New dean for Kent Stark

Alison Ritchie

Walter Wagor began his position as new dean for the Kent State Stark campus four weeks before the start of the fall semester replacing Interim Dean Ruth Capasso.

While he transitions into his new job, Wagor said he has high ambitions for Kent State’s largest regional campus, including expanding the number of bachelor’s degree programs offered and building a new science building.

“As a faculty member myself, I value excellent teaching,” said Wagor. “One of our hallmarks can be and will be the quality of the experience students get while they are here.”

Wagor has a doctorate in developmental psychology and mental retardation research. As a professor at both Indiana University East and Wright State University’s Lake campus, Wagor said he’s no stranger to regional campuses.

“I had a good feel for how those kinds of campuses are supposed to interact with the community,” Wagor said. “I’m very familiar with the types of students that would be coming, that mix of both direct from high school and returning adult learners.”

With the Kent State Board of Trustees passing a resolution for the creation of 60 new bachelor’s degrees for all seven regional campuses, Wagor said he is working with faculty to identify which new degree programs to offer.

“I would like to see that,” said Lisa Holder, a sophomore at the Stark campus. “More degrees would help out the students a lot. I think more people would stay here to finish their degrees.”

Wagor said in addition to the new degrees, he is exploring the construction of a new science building on the Stark campus. Wagor said additional facilities are needed at the campus, but the building is still in the early planning stages with funding or time frames not yet finalized.

“The fundamental question is, ‘Is it the building that we need right now?’ I think it is,” he said.

Laura Mokodean, a junior at the Stark campus, said additional buildings for the campus would be a welcome change.

“It’s always good to try to expand the campus,” said Mokodean. “It just opens up opportunities for research and for students to learn new things.”

Contact Alison Ritchie at [email protected].