About the provost candidates

For the next week and a half, the four candidates for the senior vice president for academic affairs and provost position will be on campus speaking with faculty and students.

The Reporting Public Affairs class, which contributes to the Daily Kent Stater, compiled information about each of them, which readers can find below. The lists will be kept updated.

Robert G. Frank — Dean and professor of the College of Public Health and Health Professions, University of Florida

• 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.

• “If (Frank) gets the provost position, he will bring tremendous energy and vision to the position,” said Stephanie Hanson, executive associate dean at the College of Public Health and Health Professions at the University of Florida. She said she wouldn’t have stayed for 11 years if Frank hadn’t done a “tremendous job.” “He’s taken our college to a new level, expanded research dollars and our college has grown,” she said. On a personal level, she said she is a single parent, and Frank has helped her to adapt to her position while considering the family.

Elizabeth Langland — Provost and vice president for Academic Affairs at Purchase College, State University of New York

• Accepted the position at Purchase College because it was close to her family, which includes her two children and brother who live in New York City, according to The California Aggie.

• Her husband Jerry Jahn was director of Development Communication at University of California at Davis.

• When she was serving the University of Florida, she inaugurated a maternity leave policy for university faculty and a mentoring program for new faculty.

• “Elizabeth Langland has an admirable mix of talents. She is an accomplished scholar who also has a broad and thoughtful perspective on the opportunities and challenges facing the humanities, arts and cultural studies,” UC-Davis Chancellor Larry Vanderhoef said in the faculty and staff newsletter. He was commenting about Langland’s appointment to fill a vacant dean post at the university.

Timothy J. Chandler — Dean of the College of Arts, Kent State

• Co-edited “Making the Rugby World: Race, Gender, Commerce.”

• Co-edited “With God on their Side: Sport in the Service of Religion” and “Manly Catholicism: Making Men in Catholic Public Schools” with Tara Magdalinski.

• Received his doctoral degree from Stanford University.

• A member of the Akron Area Arts Alliance, an advocacy organization promoting arts and cultural activities in Summit, Portage and Medina counties.

• Last spring, he asked for 102 replacement Steinway pianos.

• At Syracuse University, he played cricket and played on the Department of Health and Physical Education’s softball team. Donna Fecteau, who worked as a department receptionist when he was an associate professor, said “We’re always amazed he was able to catch a softball barehanded.” His wife played on the team as well.

• His middle initials are J.L., which stand for John Lindsay.

• Was on the search committee for a dean in the College of Communication and Information at Kent State in 2002.

• As a professor at Kent State, an anonymous rating on Ratemyprofessors.com from March 2005 said he was “so wonderful and knowledgeable about sports history and professionalism.” He was also classified as a “hot” teacher.

• A member of Kent State’s presidential search committee.

• In an article from News Flash, a Kent State magazine, Chandler said Kent State’s College of the Arts, which was reorganized and named in July 2006, would unite the arts and help provide an identity for the programs at the university. “The schools within the college will work together to be mutually sustaining and mutually beneficial. Students will have the opportunity to broaden their understanding because of the interdisciplinary nature of the programs,” he said.

Walter Harris Jr. — Provost and vice president for Academic Affairs at Loyola University, New Orleans

• Originally from Selma, Ala.

• He is a Presbyterian.

• As a teenager, he played piano at many civil rights events.

• Formerly a Senior Executive Fellow at the University of North Carolina.

• According to an October 2000 article in The Campus Echo, the student newspaper of North Carolina Central University, his musical tastes reflect classical and jazz with an occasional rap tune thrown in.

• When a new provost was chosen at Loyola University in 2003, faculty thought Lydia Voigt, sociology professor and chairwoman, should have received the position. “My strong impression is that the faculty (and staff) are very disappointed, if not outraged, that Lydia Voigt was not selected to be provost, considering she was the consensual choice of the overwhelming people I heard and talked to in our provost search meetings,” Anthony Ladd, associate professor of sociology told The Maroon, the student newspaper at Loyola University, in February 2003.

• As reported in The Maroon, tenured faculty members in March 2003 urged a vote of no confidence (later they decided not to) for president Rev. Bernard K. Knoth, S.J. after his appointment of Harris as provost. “The sole decision maker is Father Knoth,” said Anna Hall, former SGA president and music business senior. “He does take recommendations from the Provost search committee, but in the end, it is up to him to determine what candidate will have the most positive impact on the university. In this case, it was Dr. Harris. I’m sure Father Knoth did what he thought was best for the university. It’s too bad that not everyone can accept that.”

• He received a vote of no confidence from College of Humanities and Natural Sciences at Loyola.

• According to info.com and The Associated Press, as provost at Loyola, he cut film studies, broadcast journalism and production.

• The New Orleans Times-Picayune reported on March 13, 2003, that Harris was the first black to serve as provost at Loyola.

• Taught at Knoxville College in Tennessee, Arizona State University and North Carolina Central University.

• According to Log, a faculty newsletter at the University of Wisconsin at Green Bay, he interviewed there for a provost position in 2002. He also applied for the provost position at the University of Massachusetts the same year.

• In the Jan. 19 edition of The Maroon, it discussed Harris coming to Kent State for an interview. The writer, Daniel Monteverde, said: “If Harris was recommended for the job and accepted, he would leave the university amid controversy, much the same as when he came to Loyola in 2003. When the Rev. Bernard Knoth, S.J., former university president, announced Harris as the new provost, faculty voiced discontent about the decision.”