Melody Tankersley Appointed Kent State’s Interim Senior Vice President and Provost

Kent State University President-elect Todd Diacon today announced the appointment of Melody Tankersley, Ph.D., to the role of interim senior vice president and provost, effective July 1.

Melody Tankersley, Ph.D., will serve as Kent State University’s interim senior vice president and provost, effective July 1.

Dr. Tankersley fills the role most recently held by Dr. Diacon, who was selected in April by the Board of Trustees to become Kent State’s next president.

Dr. Tankersley has been senior associate provost since 2015 and dean of graduate studies since 2016. She is a tenured professor in the College of Education, Health and Human Services. In her current role, Dr. Tankersley oversees the institutional research, accreditation and curriculum offices.

“Dr. Tankersley is a tireless advocate for students and faculty,” President-elect Diacon said. “Her recent success in building K-12 pipeline partnerships with Akron Public Schools and the LeBron James Family Foundation’s I PROMISE School is evidence of her passion for student access and success. Her innovative approach and nationally recognized expertise will serve us well at Kent State.” 

“I am honored to serve Kent State and work with President-elect Diacon and university leadership in this interim role,” Dr. Tankersley said. “I am in awe of the talent and dedication of Kent State faculty, staff and students in advancing our mission. Kent State has been my home for 26 years, yet every day, I learn more about how we positively affect the lives of our students, impact our community and change the world.”

Dr. Tankersley’s academic expertise is in the social and behavioral development of children and youth, with her research focusing on supporting parents and teachers in responding to the emotional needs of children and students. She has published more than 100 professional journal articles, chapters and texts, and has addressed more than 200 national and international audiences.

Dr. Tankersley’s work has been recognized internationally, and she was recently awarded the James M. Kauffman Publication Award for a scholarly work that results in knowledge leading to exemplary practice.

She earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in special education from Winthrop University in South Carolina and her doctorate in special education from the University of Virginia, followed by a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Kansas.

A national search for provost will begin in the fall.

Dr. Diacon becomes Kent State’s 13th president July 1, succeeding President Beverly J. Warren. 

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Photo Caption:
Melody Tankersley, Ph.D., will serve as Kent State University’s interim senior vice president and provost, effective July 1. 
 
Media Contacts:
Lisa Abraham, labraha5@kent.edu, 330-672-1696
Emily Vincent, evincen2@kent.edu, 330-672-8595