Provost search narrows to four

Kevin Kolus

The search for Kent State’s next senior vice president for academic affairs and provost has been narrowed to four candidates, said James Gaudino, dean of the College of Communication and Information.

The new senior vice president for academic affairs and provost will replace Paul Gaston, who will leave his administrative duties to teach and conduct research.

Gaudino, who is chair of the search committee for the next provost, said the four candidates were chosen yesterday morning when the search was narrowed from six candidates. The candidates, who have not yet been notified, are expected to be contacted later in the week to schedule on-campus interviews.

Once they arrive at Kent State, the candidates will be interviewed by hundreds of people, from administration to graduate and undergraduate students, Gaudino said.

The search committee must make its recommendations to President Lefton by Feb. 15.

“Everybody was highly qualified,” he said. “Some people matched us better. We wanted to give the president a range of choices, but of all high-quality people.”

The senior vice president for academic affairs and provost, who is responsible for the management of all academics across all eight campuses, should be someone with enough experience to manage Kent State’s “complex environment,” he said.

“Certainly you’re looking for experience, and does the person’s experience suggest they could do the job,” Gaudino said. “You’re also looking for a fit for the kind of university Kent is, and we are a highly complex university.

Gaudino said he thinks the most difficult aspect of the search is finding an individual who matches Kent State’s vision of what constitutes a university. The search committee is seeking an administrator who will advocate research and “the undergraduate experience,” he said.

“I think helping the university articulate its vision of itself is important,” Gaudino said. “(The position) also has an aspect of leadership style so everyone has a voice in that vision.

“In a sense, it is kind of a gamble. You never really know until they are here.”

Contact academics reporter Kevin Kolus at [email protected].