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Introducing Walter Wagor, New Dean of Kent State University at Stark

Posted Sept. 13, 2010

Dr. Walter Wagor, the new dean of Kent State University at Stark, is hitting the ground running this fall. His top priorities include furthering academic programs and professional development and moving forward with the campus' new science building.

new stark dean regional feature
Dr. Walter Wagor with his wife, Mary

It's taken a career journey of 25 years for Wagor to return to Ohio. Since leaving Wright State University's Lake Campus in Celina in 1985, Wagor has taught at universities in Indiana and in his home state of New York. Wagor started at Kent State Stark on Aug. 1.

And now that he's back, he only plans to look forward.

This fall, Wagor took the reins of Kent State University's largest regional campus with several priorities in mind, including continued expansion of academic programs, evaluation of professional development opportunities and breaking ground on the long-awaited science building.

Wagor is impressed by the air of excitement at Kent State Stark, as well as the dedication of its faculty and staff, who, he says, "clearly love this school and love what they do. They have their students' best interests at heart. It's a good work environment that I'm pleased to join."

He adds, "Kent State Stark seems ready to break out into what they really want to be - an institution that wants to grow and serve its community in new ways. I find that attractive and believe I can help move the excitement and enthusiasm forward."

A fellow of the American Council on Education, Wagor comes to Kent State Stark after holding the position of dean of behavioral and applied science and professor of psychology at New York's SUNY College at Oneonta. Prior to that, he served as acting chair for the division of behavioral and social sciences, assistant vice chancellor for academic affairs and professor of psychology at Indiana University East.

He considers one of his most notable achievements to be his 1990 nomination and selection to the Indiana University Faculty Colloquium on Excellence in Teaching (FACET), which annually recognizes about 20 faculty members across Indiana University's eight campuses. Subsequently, he served for several years on FACET selection and steering committees and as the program's Indiana University East campus liaison.

"FACET members were sincerely interested in being the best they could be in the classroom, as well as getting the best out of the students," says Wagor. "Although I won't instruct students in the classroom at Kent State Stark, this passion for teaching excellence remains an important part of who I am and what I bring to the campus."

Wagor also brings experience in leading a regional campus and working within a regional campus network. "As far as enrollment and student body make-up, I'm very familiar with the type of institution that Kent State Stark is," he says. "There's strong support for higher education in Stark County and Northeast Ohio as a whole, and I'm looking forward to working with other area leaders to help move it forward."

Wagor says he and his wife, Mary - originally from Celina, Ohio - are thrilled to be part of Kent State Stark and the vibrant communities it serves. "A top priority for me personally is to become integrated into the community as quickly as possible and to help raise Kent State Stark's visibility even more," he concludes.

For more information on Kent State Stark, go to its website.

By Cynthia Williams