KSU Faculty Senate to ask for presidential search records

From The Akron Beacon Journal The Kent State Faculty Senate voted on Monday to ask the KSU administration to release records of its presidential search.

The Senate “regrets the failure of the Board of Trustees of Kent State University to complete the recent Presidential search in accordance with the policies of Kent State University,” according to the resolution.

KSU has refused to produce most records, the names of candidates and many details that led to the hiring of Virginia Commonwealth University Provost Beverly Warren in January.

Members of the 17-member search committee have said KSU destroyed their notes and required them to sign confidentiality agreements not to disclose any of the details of the search, which took nine months and cost $250,000 in public money.

The Senate, whose faculty representatives help to govern the university, said in its resolution that it supported a similar April call from KSU’s journalism and mass communication faculty to release all records, including those held by its search firm.

In introducing only one candidate to campus — Warren — the Senate resolution maintains that KSU did not give the Senate the opportunity to interview the “final slate of candidates” and that “all materials on the candidates’ qualifications will be made available,” according to a rule adopted by the university trustees.

KSU has refused to comment on its search. Warren has refused to comment on the search, as well.

In contrast, the two tax-supported universities near KSU both conducted transparent public searches for their new presidents and followed open record laws, providing names and details of candidates.

These searches led to the appointments last week of Scott Scarborough, provost of the University of Toledo, at the University of Akron, and Jim Tressel, executive vice president of student success in Akron, to Youngstown State.