Interim dean gets big welcome, promises forward movement

Angelo Gargaro

Jerry Feezel, interim dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, may have attended his last welcome ceremony yesterday in the Student Center.

“My heart has always been in the arts and sciences,” said Feezel, who will be leaving Kent State once a new dean is found.

During his welcome speech, Feezel talked about a strong and positive future for the college as he told the large crowd of fellow faculty members to “join me in this venture.”

The event invited faculty from all 19 departments, as well as the university’s new provost, Robert Frank.

“It’s a pleasure to be welcomed into this college,” Frank said. He continued by sharing his goals and views on where Kent State is headed. He also welcomed the new faculty members in attendance.

“It’s an ironic position – in probably knowing the least and being asked to say the most,” Frank said. “I look forward to chatting with all of you.”

The event was a welcome for the dean, but Feezel made it evident that he wanted to welcome everyone to a new “A.Y.,” or academic year, as he put it.

“I wanted to say to those of you who are new faculty and staff that I am pleased you are joining a strong and growing college,” Feezel said. “We have re-established some momentum that we have lost along the way. We have regained some faculty positions, and that’s why we have not had quite as big of a hiring year as we had last year.”

Some of the departments, however, have hired many new people.

“We’ve grown in some areas and sharpened our focus in others,” Feezel said.

This is just one field Feezel wanted to focus on. He gave Frank a list of 18 college- and university-wide issues within Frank’s first three weeks at the university.

Feezel also reiterated that he was not going to be an applicant in the dean search.

“I wanted to make it clear that I continue to have a commitment to the college and the university in moving forward,” Feezel said.

Feezel is entering his 34th year as a faculty member at Kent State. He did, however, have a short hiatus in January 2004 when he retired.

“I want it to be known, as one of the ‘old timers’ at Kent State, I am not a stodgy traditionalist,” Feezel said. “Rather, I invite change for improvements and creating responsiveness to problems.”

Before inviting everyone to enjoy the night and socialize, Feezel made one last point to his dedication, not only to the college but the university.

“We still have work to do this year,” Feezel said, “and until there is a dean to come into the office and replace me, we will be working to keep the college moving forward.”

Contact College of Arts and Sciences reporter Angelo Gargaro at [email protected].