Kent State names 12th president

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Kent State University today named as its new president Beverly J. Warren, provost and senior vice president of Virginia Commonwealth University.

She begins her duties as Kent State’s 12th president July 1.

Ms. Warren's appointment was announced at a special meeting of school trustees. She succeeds Lester A. Lefton, the school’s president since 2006, who had announced his retirement.

In an email to students and employees of the public university in Ohio, Ms. Warren expressed “deep humility and unbridled enthusiasm” and said she will listen, learn and begin to understand over the next few months what makes Kent State unique.

“A focus on academic quality and student success will be the prime ingredient to define our work together,” she wrote. “I believe deeply in the transformative power of the university experience, one that changes lives and serves the greater good.”

A statement announcing her selection cited Ms. Warren’s 25 years in higher education leadership.

She has held her post at Virginia Commonwealth since 2011 and was interim provost there beginning in spring 2010.

Before that, she held positions on the campus that included dean of the school of education and associate dean for faculty affairs. She came to Virginia Commonwealth in 2000 as a professor and leader of the school of education’s Division of Health, Physical Education and Recreation, according to a statement from Kent State.

She was previously professor and chair at Lander University in Greenwood, S.C., as well as associate professor and director of graduate programs at Appalachian State University in Boone, N.C. She also taught at Auburn University in Auburn, Ala., Smith College in Northampton, Mass., and the University of Montevallo in Montevallo, Ala.

Ms. Warren holds a bachelor of science degree from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and a master of science degree from Southern Illinois University, according to Kent State. She holds has doctorates in administration of higher education from the University of Alabama and in exercise physiology from Auburn University.

Bill Schackner: or 412-263-1977. Twitter: @BschacknerPG.

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