Kent State Provost Announces Leadership Appointments

August 30, 2016

Kent State Provost Announces Leadership Appointments

Kent State University's Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost Todd Diacon today announced that Melody Tankersley, Ph.D., has been appointed dean of Graduate Studies, effective Aug. 1, 2016. Tankersley has served as interim dean of Graduate Studies since July 1, 2015. She will continue in her role as senior associate provost.

"As someone who has directed many graduate students' theses and dissertations, Melody is well placed to move Graduate Studies forward," Diacon said. "I appreciate her willingness to direct Graduate Studies and serve as senior associate provost." 

Tankersley earned her Ph.D. in special education at the University of Virginia and holds master of education and bachelor of science degrees in special education from Winthrop University.

"It is an honor to continue to work with the amazing team in Graduate Studies as we assist Kent State graduate faculty and students in the production and pursuit of knowledge and creative endeavors, and as we deliver universitywide programs that enrich their successes," Tankersley said. 

Tankersley replaces Mary Ann Stephens, Ph.D., who retired in 2015. 

For more information about Graduate Studies, visit

Jeffrey Fruit has been appointed interim director of the School of Digital Sciences, effective Aug. 8, 2016. Fruit previously served as interim director for the School of Library and Information Science, director of the School of Journalism and Mass Communication, and interim dean of the College of Communication and Information.

Fruit earned his master of arts at Ohio State University and holds a bachelor of arts from Ohio Wesleyan University.

"We are fortunate to have Jeff direct the School of Digital Sciences," Senior Associate Provost and Graduate Studies Dean Tankersley said. "He is a respected scholar whose experiences as a visionary leader, distinguished professor and devoted student mentor ensure that the school will continue to develop and thrive. I look forward to working with Jeff to build upon the successes and strengths of the School of Digital Sciences."

Fruit replaces Robert Walker, Ph.D., who served as founding director of the School of Digital Sciences from April 2011 through June 2016.

For more information about the School of Digital Sciences, visit

POSTED: Tuesday, August 30, 2016 10:02 AM
Updated: Saturday, January 28, 2023 09:38 PM
Todd A. Diacon