Faculty voice disappointment with search

Seth Roy

President Carol Cartwright speaks at her last Faculty Senate meeting yesterday in the Governance Chambers in the Student Center. She spoke about her past 15 years at Kent State and how the next president will “need and value the Faculty Senate” as she has

Credit: Steve Schirra

 Some members of Faculty Senate are concerned with the way the university conducted its presidential search, citing a lack of openness and faculty involvement.

During the senate’s final meeting of the semester yesterday, Barb Hipsman, associate professor in the School of Journalism and Mass Communication, voiced such concern.

“I personally am disappointed in the process,” Hipsman said. “That committee has proposed one, and only one, name to the Board of Trustees. Pending this person does sign, there will be a new president.”

The special edition of e-Inside that was sent to faculty and staff yesterday was the first time many of them heard of the announcement.

“It was very surprising,” said senator Tom Sosnowski, associate professor of history at the Stark campus. “I was expecting that there should be some input from (the Faculty Senate).”

The search committee was composed of 17 board members, faculty members, administrators and students.

According to the e-Inside article, the committee screened and interviewed top prospects for the position before recommending Lester A. Lefton, provost of Tulane University, to the Board of Trustees, who the Daily Kent Stater has learned is expected to be selected as university president.

Faculty Senate member Frank Smith, mathematics professor, said it was unacceptable for the committee to reach a conclusion without involving more faculty.

“With interviews taking place in secret, this was not an open process,” Smith said.

President Carol Cartwright addressed the senate for what will likely be her last time as president. She said she is glad to have worked with the senate over the years, but she wants the senate to look toward the future.

“Kent State’s new president will need and, I hope, value your leadership,” Cartwright said. “I wish each of you a pleasant and productive summer. I plan to have one.”

Also during the meeting, Tom Dowd, outgoing chair of senate, delivered his remarks about the year. This was Dowd’s second, and final, year serving as senate chair.

“Truly, it’s been a great ride, and one I will not forget,” he said.

Other items of business during yesterday’s meeting:

• The Committee on Administrative Officers held an election to name two new senators and one non-senator to senate. Mary Stansbury, associate professor of library and information science, was elected to a three-year term. Hipsman was elected to a one-year term. Jim Dalton, interim dean for the College of Architecture and Environmental Design, was elected as a non-senator.

• An articulation agreement between the Columbiana County Career and Technical Center and the East Liverpool and Salem campuses was passed. An articulation agreement allows for easier transition for students between schools.

• The university’s Diversity Implementation Program, which was reported by the Stater April 28, was passed by senate.

Contact ALL editor Seth Roy at [email protected].