Kent State's Commitment to Diversity Starts at the Top
Building a diverse and inclusive environment is a critical component of the university's pursuit of excellence in all endeavors. In November 2007, President Lester A. Lefton formed the broad-based Commission on Inclusion, chaired by respected community leader the Rev. Ronald Fowler. Commission members charged with finding effective and financially feasible ways to create a more welcoming campus environment, and to take full advantage of the wealth of knowledge, talents and traditions within the university community, submitted 15 high-priority recommendations. Chief among them was the addition of Kent State's first cabinet-level diversity officer, Alfreda Brown, to oversee a new Division of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion.The university recently established the President's Ambassadorship, a vehicle that brings distinguished, local minority professionals to campus to share their knowledge, insights and experiences. The first ambassadorship, held during 2010-11 by Cleveland baseball legend and business leader Andre Thornton, was a resounding success, generating positive feedback among students and the larger community, as well as positive media attention.