Gaston prepares to leave provost office

Christina Stavale

In his last days as chief academic officer, he’s still hard at work


Credit: DKS Editors

Although it’s his last week as provost, Paul Gaston is still completing his duties and treating this week as he would any other.

“My determination is to be as effective at four o’clock (Friday) as I have been already,” he said.

Friday marks Gaston’s final day as provost. He will, however, remain at Kent State as a trustees professor. A trustees professor is expected to teach in two or more different colleges; next year, Gaston will teach Intro to Shakespeare in the College of Arts and Sciences and Federal and State Higher Education Policy in the College of Education, Health and Human Services.

Gaston said his last month as provost has been busy because he has been working on the annual reviews. He also published an article on poet George Herbert.

Martha Lambert, assistant to the provost, said in an e-mail that it has been a busy time for the entire provost office.

“This week is going by extremely fast,” she said. “We have been assisting with packing (Gaston’s) personal belongings and planning for his move to Moulton Hall Monday morning. We have also been preparing for Dr. Frank’s arrival – scheduling appointments with the president, executive officers, deans, associate provosts, assistant provost, vice provost and staff.”

Robert Frank from the University of Florida will begin work as Gaston’s successor next week.

To ease his transition, Gaston said he is leaving Frank a note alerting him of important issues on campus. He will also give Frank recommendations for interim dean appointments in the Honors College and the College of Education, Health and Human Services.

But he is not giving him advice concerning what to do because, he said, Frank has “skill as a leader.”

Gaston said it is a good time for this transition because the university has a new president and the state has a new chancellor of education and a new governor.

Gaston said while no provost can do everything right, he is very pleased with his years as provost. The transition to education is one he said he is looking forward to.

“I’ve always thought of myself as a faculty member with an administrative assignment,” he said.

Gaston said everyone in the office has been supportive in the transition. He acknowledged, however, that his new office in Moulton Hall will be different than the provost office.

The provost office, though more empty than usual with a number of boxes packed along the wall, is larger than the average professor’s office, with a couch and two cushioned chairs and his secretary’s office right around the corner.

“But (my new office) will have everything I need,” he said, “which is basically a desk, chair and bookcase.”

Contact principal reporter Christina Stavale at [email protected].