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Kent State Salem to Pursue New Bachelor's Degree

Posted Dec. 15, 2010

Kent State Salem Insurance Program

Kent State Salem and the insurance industry are partnering to bring a bachelor’s of Insurance and Risk Management to Kent State Salem. Pictured are Kent State Salem’s Director of Institutional Advancement Mathew Butts and Kent State Salem Dean Jeff Nolte along with David Hazen, past president of the Independent Insurance Agents of Ohio and the group’s Chief Executive Officer Scott Nein. 

Bachelor’s in Insurance and Risk Management Slated to Start Spring of 2012
Program is initially supported by a $20,000 donation from the Independent Insurance Agents of Ohio.

Salem, Ohio -- Kent State University at Salem is looking to bring a bachelor’s degree of insurance and risk management to the area. By engaging corporations and private individuals in an ongoing relationship, Kent State University Salem plans on implementing an insurance program in the spring of 2012.

David B. Hazen, vice president of commercial lines of Huntington Insurance, was instrumental in working with Kent State University to formulate plans for the degree. “We need a workforce with a solid understanding of insurance, especially as this industry continues to grow and expand. We are intent on engaging young people in careers with us,” he said.

By 2016, Ohio’s insurance industry workforce in Ohio is projected to grow by 7.1 percent.  Additional employment opportunities will also become available as an estimated 25 percent of the industry workforce reaches retirement age by 2016. The diversity of potential employers and market demands of the workforce creates an ideal environment for partnerships between Kent State University’s regional campuses and the insurance industry.

Currently, Kent State University Salem is the only private or public higher education institution in Ohio committed to growing an insurance education program.  “Kent State Salem is a natural fit for this degree seeing as they already offer a bachelor’s in business management,” Hazen said. “Plus, the campus has a proven track record of partnering with industry to bring needed degrees to the area such as horticulture, nursing and radiology.”  

Dean of the campus, Dr. Jeff Nolte said the campus is excited to offer more options to its students. “We are always looking to increase our degree options, partner with industry and provide more opportunities for our students,” said Nolte, “I’m proud we’re able to pursue this degree.”

The program is being initially supported by a $20,000 donation from the Independent Insurance Agents of Ohio. This is the group’s first charitable donation to higher education.

“This gift is an investment in our future,” said Hazen, who is the group’s past president. “We believe in the notion of giving back, and feel this is a direct way to make an impact on the future of the insurance industry.”

As highlighted in the Kent State Magazine, the University provides more than $1.96 billion in added income to the Northeast Ohio economy.  Regional campuses are a key catalyst to economic development for the 12 counties that compose the region.  For more than 40 years, Kent State Salem has developed new educational programs and facilities in response to the changing needs of employers.  

Founded in 1897, The Independent Insurance Agents of Ohio has more than 10,000 members. The group is committed to providing its membership with unparalleled legal, legislative, and regulatory representation before Congress, the Ohio General Assembly, the judicial system, and regulatory agencies.  It is one of the most respected lobbying organizations in Ohio and Washington, D.C.

Independent agents rely on the organization for products and services which help them compete and succeed in the marketplace. Services range from insurance products to continuing education programs to a host of administrative, informational and marketing services.

At the Kent State Columbiana County campuses, students can earn a bachelor’s degree in 14 different disciplines or an associate’s degree in 14 different areas. The Kent State Columbiana County campuses, which include Kent State at East Liverpool and Kent State at Salem, are home to more than 3,300 students. For more information please visit or call 330-332-0361.