Vice Provost Michael to leave the university

Kyle Roerink

When Vice Provost of Diversity Steve Michael came to Kent State, he thought he was only going to stay for four semesters. That was 15 years ago.

Michael recently accepted a position as provost and vice president for academic affairs at Arcadia University in Philadelphia. Michael said he was nominated for his new position when Arcadia advertised it nationally. And after several stages of interviewing, he was appointed.

Michael said the reason for his staying at Kent State was his friends and colleagues. He said it is easy to fall in love with Kent State because of what it represents internationally.

“In the Office of Diversity, we were able to develop a strategic diversity plan that many universities across the nation think is one of the best,” Michael said. “And I was fortunate enough to be able to work with people and take the name of Kent State to a national level with respect to diversity initiative.”

Michael had the opportunity to work with many students during his time at Kent State. His most meaningful work, he said, was being a mentor to students who were receiving doctorates under him.

“Arcadia University’s gain is our loss,” President Lester Lefton said. “When good people want to advance their career, you have to wish them good luck and good wishes.”

Given the budget in the outside world, it’s likely someone already working at Kent State will fill Michael’s position as vice provost of diversity, Provost Robert Frank said.

Frank said Michael technically has two areas of responsibility as a vice provost. “One part of his responsibility is in international, and the other part is in diversity,” Frank said. “He reports to the president for the diversity role and to me for the international.”

Frank said Lefton recently received a report from the Commission on Inclusion, a broad-based initiative to ensure a diverse social and work environment at the university, and that will determine how the university proceeds to fill the diversity requirements of Michael’s position at Kent State.

Frank said a decision has not been made on how the university is going to proceed with the international part of Michael’s responsibilities.

“(Michael) is a first-rate individual,” Frank said. “He has great values … He is ready for this step in his personal career.”

Lefton said Kent State is a better place because of the time Michael spent here.

“Vice Provost Michael has been a forceful advocate for diversity and inclusion at Kent State,” Lefton said. “He has done so for his whole time here. He is a terrific scholar.”

Contact minority affairs reporter Kyle Roerink at [email protected].