Provost Robert Frank accepts presidential position at the University of New Mexico

Provost Robert Frank.

Provost Robert Frank.

Megan Wilkinson

Provost Robert Frank received both his undergraduate and graduate degrees in psychology from the University of New Mexico. Twenty-two years and three promotions later, he plans to return to his alma mater to serve as its 21st president.

The University of New Mexico Board of Regents, headed by chair president Jack Fortner, chose Frank after a six-month search. Karen Wentworth, senior university communications representative for the University of New Mexico, said UNM picked Frank over the other candidates because of his experiences in the health sciences.

Frank stated in a press release that, “the chance to be president at a university with as much potential as UNM is the most exciting opportunity I can imagine.”

Frank will replace the University of New Mexico’s current president, David J. Schmidly, who is stepping down from his job to take a sabbatical.

“He has had some serious health issues in the last two years,” Wentworth said.

Wentworth said Frank leaves Kent State for the presidential position in June 2012. Until then, Frank said he wants to continue moving forward with globalization initiatives and student retention at Kent State.

Frank started his career at Kent State as provost in July 2007. So far, he has helped to establish Kent State’s College of Public Health, increased student retention rates and revised the promotion and tenure rules.

Wentworth said Frank has yet to announce the goals he hopes to initiate at UNM.

Daniel Mahony, dean of the College of Education and head of the provost search committee, said final candidates to replace Frank will be announced in about two weeks.

“I am not personally surprised about Provost Frank getting the president job at the University of New Mexico,” Mahony said. “He made it clear in July that his goal was to actively search for a president’s position and he has the background and experience needed to get such a position.”

Contact Megan Wilkinson at [email protected].