Provost appoints three staffers to different positions

Audrey Fletcher

Provost Todd Diacon announced Friday three new appointments in the Division of Academic Affairs, which is responsible for all Kent academic programs.

Eric Mansfield, executive director of University Media Relations, said the new appointments are simply a matter of trying out people in new positions.

James Blank, who has worked at Kent State for 25 years, has been named interim dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, replacing Timothy Chandler, who left last month for Towson. He will begin his transition into the position Nov. 1 and will fully take over the position Jan. 1.

Blank is currently a professor and chair in the department of biological sciences. While serving as director of the School of Biomedical Sciences in the past, Blank developed the doctoral program between the Cleveland Clinic Foundation and the university.

“Jim has a wealth of administrative experience and vast knowledge of Kent State,” Diacon said in a press release. “He knows the College of Arts and Sciences well and has led a very successful department in the college. I’m very excited he will be serving as interim dean.”

Said Sewell began his newly created position of assistant provost for academic affairs Oct. 1. He will represent the provost at public events, develop and implement agreements with community colleges and oversee the Male Initiative.

Sewell, who was the dean of undergraduate studies previously, will also direct the “See You at College” program, which supports informal advisors of college students.

“His terrific public speaking skills as well as his experience in diversity matters will boost our recruitment of diverse students and will help ensure their success once they reach the university,” Diacon said.

Replacing Sewell, Eboni Pringle has been named interim dean of undergraduate studies. She was serving as assistant dean of the department prior to the appointment.

Pringle has held positions in residence services, student financial aid and the office of admissions. She has also led undergraduate studies on an interim basis in the past and has managed operations in the office of student success and Destination: Kent State.

“Eboni did an outstanding job as the interim executive director of Undergraduate Studies,” Diacon said. “Under her watch, the retention rate of exploratory majors increased noticeably. We know she’ll continue to excel in providing the best experience for all of our undergraduate students.”

Contact Audrey Fletcher at [email protected].