New appointments announced at KSU as administrators make career moves

Lendley Black

Provost takes position in Minnesota; science and math dean relinquishes role to return to academics…

Georgia (Jun 30, 2010)Provost takes position in Minnesota; science and math dean relinquishes role to return to academics; dean of admissions retires

 Kennesaw, Ga. (June 30, 2010) – Kennesaw State University has announced a series of administrative changes as its chief academic officer leaves to assume a chancellorship in Minnesota and the long-time dean of the College of Science and Mathematics steps down to resume his interests in teaching and research.  In addition, the university’s dean of admissions also has retired. 
Provost Lendley C. Black announced in May his acceptance of the position of chancellor of the University of Minnesota Duluth. His last day at KSU is July 12. 
Larry Peterson, dean of KSU’s College of Science and Mathematics for 13 years, leaves his position June 30. Following a one-year professional development leave, he will return to KSU in fall 2011 as faculty in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry. He also will resume his scholarly work on curriculum development for introductory chemistry courses. 
Joe Head, dean of admissions and assistant vice president for enrollment services retired last month after more than 25 years at Kennesaw State. 
“Dr. Black leaves a legacy of significant contributions to Kennesaw State University, including the tremendous accomplishment of implementing our doctoral programs,” said President Daniel S. Papp. “The University of Minnesota Duluth is truly fortunate to have attracted him and will be well-served by his leadership.” 
Black joined KSU in 2002 as vice president of academic affairs and was promoted to provost in 2006. He is credited with leading the university’s transition to a doctoral-granting institution. During his tenure, 10 new undergraduate programs, 13 graduate programs and four doctoral programs were added. 
Peterson leaves a similar legacy for the College of Science and Mathematics. “During his 13 years of service, Dean Peterson has made enormous contributions to the college and the university,” Papp said.  “The college has grown substantially in size and stature, adding eight new graduate and undergraduate degree programs and new lab and classromm facilities.
Following a nomination process, President Papp appointed Ken Harmon, dean of the Coles College of Business, to serve as KSU’s interim provost and vice president for academic affairs.
Prior to his appointment as Coles College dean, Harmon was the director of KSU’s School of Accountancy. He joined the KSU faculty in 2006 after serving as dean of the Else School of Management at Milsaps College.
Coles College Associate Dean Kathy Schwaig will serve as interim dean, a position she held prior to Harmon’s 2009 appointment as dean. 
Ron Matson, chair of KSU’s Department of Biology and Physics, will serve for two years as interim dean of the College of Science and Mathematics.   Jerald Hendrix, biology professor, has accepted the position of interim chair of the Department of Biology and Physics.
Papp also appointed Kim West, former university registrar, to serve as dean of admissions and associate vice president of enrollment services.
In the meantime, the university will conduct national searches for a new provost and College of Science and Mathematics dean.    
Kennesaw State University is the third-largest university in Georgia, offering more than 70 graduate and undergraduate degrees, including new doctorates in education, business and nursing and a new Ph.D. in international conflict management. A member of the 35-unit University System of Georgia, Kennesaw State is a comprehensive, residential institution with a growing population of more than 22,300 students from 142 countries.
Contact: Sabbaye McGriff, 678-797-2550 or



A leader in innovative teaching and learning, Kennesaw State University offers undergraduate, graduate and doctoral degrees to its nearly 43,000 students. With 11 colleges on two metro Atlanta campuses, Kennesaw State is a member of the University System of Georgia. The university’s vibrant campus culture, diverse population, strong global ties and entrepreneurial spirit draw students from throughout the country and the world. Kennesaw State is a Carnegie-designated doctoral research institution (R2), placing it among an elite group of only 6 percent of U.S. colleges and universities with an R1 or R2 status. For more information, visit