Seachrist to serve as Dean of KSU Stark

Denise Seachrist

Denise Seachrist

Alyssa Ronyak

Denise A. Seachrist was named the new dean of Kent State Stark campus on Feb. 1. Seachrist’s history with the university goes back nearly 30 years. During that time, she has been associated with both the regional campuses and the main campus.

Originally from Rootstown, Ohio, Seachrist earned her Ph.D. in musicology-ethnomusicology from Kent State in 1987.

“I’ve been at Kent for a long time, as a student, as a faculty member and as an administrator” said Seachrist.

As a late add-in candidate during the search for a new dean, she won the community over. Seachrist is excited to serve her community as the permanent dean.

“I was thrilled to have the opportunity to participate,” she said.

Seachrist has the support of the Kent community as Todd Diacon, Kent State’s provost and senior vice president for academic affairs and provost.

“Chosen as the result of a national search, she brings an outstanding mix of external relations skills, administrative experience and scholarly accomplishments,” Diacon said. “We value our Stark campus family and are happy that Denise has agreed to accept this important assignment.”

With all the excitement of the newly affirmed dean, the decision for Seachrist wasn’t always an option when the search first started. She served as interim dean of Stark campus since July 2014, and applied for the job when the search first started. However, she wasn’t considered for the position until winter 2015.

As dean, Seachrist is now responsible for the chief administrative offices and total oversight of the Stark campus.

“I’m responsible for all the budgeting, academic programming, and running the campus,” she said. 

Taking on the role as dean of a regional campus is something Seachrist has given some thought to since she was served as interim dean.

“Once I was given the opportunity to serve the position, I really saw how wonderful the community is and the faculty, the staff and the students we have down here,” she said. “I just thought it was a really good fit and that’s when I became really interested in the position.”

Because of the overwhelming support she has received, Seachrist is hopeful for the future

“The (Stark) campus is so important, being the only public institution of higher education in the county, and that gives us a responsibility to reach out to the public,” she said.

Seachrist continues to set the bar high for the Stark campus , describing it as “inclusive.”She is excited to see what is in store for the rest of this year and in the years to come.

Alyssa Ronyak is the regionals reporter for The Kent Stater. Contact her at [email protected].