University releases profile for new leader

Rachel Abbey

Wanted: An individual with management skills, strong academic credentials and a “sense of humor” to lead Kent State into the future.

The presidential search committee released its position description late yesterday, detailing the qualities the university is seeking in its next leader. This description is used to advertise the open position in publications such as The Chronicle of Higher Education.

“We’re looking for a leader who can build on the work and the progress that’s already been made at Kent State and can take it to the next level,” said Sandra Harbrecht, chairperson of the committee.

The nine-page document lists some of the most important qualities the university wants in itsnext leader.

“These jobs, presidents of universities, are so complex anymore,” she said.

The description lists priorities, challenges and opportunities the next president must be able to overcome.

According to the description, the four most important priorities of the next president will be encouraging academic excellence, leading a fundraising campaign, improving the university’s financial and physical situations and integrating Kent State’s strengths with local, regional, national and even global challenges.

The committee came up with these qualities after months of discussions with the university community through open forums, individual input and Web surveys, Harbrecht said.

“We must have had hours and hours and hours of conversations with people,” she said. “It was surprising, when we put it together, how much consistency there was.”

Those points of consistency formed the base of the description, Harbrecht said.

The applicant needs to have:

• strong academic credentials

• a respect for regionalism

• a respect for student experience

• a knowledge of financial issues

• support for research

“The new president should be an individual who is energized and motivated by such a dynamic, high-stakes, high-impact opportunity,” according to the description.

It also serves as a chance for Kent State to represent itself to prospective applicants.

The public will be able to view the description on the search committee’s Web site, Harbrecht said. Individuals are encouraged to submit qualified nominees to search consultant Jerry Baker at [email protected].

Contact administration reporter Rachel Abbey at [email protected].