Kent State announces new vice president for human resources


Kent State named Jack Witt, current vice president for human resources and administration at Owens Community College in Toledo, the new vice president for human resources on Tuesday, June 21, 2016.

Alex Delaney-Gesing

 A Kent State alum has been chosen to be the university’s new vice president for human resources

Jack Witt, the current vice president of human resources and administration at Owens Community College in Toledo who also graduated from Kent State with his Master of Public Administration, was selected by the university’s designated search committee following a nationwide search that began earlier this year.

The search committee was headed by Shay Little, current Kent State vice president of student affairs, and consisted of 10 additional faculty and staff members at both the Kent campus and regional campuses.

Witt replaces Willis Walker, who served as interim vice president of human resources following the departure of Joseph Vitale to Oberlin College.

As vice president, Witt will manage the Division of Human Resources at Kent State, as well as all programs within the division, according to a June 21 university news release.

This will include “talent acquisition, equal opportunity, affirmative action, Title IX, employment development, compensation, employee engagement, labor relations, wellness and benefits,” as the Kent State website stated.

“I hope to build on all the great things human resource has done for the university in the last several years,” Witt said, “(and) work with the human resource professionals and others in the university to do as much as we can to help employees be successful because this in turn, whether through faculty or staff, will translate to student success.”

Witt will work under the direction of Mark Polatajko, senior vice president for finance administration.

“(Witt) brings with him a wealth of (human resource) experience,” Polatajko said, in the university news release, “particularly in the areas of compensation, benefits, employee relations and labor relations, which will be beneficial as he leads our team of (human resource) professionals.”

Prior to working at Owens Community College and Macomb Community College in Michigan, Witt was employed for 25 years in the human resources departments of several major corporations.

He also spent 16 teaching labor relations and collective bargaining, human resource management, employee benefits, legal studies and business ethics and policy at various institutions, and is a human resource certified professional by the International Public Management Association for Human Resources, according to the news release.

Witt’s role as vice president of human resources will take effect Sept. 1.

Alex Delaney-Gesing is the administration reporter, contact her at [email protected].