Kent State begins search for new VP

Marissa Barnhart

Kent State University has started the search to find its next fundraising and alumni relations leader.

In a university-wide email, Kent State President Beverly Warren announced that a search committee has been formed to find a new vice president for the Division of Institutional Advancement. Gene Finn, former vice president of institutional advancement, left Kent State on July 31 for a position in fundraising at Columbia University.

The committee is expected to name a new vice president before the end of the year.

Director of Athletics Joel Nielsen was selected to lead the search committee, composed of university administrators, faculty, staff and community members. Steve Sokany, former senior associate vice president for institutional advancement has served as the interim vice president since Aug. 1 and will remain in the role until a new vice president is appointed.

“We are in the beginning stages of the process, and so far we’ve had one meeting of the search committee focused on advertising for the position,” Nielsen said in an email.  “This is a strong committee, and I know we’ll work well together to attract superior candidates.”

Serving with Nielsen on the committee are the following:

•   Gary Brahler, Chair, Kent State University Foundation Board of Directors; First Vice President-Investments, Polcar Brahler Heil Belden Wealth Management Group of WellsFargo Advisors

•   John Crawford, Dean, College of the Arts; Professor of Dance

•   Cynthia Crimmins, Associate Vice President, Advancement Operations, Division of Institutional Advancement

•   Rozell Duncan, Faculty Representative, Alumni Association National Board of Directors; Assistant Professor of Communication Studies

•   Maria Schneider, President, Alumni Association National Board of Directors; Alumni Board Representative, Kent State University Foundation Board of Directors; Managing Consultant-Premier Segment, Institutional Relationships, TIAA-CREF

•   Susan Stocker, Dean Kent State University at Ashtabula and professor of nursing

The search committee is tasked with attracting and screening candidates and developing a list of three finalists who will come to campus for public interviews. Nielsen, Schneider and Stocker were also on the search committee responsible for finding Warren.

Eric Mansfield, executive director of University Media Relations, said committee meetings are not open to the public. He said the committee met to get to know each other and start advertising for the position.

The university enlisted consultants Jack Gorman and Laurel Duggan from Boston-based search firm Isaacson, Miller to help recruit candidates.

Warren said the university is looking for “an outstanding leader, communicator and motivator” in the next vice president and encouraged the entire university to give insight about what kind of person should fill the position.

Contact Marissa Barnhart at [email protected].