Finalists announced for Kent State’s senior vice president and provost position


Kent State President Todd Diacon revealed three finalists for the university’s senior vice president and provost position. Pictured finalists are Teri Balser, left; Melody Tankersley, middle; and Montse Fuentes, right. 

President Todd Diacon revealed three finalists for Kent State’s senior vice president and provost position, with over 65 years of service in higher education combined between the three.

An 18-person committee chose the finalists after a lengthy search. In February, the president announced the search, naming Paul DiCorleto, the vice president for research and sponsored programs, to chair the committee.

The three finalists come from different areas of the continent and all have held the role of provost at different universities.

One finalist is Teri Balser, who was a former provost and interim president of Dalhousie University in Halifax, Canada. Balser was the first ever 2SLGBTQ+ person to be in the position of president at Dalhousie. Balser is also internationally known as a scholar, traveling to several countries to study and teach. Her highlights include being invited by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in 2014 to train female university administrators and doing research in Japan and Switzerland.

The second finalist is Melody Tankersley, the current interim senior vice president and provost for Kent State. Tankersley has been the interim for about a year after rising through the ranks at Kent State from assistant professor. Tankersley has Harvard graduate training in educational management, adding to over 25 years of higher education experience.

Finally, there is Montse Fuentes, a former executive vice president and provost from the University of Iowa. According to news reports, Fuentes recently moved roles at University of Iowa, from vice president to special assistant to the president. This move-in position did not change her salary or benefits, however. Fuentes has vast experience ranging from being head editor of the Journal of the American Statistical Association to serving on the Science Advisory Board of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

The candidates asked to be interviewed closer to their presentation days, during the week of Oct. 13. They will present their idea of what a provost should be like and address challenges that higher education is facing.

Ben Vrobel covers administration. Contact him at [email protected].


Hi, I’m Lauren Sasala, a senior journalism student from Toledo. I’m also the editor in chief of The Kent Stater and KentWired this semester. My staff and I are committed to bringing you the most important news about Kent State and the Kent community. We are full-time students and hard-working journalists. While we get support from the student media fee and earned revenue such as advertising, both of those continue to decline. Your generous gift of any amount will help enhance our student experience as we grow into working professionals. Please go here to donate.