Faculty senate chair weighs in on Frank’s performance

Raytevia Evans

Provost Robert Frank has one foot out the door, and faculty representatives are saying his performance in the past five years has its pros and cons.

Paul Farrell, faculty senate chair, said over the years, Frank has always moved forward with ambitious ideas for what he considered improvements for the university as a whole.

“I do believe that Provost Frank had a deep interest in and commitment to the improvement of Kent State as an institution,” said Farrell in an e-mail. “Unfortunately, the provost was not always able to achieve consensus regarding what constituted an improvement.”

Kara Robinson, president of the tenure-track unit for American Association of University Professors, said something similar about how Frank progressed programs and improvements for the university.

“For me personally, I think that the goals to grow the university for good was more hurried instead of taking a consensus to evaluate,” Robinson said.

For the future provost, Farrell said he would like to see “a person who understands the environment and culture at Kent State and in Northeast Ohio and is committed to service to those dual communities. (Someone) who cherishes education, research and creative activity for its contribution to humanity and not just for external funding support.”

Farrell admitted that this is a lot to ask of any one person, but these are characteristics he said he thinks are important for the next Kent State provost.

Frank, who announced his plans to step down as provost through an email July 8, said one of his career goals has always been to become a university president, and now is the best time to do it.

“Kent’s a major university, and we’ve done a lot of things here,” said Frank. “Kent has made so much progress and is going in the right direction. I have experience that I wouldn’t have if I wasn’t provost, and I think that makes me more rounded.”

Frank will be with Kent State until the end of the 2011-2012 academic year. The university plans to launch a national search for the next provost.

Contact Summer Kent Stater managing editor Raytevia Evans at [email protected]