Guest columnist: New KSU President Focuses on Students

Alex Evans

Dr. Warren caught me off guard when I first met her; anxiously thinking through my repertoire of questions any student would be interested in asking their next president, my attention focused on her welcoming smile as she entered the room. She shook my hand, asked if I really had three majors and congratulated me on my upcoming graduation—I quickly realized Dr. Warren would make the engaging and interactive president many students were hoping the search would produce. 

I believe Dr. Warren is a win for students because she is a true champion of academics and student success. She possesses proven leadership abilities and a vision for continued excellence. She also has a sincere appreciation for building meaningful relationships with students, faculty and the Kent community. 

At Virginia Commonwealth University, Dr. Warren served as professor, dean and provost. Her time at VCU will be remembered for her emphasis on student success by increasing six-year and minority graduation rates, degrees awarded and undergraduate involvement in research. I am confident Dr. Warren will duplicate these successes at Kent State.  

In addition to engaging the student body, Dr. Warren plans to enhance students’ experiences through a focus on research, college affordability and continued development of town-gown relations. These strategies will provide greater hands-on experiences and means to help students leverage the rising costs of a college education.

I believe Dr. Warren’s record of accomplishments demonstrates she is in higher education, and more importantly coming to Kent State, for the right reasons. She genuinely believes she will be able to make a difference in the lives of students and the Kent community.  Pursuing academic commitment and community engagement, Dr. Warren chose Kent State just as much as Kent State chose her.

Dr. Warren’s warm smile and charming personality captivated student leaders at a meet and greet following her selection. Her earnest interest in students struck me once again and I thought back to the moment I first met her; it was as if she were a new student looking for ways she could get involved on campus. Dr. Warren is already making good on her commitment to learning the Kent State story.

If you listen to Dr. Warren speak, you know how excited she is to be joining the Kent State family. If you have not had a chance to hear her speak, I encourage you to watch her press conference online to see for yourself how passionately she articulates her interest and vision for Kent State’s future. 

When appointed to the board in 2012, I hoped to leave my mark on the university by working to enhance the student experience; I never imagined I would have the opportunity to participate in a presidential search. I am confident Kent State University will continue on its trajectory to become a nationally recognized university under Dr. Warren’s leadership.

Alex Evans is a Kent State student trustee. Contact Evans at [email protected].