What to know about new KSU trustee Robert Frost


Ohio Gov. John Kasich has appointed Robert S. Frost from Lakewood, Ohio, to the Kent State University Board of Trustees.

Laina Yost

When Robert Frost, Kent State’s newest Board of Trustee member, met J.R. Campbell, he was initially impressed by the success of the fashion program.

Frost expressed interest in the board position several years ago as he started to see the university build a greater connection with the Cleveland area.

He credited Campbell, director of the fashion school and the new executive director of the design innovation initiative, for re-introducing him to the Kent campus.

“One of the defining events was just getting to know J.R. Campbell about five or six years ago,” Frost said, “and coming down to the campus and seeing what he in particular was doing, but then just coming down there, seeing many things that were already underway or that had happened since.”

Frost is an attorney for Capital Partners, a lobbying firm in Cleveland and Columbus, and he also serves as chairman of the Republican Party of Cuyahoga County.

“My interest to become more involved comes from my belief that Ohio’s public universities help our state keep and attract the smart, creative people that make our communities so vibrant,” he said.

Frost said he has plans to be present at the university, such as attending graduation ceremonies, and being available to talk to students firsthand. He encouraged students to contact him and give him their thoughts and input about Kent State.

“I want to hear from students,” Frost said. “What they think is needed from their Board of Trustees or from individual trustees. So, for right now, what I want to do is just start to learn myself, from the students’ perspective, what can be done over the next few years that can make a very good thing even better.”

Frost said it’s exciting to be a part of Kent State, and he hopes to bring his background in public policy and finance to serve students during his time as a board member.

“From work that I’ve done as a local elected official and understanding what community service is all about,” he said, “I hope that brings just an aspect to what our Board of Trustees is able to do in terms of putting students first and in terms of engaging the broader community that Kent State University is part of.”

Frost praised the board’s leadership in passing the Master Plan, and said he’s lucky that he gets to come on.

At the end of his time at Kent State, Frost said he wants himself and the other leaders of the university to make the most of their time.

“I hope that, generally, people look at Kent State University, let’s say a decade from now and can say ‘Boy, it was a great university back in 2018, but look at what it is today,’” he said. “It’s just both its reputation educationally and the experience of this campus, who would have thought it could have been better when it was already so good?”

Frost will serve his term until May 2026.

Laina Yost is an administration reporter. Contact her at [email protected]