Leadership Announcements

Dear Members of the Kent State University Community,

Thank you all for contributing to an outstanding opening of the fall semester. I appreciate all that you do, and I am sure our students do as well. I write to update you on recent actions regarding the senior administration of the university.

Lamar R. Hylton, Ph.D.

Given our overriding Students First philosophy and the centrality of issues regarding the health and well-being of our students, I have elevated the position of vice president for student affairs to a senior vice president, effective Sept. 1. This action recognizes the vital nature of this role that is core to our mission of graduating students, as well as the outstanding leadership of Lamar R. Hylton, Ph.D., who always leads with a student-focused approach. He provides invaluable insights to our discussions and offers strong leadership to a large portfolio of key services assisting our students.

He joins Senior Vice President and Provost Melody Tankersley, Ph.D., and Senior Vice President for Finance and Administration Mark Polatajko, Ph.D., as senior vice presidents, who provide additional leadership and guidance to the Office of the President.

Valoree Vargo

I also am pleased to announce the appointment of Valoree Vargo as vice president for philanthropy and alumni engagement. She has provided outstanding leadership in this role on an interim basis for the past 15 months, leading the university’s philanthropy, alumni and volunteer engagement programs. Upon the appointment of its Board of Directors, she also serves as the executive director of the Kent State University Foundation. The excellence and stability of her leadership also are critical at this momentous time as the university soon announces what will be the largest comprehensive fundraising campaign in Kent State history. She has been integral in setting the foundation for the campaign, and I am confident she will lead us to its successful conclusion.

In addition to these appointments, we will launch national searches for two vice presidential vacancies this semester.

By mid-September, we will launch a national search for the position of vice president for university communications and marketing. This is another key role that has shown its importance, especially during the past 18 months, and we are grateful to Rebecca Murphy for her outstanding leadership as the interim vice president since Jan. 13, 2020. Peggy Shadduck, Ph.D., vice president for Regional Campuses and dean of the College of Applied and Technical Studies, will serve as the search chair, and a broad-based committee will be appointed.

In November, we will launch a national search for the position of vice president for enrollment management, now held on an interim basis by Sean Broghammer, Ph.D. This role is essential in the holistic management of the student life cycle, from recruitment to graduation, and this individual leads the implementation of our strategic enrollment management plan.

Stay tuned for further information where you can provide input regarding the opportunities, challenges and desired qualifications for these leaders at the appropriate time.


Todd Diacon

POSTED: Tuesday, August 31, 2021 02:01 PM
Updated: Friday, December 9, 2022 03:52 PM
Todd Diacon, President