KSU appoints interim dean of Columbiana County campuses


Photo courtesy of Kent State University

Alex Delaney-Gesing

Long-time Kent State faculty member David Dees has been appointed as interim dean and chief administrative officer of the university’s Columbiana County campuses.

Effective Friday, Dees takes over for Dean Stephen Nameth, who announced his retirement beginning Thursday.

Dees began as a full-time Kent State faculty member in 1991, working at the Columbiana County Salem and E. Liverpool campuses. During that period, he split his time between teaching at each of the campuses.

“Now … years later, I’m splitting my time between the campuses again,” Dees said. “ It’s almost like my career has gone full circle and I’ve come back home.”

His familiarity with the regional campuses has given Dees a vantage point on how the locations operate in comparison to the university’s main campus. With all the qualities of a major university, he said they’re simply more local and personalized.

“You have access to the quality and the opportunities you’d get at the main university, like library resources, great-full time faculty. And it’s right in your backyard,” Dees said. “(They’re) close to home, with smaller class sizes and great personal attention (from faculty) that you wouldn’t necessarily get at the larger main campus.”

Attending a regional campus can change the trajectory of a family, Dees said.

“People come here, get college degrees, and then their kids follow their lead,” he said. “I want to keep focusing on that throughout the (Columbiana) County.”

In the coming months, Dees’ intends to work on student retention, student graduation rates, as well as the process of recruiting students for the Columbiana County campuses:

“(I want to be) really focusing on the student success piece,” he said. “That’s a critical element.”

Also an associated professor of cultural foundations in Kent State’s School of Foundations, Leadership and Administration in the College of Education, he has served as director of the university’s Center for Teaching and Learning since 2013.

Dees’ appointment was announced by Kent State Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost Todd Diacon, who stated his confidence in Dees’ qualification and dedication to his new position.

“There are few people at Kent State University who are more committed to our Regional Campuses, the communities they serve and the students who enroll than David Dees,” Diacon said in a June 29 university news release.

Contact Alex Delaney-Gesing at [email protected].