Governor names trustee

Rachel Abbey

James M. Biggar will fill the vacancy on Kent State’s Board of Trustees, completing James Schubert’s term. Schubert died last semester.

Gov. Bob Taft appointed Biggar Thursday. Biggar previously served on the Board of Trustees from 1992 to 2001. A recent law lets trustees be reappointed if there are at least four years between their terms, Taft spokesperson Mark Rickel said.

“He’s got a step into this position,” board secretary Charlene Reed said.

This term is important because it is when Kent State’s next president will be chosen, Reed said.

Trustees normally have to get to know the ins and outs of a university, but Biggar is already familiar with Kent State.

“It really takes a couple years to get the feel of it,” Biggar said.

Biggar said he wants to help the university choose a strong president and make a smooth transition.

“I enjoyed the time that I was on the board,” he said, noting he liked working with President Carol Cartwright. “It was now coming to a time when they’re finding a replacement for her, and I thought it would be an interesting time to serve.”

When choosing a trustee, the governor considers the possible appointee’s relationship with the university, including previous support or alumni status, Rickel said.

He also considers the wants of university leaders and current board members. There were five total nominees.

Biggar is the chairman of Glencairn Corporation, a real estate development company. He was the chairman of Nestle USA and retired in 1991. Biggar graduated from Case Western Reserve University with bachelor’s degrees in mechanical engineering and engineering administration. He has lived in Pepper Pike for about 50 years.

Contact administration reporter Rachel Abbey at [email protected].