Board of Trustees announces Lefton as new president

Kate Bigam

Newly elected president of Kent State Lester Lefton shakes hands with Carol Cartwright at the press conference in Risman Plaza yesterday afternoon after the announcement was made by the Board of Trustees an hour earlier that he was the new President. In h

Credit: Steve Schirra

 Lester A. Lefton, senior vice president for academic affairs and provost at Tulane University, will be Kent State’s 11th president, the Board of Trustees announced today.

At this morning’s board meeting, the trustees voted unanimously to appoint Lefton to replace Carol Cartwright, whose 15-year career as president will end on July 1.

“This is a time to dream new dreams – inclusive dreams, dreams of a new university,” Lefton said at a press conference in Risman Plaza. “We will turn our aspirations into reality – a university marked by excellence in every aspect.”

Following the press conference, Lefton spoke with students and faculty to answer questions about his goals for Kent State and his qualifications for the job. He cited academic excellence as the university’s primary goal and said he would work to promote Kent State’s reputation both locally and nationally.

Lefton, who has worked at Tulane since 2001, has a 34-year history of working in higher education. Previous positions included the dean of arts and sciences at George Washington University and dean of the college of liberal arts at the University of South Carolina.

Cartwright endorsed the trustees’ choice to hire Lefton.

“Kent State’s president-elect brings with him broad experience and wide respect in higher education, as a scholar and a leader alike,” she said.

Check back to StaterOnline for more information and multimedia content, and read tomorrow’s extra edition with more coverage of and reactions to the announcement.

Contact administration reporter Kate Bigam at [email protected].