Kent State University names new president
Written by Associated Press   
Wednesday, 08 January 2014 14:35

KENT, Ohio (AP) — A top administrator at Virginia Commonwealth University was selected Wednesday as the next president of Kent State University.

Kent State trustees hired Beverly Warren, 65, provost and senior vice president at VCU. She takes office July 1.

She has held administrative and teaching jobs at numerous colleges and universities, including Auburn, Smith and Appalachian State.

Warren has doctorates in higher education administration from the University of Alabama and in exercise physiology from Auburn University.

She will succeed Lester Lefton, who became Kent State's president in 2006 and announced his retirement plans in April.

During Lester's tenure, Kent State's enrollment grew 25 percent to more than 42,000, and the university launched a $200 million campus improvement project.

Warren said she sees similarities between Kent State and VCU, including "the drive to be a hub of innovation and discovery, and the value of meaningful community engagement and regional impact."

Elsewhere, Ohio State University and the University of Akron are searching for presidents.

Ohio State is looking to replace Gordon Gee, who retired last year after remarks he made jabbing Roman Catholics and Southeastern Conference schools were made public.

A Mormon, Gee jokingly referred to "those damn Catholics," lampooned the academic integrity of the University of Louisville and Southeastern Conference schools, singling out the University of Kentucky. He has since been hired as interim president of West Virginia University.

Akron is looking for a replacement for Luis Proenza, who will step down in June to take a yearlong sabbatical and then return to teaching.

Akron's national advertising campaign for a new president seeks a "consummate fund- and friend-raiser" for the university.

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