President's Biography

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Beverly Warren, Ph.D., Ed.D., became Kent State University's 12th president on July 1, 2014. As the university’s chief executive officer, President Warren oversees one of the nation's largest university systems. Under her leadership, the university embarked upon a systemwide, inclusive process to consider a bold and distinctive future for Kent State University. The six-year plan, A Strategic Roadmap to a Distinctive Kent State, is the result of this effort. With Students First named Priority One, the plan identifies strategies that will distinguish Kent State as an exemplar among the nation’s best public research universities, with a distinctive blend of teaching, research and creative excellence.

President Warren is a member of the Board of Trustees for The Cleveland Orchestra and serves on the boards of directors for Team NEO, Greater Akron Chamber of Commerce, Northeast Ohio Council on Higher Education (NOCHE) and Northeastern Educational Television of Ohio Inc. (NETO). A member of The 50 Club of Cleveland and the Mid-American Conference (MAC) Council of Presidents, she is an honorary director of the Board of Trustees for The Portage Foundation.

Prior to coming to Kent State, Warren served as provost and senior vice president at Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) since 2011. She arrived at VCU in 2000 as a professor and head of the School of Education’s Division of Health, Physical Education and Recreation, and she went on to serve as dean of the School of Education. Before joining VCU, Warren held faculty positions at Smith College in Massachusetts, Auburn University in Alabama, Appalachian State University in North Carolina and Lander University in South Carolina.

President Warren is an internationally respected and widely published scholar in the fields of education and exercise physiology. Her most recent research focused on urban education, including access and success for urban youth, the preparation of teachers for urban environments and coordination of education through P-20 initiatives. She is a Fellow of the American College of Sports Medicine, was elected to its Board of Trustees in 2004 and is a former president of its Southeast Chapter.

A North Carolina native, Warren earned a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and a Master of Science degree from Southern Illinois University. She holds two doctorates, an Ed.D. in administration of higher education from the University of Alabama and a Ph.D. in exercise physiology from Auburn University.

Kent State University is one of 76 public higher-research universities, as categorized by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, and is ranked in the first-tier list of Best National Universities by U.S. News & World Report. With eight campuses spanning Northeast Ohio, a College of Podiatric Medicine, a Regional Academic Center, and academic sites in major world capitals such as New York City, Geneva and Florence, Kent State is one of Ohio’s leading public universities and a major educational, economic and cultural resource far beyond the Northeast Ohio region it has served since 1910. More than 41,000 students, including more than 3,000 international students from 100+ countries compose the student body, and the worldwide alumni family exceeds 234,000. The addition of new learning environments from the sciences to the arts and the development of exciting new academic programs such as aerospace engineering, geographic information science and business analytics characterize Kent State’s focus on transformational educational experiences.