KSU Provost Frank one of three finalists for East Tennessee Univeristy presidency

Associated Press

JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (AP) — The three final candidates for the presidency of East Tennessee State University have visited the campus in Johnson City.

The candidates are Robert Frank, provost and senior vice president for academic affairs at Kent State University in Ohio; Brian Noland, chancellor of the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission; and Sandra Patterson-Randles, chancellor of Indiana University Southeast.

The person chosen will succeed Dr. Paul E. Stanton Jr. Forty-nine people initially applied for the job.

The finalists were on campus last week, meeting with various groups, and were interviewed by the Johnson City Press.

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.

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,” he said. “I value family a lot, because we had to rely on each other. It was just us there.”

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.

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.

A cardiovascular surgeon by training, Stanton came to ETSU in 1985 and became president in 1997.