Eye on Education

Incoming Kent State President Wants to Prepare Students for the Workforce

warren graphic from wksu

Daniel Skinner / WKSU

Beverly Warren won’t start her job as the new president of Kent State University until July 1st, but she already has some ideas about how to run the ship.

Warren–who’s wrapping up her job as the vice president at Virginia Commonwealth University–was chosen as the university’s 12th president earlier this week.  Her predecessor, Lestor Lefton plans to retire this summer.

In an interview with WKSU’s Jeff St. Clair, Warren says that one of her priorities is to make sure that students are globally competitive once they graduate.

“We necessarily owe it to the public to make sure that students are prepared for the workforce.The issue for me and for many of us is that we should be preparing students for those jobs that don’t yet exist and for those new discoveries that are only a figment of our imagination at the moment.”

To Warren, that doesn’t mean abandoning the merits of a liberal arts education–teaching students how to think, communicate and collaborate with their peers.

Warren also says she doesn’t want students to go broke trying to get their education, and that might require universities to be more generous with their pocketbooks.

“I think institutions owe it to students to really increase the financial aid that you have available for students, both in endowed scholarships and in federal funding support for students.  And so it’s that mix of opportunity that would be well worth the investment, but how can we decrease the burden? Part of that is the tuition decisions as state funding has declined.  So, I think we have to be very attentive as institutions of higher education of this ever increasing tuition cost and we want to make sure that access remains.”

You can listen to the full interview here.


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