Kyle Kmiecik (Avon) tied for 21st at 11-over 227.

On Monday, Conners was named the MAC Golfer of the Year, the fifth straight year a KSU golfer has captured the award. Page was honored as the Kermit Blosser Coach of the Year.

Also making first-team All- MAC were Hughes, Miller, Pendrith and Kmiecik.

Kent State will play in the NCAA Division I regional tournament at the University of Michigan Golf Course in Ann Arbor, Mich., May 17-19.

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News Headline: Delegation from Kent updates D.C. officials n MEETS WITH REP. RYAN ON PARTA GATEWAY WORK | Attachment Email

News Date: 05/08/2012
Outlet Full Name: Record-Courier
Contact Name:
News OCR Text: Representatives of the Kent Central Gateway project on behalf of the city of Kent, the Portage Area Regional Transit Authority and Kent State University, recently visited Washington, D.C., and met with Ohio members of Congress and officials at the Federal Transit Administration.

The goals of the Kent delegation's visit were to thank those in Washington who had supported the efforts to secure funding for the Kent Central Gateway multimodal facility as well as to update officials on the progress of the downtown Kent's economic development project.

The delegation included Kent's Mayor Jerry Fiala, Economic Development Director Dan Smith and City Engineer Bowling, PARTA Director of Planning Bryan Smith, KSU Vice President for University Relations Iris Harvey and Tom Euclide, KSU associate vice president for facilities planning and operations.

The delegationmet with Brian Farber, associate administrator for communications and congressional affairs of the Federal Transit Administration at the U.S. Department of Transportation, and U.S. Tim Ryan.

The delegation visited the offices of Sen. Sherrod Brown, Sen. Rob Portman and U.S. Rep. Steven LaTourette and met with their economic development legislative aides.

"This was a wonderful opportunity for our partnership of the city, PARTA and the university to showcase the great things that are happening in Kent, Ohio, as we redevelop the downtown area," Fiala said.

"Through this collaboration and our public-private partnerships, we are creating a better and more beautiful downtown, creating jobs and creating a great quality of life for our community to be enjoyed by our residents, students, employees and visitors," he said.

Major areas of discussion during the delegation's meetings included:

n The downtown Kent project, one of Northeastern Ohio's foremost examples of public-private partnerships. To date, more than $100 million has been invested by the City of Kent, PARTA, the Burbick Foundation, the Kent State University Foundation, Fairmount Properties and KSU to redevelopment the downtown area.

This is a five-to-one leverage of the $20 million Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery program that was awarded by the U.S. Department of Transportation and funded through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act for the Kent Central Gateway multimodal facility.

n Nearly 1,000 construction jobs created and more than 700 permanent jobs committed.

n A ribbon-cutting ceremony scheduled for August when the Davey Tree Resource Group and Ametek, Inc. take residence in their new buildings on South Water Street in downtown Kent.

n A planned memorial dedicated to all Portage County veterans to be designed and erected at the entrance to the new Kent Central Gateway multimodal facility.

Invitations were personally extended to congressional members and Peter Rogoff, administrator of the Federal Transit Administration, to attend the August ribbon-cutting event marking Davey Tree and Ametek moving into their new downtown Kent building.

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News Headline: Higher education: Paying the price (Zelko | Attachment Email

News Date: 05/08/2012
Outlet Full Name: Crain's Cleveland Business
Contact Name:
News OCR Text: Colleges more often charging fees for certain offerings, though scrutiny grows among students, lawmakers

The cost of higher education can go well beyond the sticker price at Northeast Ohio's public colleges and universities. Given dwindling state support and the rising costs associated with certain academic programs, local institutions are relying heavily on extra fees to fund their operations.

The fees, or any additional charge beyond the base tuition price, are by no means a new concept in higher education, just as “service fees” or “convenience charges” have become ubiquitous in the ticketing industry.

However, in recent years they've come under heightened scrutiny by lawmakers and students alike as the cost of higher education continues to escalate.

Kent State University, for instance, ran into some road blocks when it looked to enact a wide-ranging student fee to support a $210 million bond offering to fund an expansive campus overhaul, but a group of lawmakers who had to sign off on the proposal objected to the fee hike.

University officials this spring instead tweaked their plans and will issue about $170 million in new debt for a scaled-back construction program. But this time, the bond would be funded by a new course overload fee — a $440 per-credit-hour charge for each credit a student is enrolled over 17 credit hours.

While Kent State isn't the only public university in Ohio with such a fee, this plan also was met with resistance, but this time by students.

A few thousand people signed an online petition in hopes administrators would reconsider the fee, and another 75 took to the student center in protest.

An equitable solution?

Denise Zelko, director of Kent State's budget office, said the new overload fee was the “most equitable way” to distribute the costs of the university's capital needs. She pegged the campus' deferred maintenance costs at about $350 million.

