Kent State's board of trustees voted Monday morning to appoint current university Executive Vice President and Provost Todd Diacon as the university's next president. Diacon will take over when current president Beverly Warren retires July 1.
As the 13th KSU president, he plans to help establish KSU as a national leader in higher education.
"But also adding affordability. So particularly for our students with highest financial need, we need to figure out new and extended ways to reduce the cost of earning a college degree. I look forward to doing that," Diacon said.
Diacon, a native of Kansas, came to Kent State in April 2012 from the University of Massacusetts Amherst where he served as deputy chancellor. Prior to that, he spent 21 years at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, where he served as vice provost, a tenured professor and head of the History department.
Diacon earned a bachelor's degree in History from Southwestern College in Kansas. He earned his master's and Ph.D. in History from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He focused his studies on the history of Brazil and has written books on the topic.
The provost is the university's chief academic officer and the second highest ranking official at the university, behind the president. As provost, Diacon has been responsible for administration, faculty and staff within the university's 10 colleges and seven regional campuses.
In a profile article about Diacon when he came to Kent, KentWired quoted him as saying, “I think it is spectacularly great that we’re a university that’s excellent in liquid crystals and fashion design,” Diacon said. “To me, that’s the yin and yang of a great university is that we do many things well.”