AGB Search Selected by Kent State to Recruit New Provost

February 28, 2020 – Executive search firms continue to reap the benefits of an active education sector, which many academic recruiters report has never been busier. Even smaller recruiting outfits have multiple assignments running concurrently, all at the senior levels. If any slowdown is coming, it most likely will be found at the talent identification stage. With so much activity, demand for talent seems to be outstripping supply.

Washington, D.C.-based recruitment firm AGB Search is looking for a new executive vice president for academic affairs and provost for Kent State University in Ohio. Melissa K. Trotta and Ellen Meyer are leading the assignment.

Paul DiCorleto, vice president for research and sponsored programs, will lead the university search committee that hopes to recommend a candidate by the end of the spring semester. The committee is reaching out to the Kent State community to provide feedback on issues and opportunities facing the university and the qualities Kent should seek in the next provost. They plan to launch a website to keep people informed of progress. AGB Search has begun the process of drafting a job specification for this key role.

In May, Kent State’s past provost, Todd Diacon, was named the school’s 13th president. That search was led by Russell Reynolds Associates. “After a rigorous national search, we have found that leader,” said Ralph Della Ratta, chair of the Kent State board of trustees.

In the meantime, Kent State named Melody Tankersley as interim senior vice president and provost. She is currently the university’s senior associate provost and dean of graduate studies. Ms. Tankersley could be a candidate to fill the provost role on a permanent basis.

Established in 1910, Kent State is a large, primarily residential, public research university in Kent, OH. It is one of the largest universities in the state with an enrollment of 39,367 students in the eight-campus system and 28,972 students at the main campus. The school offers over 300 degree programs, among them 250 bachelor’s, 40 associate’s, 50 master’s and 23 doctoral degree programs, which include nursing, business, history, library science, aeronautics, journalism, fashion design and the Liquid Crystal Institute.

Serving Universities

AGB Search, which specializes in higher education leadership, conducts searches for college and university presidents, chancellors, provosts, vice presidents, deans, university system heads and CEOs of coordinating boards and related foundations. The firm was founded by the Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges in 2010.

AGB has previously assisted Kent State in searches for the directors of the Fashion School and the School of Music.


 AGB Search Embarks On Prodigious Start to New Year
The Washington, D.C. based search firm has a busy year ahead, looking to fill every role from president to provost to a diversity leader for an array of universities and colleges around the country. Let’s take a closer look.


Dr. Trotta joined AGB Search as associate managing principal in 2017. She has spent more than 25 years in higher education administration at universities including Harvard, Georgetown and Johns Hopkins in leadership roles that spanned admissions and enrollment, program management, executive education, and strategic planning. She has partnered with institutions on searches for presidents, chief financial officers, chief information officers, deans, provosts, executive vice presidents/chief operating officers, and vice presidents and vice provosts for enrollment management, finance and administration, institutional research and university registrar services.

Related: Academic Search Recruits Provost for Gonzaga University

Among Dr. Trotta’s other clients are: Allegheny College, Edmonds Community College, Emory University, Georgetown University, Northeastern University, Rice University, Stony Brook University, the University of Dayton, the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill, the University of North Carolina at Charlotte and Wayne State University.

Ms. Meyer joined AGB Search in 2017. She is a seasoned higher education administrator, having spent 34 years in leadership roles at art and design institutions. Throughout her career she has supported interdisciplinary curriculum development, technological innovation, executive and faculty recruitment and management, strategic planning and partnerships, fundraising, financial planning and oversight, exhibitions, facilities design and construction, and trustee and community relations.

Ms. Meyer has also initiated and fostered strategic partnerships with music entities and educational institutions, such as Belmont University’s Mike Curb College of Entertainment & Music Business, Warner Music Nashville, New Music America and the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra.

Related: Spencer Stuart Recruits Provost for American University

Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor; and Stephen Sawicki, Managing Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media

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