Kent State University and the Ohio College of Podiatric Medicine in Independence plan to come together into a single, academic entity as early as this summer. Both institutions are collaborating to allow for a smooth transition.
An oversight committee, comprising an extensive group of people from both institutions, is overseeing the transition. Six transition workgroups are also working to identify key transition issues and will provide analysis and recommendations in areas from academic affairs to marketing.
“We are putting careful thought into this transition process to make sure there are no bottlenecks when the college formally becomes a part of Kent State,” said Kent State Senior Associate Provost Tim Chandler, who is co-chairman of the oversight committee.
“Staff members from both institutions are working around the clock to make this successful. Our attention to detail will ensure that there are no interruptions to the academic pursuit of our new and returning podiatric medicine students when the college resumes for classes in August,” Chandler said.
The Ohio College of Podiatric Medicine, established in 1916, is one of the largest and most respected podiatric medical education institutions in the country and the only accredited podiatry school in Ohio.
The move to join Kent State is part the podiatric school's strategic plan to take the college to the next level in teaching and research. By coming together with Kent State, the podiatric college also will offer strategic research and teaching collaborations with the university’s health and science departments.
“We are moving pretty quickly with this acquisition, which is as a result of due diligence on our part and the commitment of all involved, and I am pleased with the work done so far toward making this happen,” said Kent State President Lester A. Lefton.
“Our partnership will have a huge impact on the future and quality of podiatric medicine. The opportunities for a well-rounded education for our podiatric medicine students are enormous, and I am excited to officially welcome the college and its students to the Kent State family this summer,” Lefton said.
The partnership between both institutions will offer expanded academic options for podiatric students, including the ability to obtain a dual degree, such as a master’s degree of business administration or public health or a Ph.D. in a variety of science programs.
Faculty and students of the podiatric college also will have the opportunity to engage in research programs with public health, biomedical sciences and sports medicine.
Additionally, access to all men’s and women’s sports teams that exist at Kent State and the ability to work with Kent State faculty, trainers and team physicians, and be exposed to a variety of varsity and intramural sports activities, could probably lead to a new area of specialization in the doctor of podiatric medicine program.
“This is a great opportunity for the OCPM community to be partnered with a high-caliber institution, such as Kent State,” said Ohio College of Podiatric Medicine President Thomas V. Melillo.
“Our students will have more opportunities in their professional education, such as research, sports medicine, and the ability to pursue dual degrees. OCPM will be the only podiatric college associated with a state university, which gives our students an advantage in higher education,” Melillo said.
The Board of Trustees of both institutions will have separate meetings in March where progress made in the acquisition will be discussed.
For more information about Kent State University’s College of Podiatric Medicine in Independence, visit the transition site at www.kent.edu/ocpm.