KSU sets expectations for Warren’s successor in new presidential profile


A screenshot of Kent State President Beverly Warren thanking the Kent State community for their generosity on Giving Tuesday

Laina Yost

Editor’s note: KentWired received an early copy of the presidential profile. The university has since released the full version online. Click here to view the PDF.

In a presidential position profile, Kent State detailed what it’s looking for in President Beverly Warren’s successor.

The profile laid out some of what Warren began in her five-year tenure, such as the Strategic Roadmap to a Distinctive Kent State with the “Students First”  commitment as her first priority. The next president is expected to continue those commitments.

They are also expected to carry out the 10-year Facilities Master Plan, which is currently in Phase 1, and the building projects that are in progress.

The profile states the university wants a candidate that will guide students and faculty through new developments as well, including technological and cultural shifts, and focusing on strengthening Kent State’s position as a research-based university.

It addressed the university’s declining enrollment due to a national decline in international enrollment and demographic shifts. The next president is expected to diversify revenue streams and grow enrollment.

“The next president will serve as an advocate in the national conversation regarding the importance of higher education to our nation’s future and will champion Kent State’s distinctive advantage in an increasingly competitive market for talented students,” the profile states.

Kent State’s 13th president will enter into two large campaigns in 2020. The university subtly started a large fundraising season with plans to officially launch next year. The 50th anniversary of the May 4 shootings will also occur in 2020.

The position profile listed 16 characteristics the search committee gathered from public forums and meetings that community members wanted in its next president.

Listed at the top was “genuine passion for putting students first.” Also included on the list was financial acumen, record of fostering diversity, global awareness and an appreciation of shared governance.

Search committee chair Shawn Riley told KentWired he hopes the next president will continue what Warren started with “Students First.”

“We want somebody that can embrace that concept and follow through on it because it’s worked so well for the university as Bev has been president,” he said.

Riley also said he wants to continue to hear input from the community, and he may hold more public forums in the future.

The position profile outlined Kent State’s current landscape in athletics, academics, finances and other areas.

In October, Warren announced she wouldn’t renew her contract with Kent State and would leave July 1. Riley, a current Board of Trustees member, was asked to lead a committee of 16 people, including faculty, staff, community members and two students, to find a new president.

Executive search firm Russell Reynolds Associates will aide the committee and recruit candidates for the position.

The university will encourage nominations and additional suggestions.


Laina Yost is a senior reporter. Contact her at [email protected].