Kent State trustees are expected to name the university’s 12th president at a special meeting this morning.
A brief notice from KSU on Tuesday said trustees would hold a special meeting “to consider matters related to the employment of a public employee or official” in Rockwell Hall, one of KSU’s older and more visually appealing buildings.
“The board will hold a news conference immediately after the meeting,” university spokesman Eric Mansfield said. He declined to comment further.
KSU’s 17-member search committee has been meeting since August to find a replacement for President Lester Lefton, 67, who will retire in June after seven years as president.
The university has been tight-lipped about the search and has not released the names of contenders other than the 20 or so who took the initiative to apply on their own. Those applications include two people with Northeast Ohio ties: former broadcaster Tim White, a news anchor on Cleveland’s NBC affiliate from 1999 to 2008 who now lives in Virginia; and Frederic White, a professor emeritus of the Cleveland State law school who now teaches law at Texas A&M University.
The field probably was much wider, as KSU hired Storbeck/Pimental and Associates of Media, Pa., for $161,000 (and expenses) to find candidates with qualities especially sought by trustees.
Those qualities, according to the KSU prospectus about the position, include the ability to share the governance of the university with the faculty and a “deep understanding” of technology’s role in higher education.
The university appears to be following the same path it took when it hired Lefton in 2006. It brought him to campus as a done deal instead of introducing a handful of candidates to faculty and staff for their input.
That angered campus personnel who wanted more say in the hiring of the next president.
Meanwhile, two other tax-supported universities in Ohio also are seeking new leaders: the University of Akron, where President Luis Proenza will step down and return to teaching in July; and Ohio State, where Gordon Gee stepped down in July to return to teaching.
Carol Biliczky can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 330-996-3729.