University announces university relations, human resources VPs

Maria Nann

Kent State has filled two of its vacant vice president positions with one person from within the university and another the product of a search committee.

President Lester Lefton named Willis Walker, the university’s chief counsel, vice president for human resources. The appointment is effective immediately.

Walker has served as interim vice president for human resources since January when Carolyn Pizzuto left the post for a job in the private sector. He will continue to serve as the university’s chief counsel.

“Under Mr. Walker’s leadership, the division’s customer service and technological capabilities have improved significantly,” Lefton said in a press release, adding that feedback on human resources’ problem solving has been consistently positive.

Before coming to Kent State, Walker held human resources and counsel positions in the public and private sector, including holding a position as special counsel in the Ohio Attorney General’s office.

Iris Harvey, associate vice president for marketing and communications at Wright State, will also join the executive cabinet following her appointment as the vice president for university relations. Kent State’s former vice president for university relations, Kathy Stafford, retired in June.

As vice president for university relations, Harvey will oversee the offices of government relations, university communications and marketing and WKSU-FM.

“No stranger to Ohio’s economic challenges, she understands and is deeply committed to raising public awareness of the need for and contributions of higher education in general and Kent State in particular to our state’s future,” Lefton said in a press release.

In addition to her experience at Wright State, Harvey held positions as worldwide director of faculty recruitment for the University of Maryland University College and vice president-senior director of marketing for Citibank’s National Marketing Division.

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