New director to put focus on non-traditional students

Maria Nann

Huntsman named director in College of Continuing Studies

An assistant provost from a university in Rhode Island has been named executive director of the Office of Continuing and Distance Education.

Deborah Huntsman’s appointment comes with a changes to the College of Continuing Studies, which includes its renaming to the Office of Continuing and Distance Education, said Pat Book, vice president for regional development.

The focus of the office is distance education, Book said. It is in charge of developing programs that will appeal to and help retain non-traditional students. The office is developing programs in coordination with different academic units that will make full degree programs available online.

One of the programs the office is looking to place online is the bachelor’s nursing program, Book said. Others are expected to develop, but decisions haven’t been finalized.

The office also works with groups such as Time Warner Cable to market university programs to new audiences, and it will work on developing new programs to appeal to more non-traditional students, Book said.

A search committee chaired by Amy Lane, executive director of Regional Corporate and Community Services, formed in early June to find someone to fill the executive director position. Lane said the committee was aware of the change to the office when they formed.

Huntsman, an Ohio native, will take over a position that has been vacant since February, when the former dean of the College of Continuing Studies retired.

Book said she thinks Huntsman will bring a great deal of experience to Kent State.

“She has provided national leadership roles,” she said. “We’re delighted to have her.”

Currently, Huntsman is the assistant provost for continuing and professional studies at Roger Williams University in Rhode Island. She also has served as executive director of professional studies at the University of Connecticut’s College of Continuing Studies.

She will begin her new position at Kent State on Oct. 1.

Contact academic affairs reporter Maria Nann at [email protected].