“When you look at alternatives, students who are enrolling in more hours are using more resources,” she said. “We thought that was an equitable way of finding a solution to helping us renovate our facilities.”

“Equality” is a common thread in the fee discussion among higher education administrators, particularly as it relates to course fees. Oftentimes, colleges and universities tack fees — ranging from as little as $5 to a few hundred bucks — onto courses that cost more to teach or require additional supplies.

For example, a basic statistics course at the University of Akron for the current academic year carried a $15 course fee on top of tuition while an introduction to printmaking course carried a $150 fee. Meanwhile, Kent State charges an additional $280 for one of its fashion design courses and as little as a $5 fee for a course on the morphology of lower plants.

“The bottom line is that different programs have different cost structures,” said Mike Sherman, the University of Akron's provost and chief operating officer. “So programs have the opportunities to identify where the costs exceed available resources and propose fees that, to some extent, make up the differential cost across different academic programs.”

Such fees are by no means unique to four-year universities, and they are just as prevalent on the community college level as well, according to Karen Miller, vice president of enrollment management and student affairs at Cuyahoga Community College.

“We try to be fair to students,” Ms. Miller said. “It's not the same across the board. In order to maintain that low tuition, we sometimes need to add on an applicable fee. It seems to be the right thing to do.”

A new structure

College officials insist such fees haven't deterred students from enrolling in certain academic programs or courses. As such, higher education leaders across the country are exploring how to take the concept even further given the rising costs associated with some academic programs.

For example, Ohio State University president Gordon Gee, who often is regarded as a national expert on issues in higher education, told The Washington Post recently that he supports the idea of “differential tuition,” or abandoning a fixed undergraduate tuition price for all majors and assigning different price tags for different programs.

Differential tuition pricing has been the norm on the doctoral and graduate levels, but the concept appears to be rearing its head in undergraduate education as well. A recent study from the Cornell Higher Education Research Institute found that 143 public colleges or universities across the university had differential tuition policies.

Cleveland State University president Ronald Berkman has said he publicly he supports the idea of differential tuition rates, and David Cummins of the University of Akron said the concept was something “on our radar.”

“We're not doing anything with it right now. It's a little bit more of a global discussion,” said Mr. Cummins, the university's vice president for finance and administration and chief financial officer. “Tuition is generally the same even though some programs are more expensive than others, but it's something we probably we need to look at more closely.”

Still, dynamic tuition pricing hasn't been widely accepted, particularly by students. In 2003, Miami University of Ohio instituted a “progressive tuition” program that would have been phased in over several years to equalize pricing among out-of-state and in-state students. The program caused confusion and was ultimately scrapped.

Students at California's Santa Monica College staged a massive protest earlier this year in the wake of the college proposing to charge higher tuition for popular courses such as English, math and history. That proposal, too, eventually was tabled.

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News Headline: Kent State Student Excels Despite Down Syndrome | Attachment Email

News Date: 05/08/2012
Outlet Full Name: Kent Patch
Contact Name:
News OCR Text: Language comes easy for Portage County native

Megan Rothermel has never let the word “no” stop her from achieving academic success and independence. And she hears the word a lot.

No, she can't learn Spanish because she has Down syndrome.

No, she can't be independent because she has diabetes.

But to all the doubters, the short, pony-tailed 23-year-old says, “Watch me.”

Academic ups and downs
The first trial came in kindergarten when Megan's mother, DeeOnda, tried to enroll her in the Garrettsville school system. The system's policy said no students with multiple disabilities could attend. They were instead sent to Ravenna schools, which were better equipped for disabled students.

But Ravenna was far away. DeeOnda wanted Megan to go to school with her neighbors so she could make friends close to home. After DeeOnda debated with the Garrettsville school staff, they finally agreed to accept Megan.

She became the first multiple-disability student at the school, and she still talks to her best friend she met in kindergarten.

“Every time we started school, every year, the teachers would be real hesitant about having her in their classroom,” DeeOnda said.

The teachers thought Megan would require a lot of extra work on their part. DeeOnda said it was mainly the Down syndrome that worried them. “And probably ‘cause of my health issue too,” Megan, who'd been silent, adds softly.

Before 1975, students with multiple disabilities were rarely sent to school at all. Many were housed in mental institutions until the Education of the Handicapped Act forced public schools to create special intervention and education programs for the disabled, according to the U.S. Department of Education.

Though teachers had their doubts about Megan, she said she exceeded their expectations.

“The only downfall I had is math. But science, history, language … I excelled in. I got A's,“ Megan said triumphantly.

In high school, Megan took regular education classes — except for one special education class in English.

Because she didn't take regular English she couldn't take a class she was interested in: spanish. School policy dicatated students had to pass the regular English class to take a foreign language.

