(PRINT VERSION) Provost Q and A

Nicole Ciccarelli

Editor’s note: Once a month, editors and producers from The Kent Stater and TV2 interview Senior Vice President of Academic Affairs and Provost Todd Diacon about issues of importance to the university. The following is an edited conversation from Tuesday. To read or watch the full interview, go to KentWired.com.

NC: What is the Provost Leadership Academy and are there any positions open?

Diacon said the Provost Leadership Academy is for 70-75 incoming freshman, who get put into groups that come up with ideas to help improve the university. There are no positions open.

“I like to say it because it’s true: By the time they finish that year, they probably understand better how Kent State works than 90 percent of the students and many of us at administration because they had that broad experience combined with a project,” Diacon said.

NC: Are you working on filling any positions like the Honors College dean and the Education Health and Human Services (EHHS) dean?

The first step is to select one of four Honors College dean candidates before interviewing the six candidates of EHHS, Diacon said. The interview process is completed for the Honors College position, and will begin the process for selecting an EHHS dean.

“We try not to do two at once because they’re time intensive,” Diacon said.

NC: President Warren sent out a travel ban email, so what steps are you taking to ensure safety?

Diacon said there was an event in the Kiva on Wednesday where students could ask him, and other speakers, questions and they could answer. Diacon said it was a step in the right direction to help ensure safety.

“One of our roadmap priorities and values is to create a caring community that facilitates an open exchange of knowledge and when you ban people, you literally prevent them from open exchange of knowledge,” Diacon said.

NC: Which school will gain the school of digital sciences?

The school of digital sciences will fall under The College of Communication and Information (CCI), Diacon said. There were three candidates that wanted to take digital sciences, which was once a stand-alone school, but CCI’s proposal was selected.

“When I arrived here, the School of Digital Sciences was new and they reported directly to my office, but it is an academic program and needed to be administered by a dean and we moved it,” Diacon said.

NC: What is the status of new projects around campus?

Diacon said he couldn’t speak about the purchased land on 430-436 E. Main St., but said the university is working on raising funds for the new College of Business and Administration building, which was approved in the September 2016 Board of Trustees meeting.

“Probably, we will need to raise around $60 million to do that and the plan is to put it right at the end of this space across the street (from the library or Risman Plaza),” Diacon said.

NC: Are you making progress to hire more tenured tracked faculty?

The process is at the beginning stages, Diacon said, but the university is encouraging departments to hire more tenured faculty.

“The progress is that we’ve agreed to the program and want to start recruiting senior faculty and bring their research with them, and we are at the very beginning stages.”

Nicole Ciccarelli is a reporter, contact her at [email protected]