Kent State looks for candidates to fill top research positions

Lydia Coutré

Kent State is looking for people to fill the positions for Dean of Graduate Studies and Vice President of Research and Sponsored Programs.

The two positions used to be under one title. President Lester Lefton said they are now separate “because the job is too big for one person to do well.”

Stanley Wearden, chair of the committee for the Vice President of Research and Sponsored Programs search, said the vice president will be generally responsible for the university’s research agenda and for raising Kent State’s research profile. He said this is done in a couple of ways.

“One is by helping to identify research areas where we have potential but areas that have not been fully developed yet on campus,” said Wearden, dean of College of Communication and Information. “…And then the second important piece of moving the research agenda forward and elevating the university’s research profile is extramural funding in the form of grants.”

Another part of this job will be to monitor research to see that it complies with guidelines, such as ensuring subjects are treated ethically, Wearden said.

Right now the committee is in the phase of getting applications. They will begin interviews in January. The hope is to have someone in place by July 1, or next fall at the latest. The person will report to the Provost, Wearden said.

“We focus a lot on the importance of teaching our students and we do that, and we take that very seriously,” Wearden said. “But another contribution that we make to the larger society and to knowledge in the world at large is the research that we conduct here.”

John Crawford, the chair of the committee for the Dean of Graduate Studies search, said the goal is to determine who will take the position by April.

“The Dean oversees areas including graduate student admissions, training, curriculum, support and research,” Crawford wrote in an e-mail. “Since graduate education is a major area within the university, there is need for a Dean to oversee this area.”

Lefton said having two separate positions will allow both jobs to be taken care of without one compromising the other.

“The reality is graduate school, graduate education is a very important part of what we do here and we want a dean that will focus every minute of every day on graduate education,” Lefton said. “And research undergirds everything that we do with the institution, and while we’ve done well in research, we don’t do anywhere near as much as we should be doing.”

Contact Lydia Coutré at [email protected].