The Kent State University Trustees selected Beverly J. Warren, provost and senior vice president of Virginia Commonwealth University, as its 12th university president at a special meeting Wednesday.
Warren will begin serving as Kent president July 1. She will succeed retiring President Lester A. Lefton, who has served as Kent State’s chief executive officer since July 1, 2006.
“President-elect Beverly Warren is the right choice to continue Kent State’s remarkable, positive momentum and will continue to build the growing sense of pride in our university,” said Jane Murphy Timken, chairwoman of Kent’s trustees. “She’s ideally suited to build upon the great platform that President Lefton has established over the past eight years. Dr. Warren brings an incredible level of experience and accomplishment, and she quickly stood out within a highly competitive field. She has been called ‘a leader of leaders,’ and speaking for the board, there is unanimous agreement to this insightful accolade.”
President-elect Warren was introduced to the university.
“It is a high honor and a privilege to be selected as Kent State University’s next president,” she said. “This institution is experiencing tremendous momentum as a result of the dedicated and focused leadership of President Lefton and the Board of Trustees. I recognized immediately that Kent State and VCU share similar priorities, including the focus on academic quality and student success, the importance of an engaged faculty and dedicated staff, the drive to be a hub of innovation and discovery, and the value of meaningful community engagement and regional impact. Kent State is an institution on the rise, and it is my goal to be a collaborative leader who is instrumental and inspirational in clearly defining a shared vision and a sense of community that brings new meaning to our own lives while we strive to improve the lives of those we serve.”
Warren earned her bachelor of science degree from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and her master of science degree from Southern Illinois University. She has two doctorates, one in administration of higher education from the University of Alabama and one in exercise physiology from Auburn University. She has numerous publications in the areas of the treatment of childhood obesity and the physiological parameters of youth fitness.