Honors students meet new dean

Denise Wright

Approximately 40 Honors students met new Honors Interim Dean Don Williams in the Honors College lobby on the lower level of Stopher Hall last night.

Kim Brown, Coordinator of Student Life and Alumni Relations for the Honors College, said the event was not only an opportunity to introduce students to the new dean, but was also a great way for them to meet other students.

Emily Johnson, freshman early childhood education major, said she was able to do both.

“I met a few people I didn’t know and I talked to the dean for the first time,” she said. “He really relates to the students.”

Kelly Will, freshman deaf education major, agreed. She said she thought the dean was really nice and generally interested in the students.

“He even asked us questions,” Will said.

Williams answered several questions, too. Before the meet-and-greet, Williams answered questions, both academic and personal, for the Stater.

Q: What did the dean selection process entail?

A: All candidates were nominated for the position. After being nominated, I met with Provost (Robert) Frank. I had an interview with him, I guess you would say. He selected me after that. It’s not a huge process for the Interim Dean position, but the regular position is a huge process.

Q: How has the position met or varied from any expectations you may have had?

A: (The Honors College) met my expectations by being a highly-qualified organization with excellent staff and exceptional support for students. I’m happy to see how friendly everyone (faculty, staff and students) is. The position didn’t really vary from my expectations though.

Q: What is your favorite travel destination and why?

A: I have to say Switzerland because it’s so pretty. I’ve been there several times with study abroad programs, so I came to get to know it very well.

Q: What is your educational and work background?

A: I got my Bachelor’s degree at the University of Wisconsin in Milwaukee. I was a business major. I also studied there for my master’s, but in economics. For my Ph.D. (in economics) I studied at Northwestern University in Illinois. I had many jobs while I was in college. After getting my bachelor’s degree, my friends and I started our own newspaper. They wrote and I was the business manager. I did that for about two years while I was working part-time on my master’s. While getting my Ph.D., I taught part-time (economics) for colleges in the Chicago area. I taught at Northwestern, Elmhurst (College) and Roosevelt University. I’ve been at Kent State since 1983. I was department chairman for the economics department, associate director for the Center for International and Comparative Programs (CICP), director of business Ph.D.s, associate dean for graduate school management and associate dean for the College of Business.

Q: How do you think your past experience will help you with this position?

A: I have a lot of experience with this (type of work). I have the ability to work with groups of people, especially faculty, staff and students. I work well with committees. I’ve developed good listening and communication skills. Those things have served me well. I’m good at being respectful of others’ opinions. I’ve learned (all) these things are important.

Q: What do you plan to do differently than past Honors deans?

A: I’ll probably try to carry on what Dean Andrews did.

Q: What’s the last good book you read?

A: “Absolute Friends” by John LeCarre. I read a lot of his books.

Q: Any quotes to live by?

A: I have two that I like right now:

“It’s easy to make money, it’s harder to make a difference.” (Author Unknown),

“No one of us is as smart as all of us.” (Author Unknown)

Q: What do you hope to accomplish in this position?

A: I have three main goals for the year: to work with departments and faculty to provide more Honors experiences, to raise additional funding for scholarships for Honors students and to encourage more Honors students to study abroad.

Contact Honors and International Affairs reporter Denise Wright at [email protected].