Kent State Provost Announces Appointment of Inaugural Executive Director of Kent State’s Design Innovation Initiative

Kent State University Community Members: 

I am pleased to announce that J.R. Campbell, professor and director of Kent State University’s School of Fashion Design and Merchandising, will become the inaugural executive director of Kent State’s Design Innovation Initiative.

J.R. has distinguished himself as a strong voice for design innovation and multidisciplinary collaboration through efforts like the Fashion/Tech Hackathon, TechStyleLAB and his continued advocacy for makerspaces and entrepreneurialism. He is part of a work group that proposed a Center for Design Innovation as part of the Kent State fundraising BIG IDEA campaign in 2017. The Design Innovation Initiative will focus on developing novel solutions to global and everyday challenges. It requires students and faculty to work collaboratively across all disciplines to achieve new ways of thinking, learning and innovating. Cross-disciplinary, problem-based learning encourages ground-breaking research and develops a distinctive community of problem solvers to lead in a rapidly changing world.

During his nine-year tenure at the School of Fashion, J.R. has proven himself a visionary leader whose efforts have elevated the school to one of international stature. Under his direction, the school became the first to require a study-away experience and was named an Ohio Center of Excellence.

As executive director, J.R. will lead efforts to introduce design thinking and problem-based learning across the campus and its curriculum. He will report to the executive vice president and provost. In the fourth year of this inaugural appointment, we intend to conduct a national search for this position.

John Crawford-Spinelli, dean of the College of the Arts, will consult with the Fashion School faculty to select an interim director for the school. A national/international search for the next director will begin this fall.

Please join me in congratulating J.R. and supporting his success in this new endeavor.


Todd A. Diacon, Ph.D.
Executive Vice President and Provost

POSTED: Monday, April 9, 2018 09:00 AM
Updated: Friday, December 9, 2022 02:47 AM
Todd Diacon