President Lester Lefton named Robert G. Frank of the University of Florida as the new senior vice president for academic affairs and provost.
Frank and Timothy Chandler, dean of Kent State’s College of the Arts, were the two final candidates. Two other finalists, Elizabeth Langland of Purchase College State University of New York and Walter Harris Jr. of Loyola University, both withdrew from the candidacy last month.
Frank will begin as provost July 3, replacing Provost Paul Gaston, who will remain at the university as a faculty member. Frank’s yearly salary will be $260,000.
Frank is currently the dean and a professor of Clinical and Health Psychology for the College of Public Health and Health Professions at Florida.
Lefton said Frank is a distinguished scholar with a strong endorsement from the search committee. He said Frank’s background in psychology and health sciences will work nicely with Kent State’s nursing and science-based technology programs. Frank’s appreciation for the arts and humanities will also fit Kent State.
“When put together, this spelled provost,” Lefton said.
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• Founded the Florida Center for Medicaid and the Uninsured and serves as its director.
• Worked with Democratic Sen. Jeff Bingaman.
• His wife Janet has a doctoral degree in clinical psychology.
• He’s a Gator fan.
• Likes basketball.
• Has two sons. One plays high school basketball.
• Has two dogs.
• Often wears a suit and tie.
• Enjoys bike riding – he leads students annually on a one day, 100-mile bike ride for charity. It has raised about $60,000 in student scholarships.
• People in the office call him Bob.
• Very fit and healthy – always uses the stairs.
• “He is, as far as I can tell, a very strong leader,” said Peter J. Lang, a graduate research professor at the University of Florida.
• The Independent Florida Alligator, the student newspaper for the University of Florida, reported that Frank is a busy man with a messy office. He also told the paper he wanted to be a senator if he could do anything beside being the dean of the College of Public Health and Health Professions.
• He reads five to six newspapers a day, also according to The Independent Florida Alligator.
• Established the Division of Clinical Psychology and Neuropsychology at the University of Missouri-Columbia School of Medicine.
• “He’s a very good leader,” said Gaye Beilsmith, senior secretary in the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at the University of Missouri.
• Frank is the “best boss I have ever had. He’s very busy, but when I need him, he will find time for me,” said Heather Steingraber, research project manager for the Florida Center for Medicaid and the Uninsured.
Contact administration reporter Tim Magaw at [email protected]