Kent State welcomes President-Elect Diacon

Maddy Haberberger

In a unanimous vote, the Kent State Board of Trustees has elected Dr. Todd Diacon to serve as Kent State’s 13th President. Diacon has been Provost of Kent State since 2012, working directly under current President Beverly Warren for her incumbency.

Diacon’s colleagues here at Kent State are generally supportive of the Board of Trustees’ decision, offering praise and well wishes at a meet and greet this afternoon at the Center for Undergraduate Excellence. Among the attendees was Eboni Pringle, Dean of University College who spoke very highly of Diacon and his character.

“He really focuses on those individuals who don’t traditionally have that opportunity, who have significant barriers and challenges to completing a degree,” said Pringle. “He particularly focuses on how we make sure that it’s not just about getting those individuals access, but how do we make sure those students are successful.”

According to his office website, the duties Diacon was responsible for as provost included monitoring “all academic programs across our 10 colleges, one independent school and eight campuses.” Under his tenure, the university saw record retention and graduation rates.

Those who worked alongside Diacon, such as Senior Associate Provost Melody Tankersley, say he exemplifies Kent State’s “student’s first” philosophy.

“He always is asking the question ‘what’s the best for the students?’ He wants to make sure everybody achieves at the highest level,” said Tankersley.

Members of the Kent State community were heartbroken to hear that current President Beverly Warren would be leaving her position – adored by the student body, President Warren made quite the impact on our university. She enrolled the most academically gifted freshman class in Kent State history, she helped prohibit smoking and tobacco use on campus, helped make Kent State the 11th safest campus in the nation, and led us to be ranked as one of America’s top 100 public schools.

Diacon has big shoes to fill, but Shawn Riley, the head of the presidential search committee, said that the former Provost is the “perfect candidate.” Tankersley concurs, and believes he will seamlessly continue the work that he and President Warren started.

Said Tankersley, “Bev Warren has been an amazing president, and I think I speak for the entire Kent State community when we say we’re sad to see her go. Her energy, her care, her vision, we really are in a great place as a community because of her ability to bring people together. And I think Todd is such a natural next selection because he has that same genuine quality of caring about people that Bev has.

Dr. Diacon will assume his position when President Warren steps down on July 1st.

Maddy Haberberger is a TV2 reporter. Contact her at [email protected].