“So mom said that was okay, and we went and got (Spanish) CD's, and I taught myself Spanish,” Megan said matter-of-factly.

Along with the tapes, she got some help from the Spanish teacher, Anna Stamolis. Anna said she met Megan after substituting in the special education room.

“She'd always say, ‘I wanna learn to speak Spanish,'” Anna said. So Anna gave Megan a Spanish book to study on her own. She soon found out Megan had a great memory and could learn Spanish words and sentences with ease.

“And I would see the Spanish teacher in the hallway and I would speak to her in Spanish, and then the teacher really liked me; liked how I spoke to her, and invited me to be in her class,” Megan said, grinning.

School administrators made an exception to their rule and let Megan take Spanish.

“I would put the kids to shame because she'd get a 95 or 96 percent on her tests and kids in regular (education) couldn't do that,” Anna said.

People with Down syndrome have proven quite adept at understanding information, but they often struggle to express the knowledge they've retained, according to the National Down Syndrome Society. They have trouble processing information and then focusing attention on one task. Megan's been taking classes and improving her Spanish for five years.

“I can say, “Hola, muy bien, y tu?” Megan brags, rolling her R's. She's also taken two semesters of American Sign Language through Kent State University's Career and Community Services program for the intellectually disabled. Those classes prepared her for an unexpected opportunity. She got to sign the national anthem at last December's Special Olympics.

“I stood in front of everybody,” Megan proudly announced.

And she plans on taking Greek next semester.

Breaking away
Megan is 23, but her unpredictable diabetes makes her rely on her mother to help her when her blood sugar is high or low.

She contracted Type 1 Diabetes when she had chicken pox in kindergarten. Her antibodies tried to kill the virus, but instead they unintentionally killed part of her pancreas. The organ stopped producing insulin, and she had to start injecting herself with insulin to regulate her blood sugar.

She must figure out exactly how many carbs she'll ingest before every meal of the day. For every 15 carbs, she must inject two units of insulin. Megan's math skills are lacking, so she has to call her mother every time she eats to calculate how much insulin to take.

Even if she painstakingly keeps track of her diet, her blood sugar sometimes still drops or rises for apparently no reason at all. In the past, her mother or high school aids were always around to help her. Now that she's taking college courses and spending more time on her own she must watch it herself. Not all by herself, though; her best friend Kelsy Hodgkinson is usually there to throw her a sugary treat or tell her to take an insulin shot to bring her back to normal.

Kelsy said Megan starts to yawn and get grumpy when her sugar start to plummet. Kelsy then makes sure Megan eats sugary food to raise it back to normal. If Megan's sugar is extremely low, Kelsy calls DeeOnda to come and take Megan to the emergency room. Sometimes Kelsy has to call DeeOnda during class.

Once, Kelsy noticed Megan was becoming irritable. She saw Megan reaching for her tube of mini M&M's, but she knew her fine motor skills weren't the best because of Down syndrome. Kelsey jumped up, grabbed the tube, ripped the plastic case off, and handed Megan some chocolates.

On her own
Megan's also ready for another kind of independence.

“She's got a boyfriend now,” DeeOnda slyly admits.

“Thanks, mom” Megan replied sarcastically — with a hint of excitement.

Megan met her 6-foot tall, brown-haired boyfriend Brad Bohrer in Kent State's CCS program.

“He came up to me and said, ‘I'm gonna marry Megan,'” DeeOnda said. “I said, ‘You are? Does she know this?' He said, ‘No,' and I said, ‘Well Brad, don't you think you ‘oughta tell her?'”

So Brad told her, and they started dating. Megan brings Brad into the conversation whenever she can, whether it's mooning over the flowers and stuffed animals he's given her or giggling about his Michael Jackson-esque dance moves.

“They're talkin' about getting married. But it's not gonna happen ‘til they're out of school,” DeeOnda said.

“Thanks mom,” Megan grumbled.

So far, they've been to the mall, movies and dinner. Though their parents must drive them to dates because neither of them have a driver's license, Megan's still hopeful the two of them can live by themselves one day. Even if that means living one driveway from her family's home. The Rothermels own a guest home in their cul-de-sac, which they'll give to Megan once she's ready to move out.

Still, Megan won't be able to enjoy a traditional family life. Her depleted pancreas can't support a pregnancy.

“He wants to have five kids, but I'm a diabetic and I can't put my body through it,” Megan said.

Brad told her he would much rather sacrifice having a baby rather than put Megan's life in jeopardy.

“So, we switched from five kids to five dogs,” Megan said with a grin.

“I'm okay with the dogs,” DeeOnda chuckled.

About this column: PatchU highlights a partnership between Patch.com and the journalism school at Kent State University by spotlighting student work and collaborative efforts.

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