On Wednesday, President Dr. Dan Papp and search committee chairman Dr. Thomas Kenne announced the three candidates for the position of provost and vice president for academic affairs. The finalist is expected to be announced by Dec. 1.
The candidates are: David P. Cordle, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of North Carolina-Wilmington; Michael A. Gealt, dean of the College of Science and Mathematics at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock; and W. Ken Harmon, interim provost and former Coles College of Business dean at KSU.
On Feb. 25, Kent State University’s Dr. Timothy Chandler was selected as KSU provost in an announcement, but after a research paper he authored 13 years ago that was written in a Marxist slant came to light, a public uproar ensued, prompting him to withdraw from the position on March 17.
Following the incident, Papp said the experience had taught him to be aware of all aspects of any candidate’s history.
“We are pleased to move forward these three outstanding candidates,” Papp said. “The search committee and the external search firm conducted a thorough national search and vetted a robust pool of applicants. We now have three high-caliber finalists, one of whom we will soon select to fill the provost’s position here at Kennesaw State.”
The selected candidate is expected to begin as early as possible in 2012, according to KSU officials. The provost search committee was assisted by Parker Executive Search, an Atlanta-based executive search firm.
Nine candidates were selected from an initial pool of 81 candidates for the first round of interviews last Thursday and Friday. Next Tuesday through Thursday, the three final candidates are scheduled to participate in a series of day-long interviews and meetings with students, faculty, staff, administrators and alumni.
“The goal of the search committee has been to identify candidates for provost who can help lead this dynamic, rapidly growing university in meeting the demands of a 21st century institution of higher learning,” said Kenne, who led the 15-member search committee.
“We believe we have found three finalists with the potential to help the university achieve its goals of a delivering a world-class education and achieving national prominence for the outstanding work we’re doing at Kennesaw State,” Kenne said.
Since 2005, Cordle has served as dean of arts and sciences and a music professor at the University of North Carolina-Wilmington. He also was dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at Longwood University in Farmville, Va., from 1998 to 2005 and spent 10 years as music department chairman at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond. Cordle earned a doctorate in music from Florida State University.
Gealt, a biology professor, has served as University of Arkansas at Little Rock’s math and sciences dean since 2006. He previously served as interim vice chancellor for academic affairs and dean of the School of Engineering, Mathematics and Science at Purdue University Calumet in Hammond, Ind. Before arriving at Purdue in 2000, Gealt was a professor and academic administrator at Drexel University in Philadelphia. He holds a doctorate in microbiology from Rutgers University.
For the past year and a half, Harmon has served as interim provost and vice president for academic affairs at KSU. Since joining KSU in 2006, he has served as director of the School of Accountancy and was named dean of the Coles College of Business in 2009, and the Dinos Eminent Scholar of Entrepreneurial Management in 2010. He holds a Doctor of Business Administration degree in accounting from the University of Tennessee.
Cordle’s visit to KSU will take place on Tuesday, Gealt’s is scheduled for Wednesday and Harmon will visit campus on Thursday.