Campus Administration & Leadership

Dean and Chief Administrative Officer
R. William (Bill) Ayres IV, Ph.D.

Following two years in a interim leadership role, R. William (Bill) Ayres IV, Ph.D. was officially appointed dean and chief administrative officer at Kent State University at Ashtabula in 2024. The became the sixth permanent dean in the campus's history. He was named the interim dean in July of 2022 following the retirement of Susan J. Stocker, Ph.D.  Ayres also serves as the dean and chief administrative officer at Kent State Trumbull, a position he has held since Jan. 18, 2022.

It’s an honor to get to work with the Ashtabula Campus and the communities that we serve," said Ayres.  “Kent State Ashtabula plays such a vital role in the region as a valued partner in transforming the lives of our students and the communities around us. We have a fantastic team of professionals here who are incredibly student-centered, which is a tremendous strength as we seek to advance our mission in an ever-changing landscape.”

Ayres joined Kent State Trumbull Prior to joining Kent State Trumbull after a national search, he was a professor of political science at the University of Toledo, where he previously served as senior vice provost for academic affairs from 2018 to 2020 and vice provost for academic affairs from 2017 to 2018. 

Ayres’ positions report to Peggy Shadduck, Ph.D., Kent State’s vice president for Regional Campuses and dean of the College of Applied and Technical Studies.

“I am thrilled to have someone with Bill’s experience, knowledge and enthusiasm joining the team of Regional Campus leaders within the Kent State Regional Campus system,” Shadduck said at the time of his appointment as Trumbull Campus dean.

Prior to the University of Toledo, Ayres worked at Wright State University’s Graduate School from 2010 to 2017, serving as assistant dean, interim dean and then associate dean. His key accomplishments included starting the first completely online degree programs at Wright State, launching new marketing campaigns based on new graduate-focused branding, and developing and implementing a new graduate student orientation program.

From 2006 to 2010, Ayres served as the director of the Center for Global Citizenship at Elizabethtown College, becoming the first full-time director in the center’s history. In this role, he was responsible for programs in international studies, service-learning and community engagement, and peace and conflict studies. He was also the founding director of the international relations program at the University of Indianapolis from 2000 to 2006.

Ayres earned his Doctor of Philosophy and Master of Arts in political science from Ohio State University and a Bachelor of Arts in political science from Williams College.