Frank is ETSU president finalist



Associated Press

There were 49 applicants for the presidency of East Tennessee State University and Kent State Provost Robert Frank is one of the three final candidates.

The person chosen will succeed Dr. Paul E. Stanton Jr., who has been president since 1997.

There is a need for diversity on the ETSU campus, Frank said, and he urged both inclusion of international students at the university and international study experiences for students, saying his time in Iran influenced his views.

“I think I have a higher tolerance for ambiguity and uncertainty, because I grew up in that kind of environment, where things weren’t always crystal clear,” Frank said. “I value family a lot, because we had to rely on each other. It was just us there.”

Frank was born in Paris, where his father was stationed with the U.S. Army. From the third grade until eighth grade, he attended an American school in Iran.

Other candidates running for the position are Brian Noland, chancellor of West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission, and Sandra Patterson-Randles, chancellor of Indiana University Southeast.

Noland said he knows East Tennessee well because his wife is from the region and because he worked for the state Higher Education Commission in Nashville. He said he worked with ETSU faculty and staff on assessment issues and building the lottery scholarship program.

Noland was born in the Washington suburb of Sterling, Va. His family lives in Asheville, N.C., and his wife’s family is in Greeneville.


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Patterson-Randles said she is familiar with East Tennessee through her husband and a cousin, who are both ETSU graduates.

Born in Chicago, she is the eldest of seven siblings and said her management style began forming at home.

“I found that each one of my brothers and sisters had unique individual needs and desires, but we were all a family,” Patterson-Randles said, adding a university is much the same in that respect.

The recommendation to the Tennessee Regents Board on which finalist should be chosen will come from Regents Chancellor John Morgan. He will analyze how the candidates were received on campus and talk with each member of the search committee that picked them.

The decision is expected by mid-November. Stanton will retire in January.

Information from the was gathered from an Associated Press article.