Presidential committee to convene

Rachel Abbey

The 17 people responsible for sorting through candidates for Kent State’s next president were announced yesterday.

The committee will meet for the first time next week, said chair Sandra Harbrecht, and their first priority will be making sure the public has access to the committee.

The committee’s Web site, linked from Kent State’s main page, includes an online survey where people can say what they want from a new president, said Charlene Reed, secretary to the Board of Trustees.

The committee also is holding a series of open forums. The first of these forums will take place at 5:30 p.m. on Nov. 16 in the Kiva.

“We’re getting off to a fast start,” Harbrecht said, “but we don’t want to rush it. We have to take time and make sure we find the very best candidates.”

The committee filters candidates, but the board will actually hire the next president, Reed said. The board will employ a professional search firm to help find qualified candidates.

“President Cartwright has done a fabulous job of leading Kent State,” Harbrecht said. “Her legacy makes Kent State very attractive to many exceptional candidates.”

These candidates will be examined by committee members, ranging from faculty and administrators to students and staff, as well as members of the community.

“A typical step is to open up the process to the constituents and get feedback, versus the board sitting around, writing down what they think we need,” Reed said.

The board used its power to select additional committee members to include representation from staff members and the city of Kent, Reed said.

“We are part of a region, and we all rise or sink together,” said Dave Ruller, Kent city manager.


“When I was hired, one of Cartwright’s priorities was to cultivate the relationship and keep that in motion.”

It’s important for universities and their surrounding communities to have a “seamless” connection, Ruller said. That way, they can work off of one another’s strengths, improving the economy of a region and atmosphere of university.

The members bring various points of view to the search process, while ultimately acting toward the best interest of the university, said Dan Fuller, associate professor of English at the Tuscarawas Campus.

He is representing the regional campus’s faculty on the committee. It is too early for any of the represented groups to have official agendas, Fuller said.

“We would certainly hope to find candidates who are familiar with the concept of regional campuses and would consider us an integral part of the university.”

Contact administration reporter Rachel Abbey at [email protected].


Members of the presidential search committee


  • Sandra Harbrecht, vice chair of the Board of Trustees

Vice Chair:

  • Patrick Mullin, member of the Board of Trustees

Search Coordinator:

  • Charlene Reed, secretary to the Board of Trustees

Committee Members:

  • Nawal Ammar, professor and graduate coordinator of Justice Studies and interim director of Women’s Studies
  • Gary Brahler, president of the Alumni Association National Board of Directors
  • Timothy Chandler, dean of the College of Fine and Professional Arts and professor of Sports Studies
  • E. Thomas Dowd, chair of the Faculty Senate and professor of psychology
  • Daniel Fuller, associate professor of English on the Tuscarawas Campus
  • Erin Hancock, president of Graduate Student Senate
  • Eunsook Hyun, professor of Curriculum Studies and Higher Education Administration
  • Jamie Jackson, manager of Client Services
  • Felix Offodile, chair and professor of Management and Information Systems
  • William Ross, executive director of Undergraduate Student Senate
  • David Ruller, Kent city manager
  • Denise Seachrist, interim dean of Academic and Student Services, Regional Campuses and associate professor of Music on the Trumbull campus
  • Brian Tucker, member of the Board of Trustees
  • Linda Walker, associate professor of Music and director of the Kent State University Gospel Choir
  • John West, vice president for Research, dean of Graduate Studies and professor of Chemistry