Dean Andrews announces retirement

Katie Roupe

Honors College Dean Larry Andrews announced his retirement yesterday at the Honors College Policy Council meeting.

“I feel that it’s the right time,” said Andrews, who has served as dean for 14 years. “It’s time for fresh ideas and time for a new adventure. I’ve been thinking about it for a year, and I told the staff that it was on my mind. I made a firm decision this fall.”

His retirement will be effective July 1, 2006.

Andrews said there will be a search committee to find his replacement. That search, which has yet to begin, will be conducted na

“I think I am going out on a high note,” Andrews said motioning to the new Honors College facility, which opened this fall. “I love working with Honors College students and faculty. I’ll miss them terribly.”

Andrew said when he retires, he plans to write, continue literary research and spend time seriously studying music.

“I’m looking forward to enjoying freedom from schedules and obligations,” he said.

Andrews, who has a 41-year career in higher education, started at Kent State 36 years ago. Before becoming dean, he was an English professor. He also worked at the University of South Carolina before coming to Kent State, according to the Honors College.

During his 14 years as dean, Andrews said he has improved diversity of his staff, raised the Honors College’s endowment to $1 million and increased enrollment.

Andrews said he was proud to have added a sense of playfulness to the Honors College.

“One time we had a dress-funny-day, and I wore red Polish dancing boots, red suspenders and a crown,” Andrews said chuckling.

He also said he enjoyed keeping up with students and watching them grow. One of the more memorable instances was watching two students go through the Honors College and fall in love. The students, he said, first met in colloquium class their freshman year. After being acquaintances throughout college, they worked together on a research project their senior year. They began to date and later married. Now they have a new baby.

“It’s always fun to follow (students’) lives and see how they change,” he said.

Beth Bloom, sophomore integrated language arts major, said she noticed Andrews’ connection with students.

“He is very involved with the student body, which is very good for a dean, especially because a lot of time administrators aren’t involved with the students,” she said. “I see him walking around the Honors College a lot of the time, so that’s absolutely wonderful. I think he does a good job of getting involved with students.”

Bloom was surprised to learn that Andrews is retiring.

“For what he’s done for the Honors College, I’m going to be sorry to see him go,” she said.

Bloom said one day she was working in the computer lab when Andrews came up to her and talked to her about her major and what she was interested in.

“It’s just nice to see an administrator wanting to get involved with his students,” she said. “I think that’s something other administrators should take note of.”

Becky Gares, honors coordinator of advising and public relations, works with Andrews on a daily basis. The faculty learned of Andrews retirement at the end of an Honors College facility tour with the board of trustees, when Andrews first announced his retirement.

The HOCOPOCO meeting had a large turnout, about 20 people in attendance, but not many appeared surprised by the news. Andrews sent an agenda to the HOCOPOCO listserv a week before with his retirement listed as one of the topics.

“I’m really sad to see him go,” Gares said. “I know that he really wants to do this and wants to spend more time traveling, reading and spending time with his wife and family, but I’m really sorry to see him go.”

Gares said Andrews has been a great boss because he lets staff members do their jobs and has improved the Honors College. She said his great sense of humor has also made her experience working with him a good one.

“He is very devoted and loyal to the Honors College,” Gares said. “And I think that he’s really promoted the Honors College in a very positive way, and he’s done a lot for the university as well as in his long career here.”

Contact honors and international affairs reporter Katie Roupe at [email protected].