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Kent State Presidential Search Committee Includes City Manager, Bank Executive

Outgoing president set to retire in July 2014

Committee members charged with finding Kent State's next president have been named. Credit: Matt Fredmonsky
Committee members charged with finding Kent State's next president have been named. Credit: Matt Fredmonsky

The 15-person committee charged with finding the successor to Kent State University’s President Lester Lefton includes two Kent community leaders.

Kent City Manager Dave Ruller and Richard Coe, CEO of Portage Community Bank, will serve on the committee to find Kent State’s 12th president. Ruller also served on the search committee that recommended Lefton’s hiring to the university trustees.

Lefton is set to retire July 1, 2014.

The university named the search committee members this week. In May, the university trustees named Richard Marsh, a 1973 Kent State graduate and member of the board of trustees, as the committee chair.

Excluding Dr. Jerry Sue Thornton, president emeritus of Cuyahoga Community College, the remaining 12 members of the search committee are all part of the Kent State community. They are:

  • Michael Allen, executive chair, Graduate Student Senate; Ph.D. candidate, geography

  • Dennis Eckart, vice chair, Presidential Search Committee; vice chair, Board of Trustees; principal, North Shore Associates

  • Dr. Paul Farrell, chair, Faculty Senate; professor of computer science

  • Dr. Ronald Fowler, special assistant to the president, community engagement; chair, Diversity Advisory Board

  • Dr. Lee Fox-Cardamone, associate professor, psychology, Stark Campus; executive committee, Faculty Senate

  • Dr. Thomas Janson, professor and coordinator of graduate studies, music; past chair and member, Faculty Senate

  • Joel Nielsen, director of intercollegiate athletics

  • Amish Patel, executive director, Undergraduate Student Government; communications studies major

  • Dr. Susan Roxburgh, associate professor, sociology; member, Faculty Senate

  • Maria Schneider, president, Alumni Association National Board of Directors; alumni board representative, Foundation Board of Directors; managing consultant-premier segment, institutional relationships, TIAA-CREF

  • Dr. Deborah Spake, dean, College of Business Administration

  • Dr. Susan Stocker, dean, Kent State University at Ashtabula; interim dean, College of Nursing


In establishing the committee, we as a board sought to achieve a diversity of backgrounds and perspectives and a deep understanding of the requirements for the next president,” Marsh said.

The university also is asking for public input on the search, and members of the community can provide feedback via a page on the university’s website.

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