Kennesaw State announces new provost, vice president for academic affairs


W. Ken Harmon becomes second provost and chief academic officer in KSU’s history  …

Georgia (Dec 5, 2011) —  

W. Ken Harmon becomes second provost and chief academic officer in KSU’s history
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KENNESAW, Ga. (Dec. 5, 2011) — After a nationwide search that attracted 81 applicants, Kennesaw State University President Daniel S. Papp today announced the selection of W. Ken Harmon as the institution’s new provost and vice president for academic affairs, effective immediately.
Harmon, professor of accounting and the Tony and Jack Dinos Eminent Scholar Chair of Entrepreneurial Management at KSU, has served as the university’s interim provost and vice president for academic affairs since July 2010.  Previously, Harmon held top administrative posts at several business schools in the Southeast, including at Kennesaw State where he was named dean of the Coles College of Business in 2009.
“Since joining Kennesaw State, Ken Harmon has demonstrated that he is an excellent leader who is committed to helping guide KSU on its path toward national prominence,” Papp stated.  “During his interim appointment, Ken has been highly engaged both on campus and in the community, and he has established a very strong and positive reputation.  It’s clear to me that he is definitely the right person for this important position at this critical stage in the university’s transformation.”
Since his appointment as interim provost and vice president for academic affairs, Harmon has been instrumental in elevating Kennesaw State’s profile and stature through the development of new undergraduate and graduate degree programs.  He also has refined processes, developed community partnerships and worked with faculty and staff to support initiatives that have strengthened key programs.
Harmon joined KSU in 2006 as head of the university’s accounting program. After being named dean of the Coles College, Harmon collaborated closely with Atlanta-area companies and helped to raise the profile of the college, now regarded as one of the top business schools in the Southeast.
Prior to joining Kennesaw State, Harmon served as dean of the Else School of Management at Millsaps College in Jackson, Miss., and chair of the accounting departments at the University of North Carolina at Wilmington, Middle Tennessee State University, and Arizona State University’s West Campus. He also served on the accounting faculties of the University of Missouri and Drexel University.
Harmon holds a Doctor of Business Administration in accounting, with a minor in computer science, from the University of Tennessee.
“First, I want to thank Dr. Papp, the search committee and the entire KSU community for their vote of confidence in naming me to this post,” Harmon stated. “When I first came to Kennesaw State, the energy and excitement was palpable. This university has an entrepreneurial spirit like no other and I feel as if I have truly found a home here.  I welcome the opportunity to use my experience and enthusiasm to help shape KSU’s future and to help catapult the university to the next level.”
The provost and vice president for academic affairs is the university’s chief academic officer and reports to the president. The provost serves as a senior member of the president’s leadership team, chairs the university’s Deans’ Council and leads the faculty in their efforts to strengthen academic programs and foster a culture of academic excellence and community.
In naming Harmon, Papp also expressed gratitude to the members of the search committee for their dedicated work throughout the search process. 
“I truly appreciate the dedication and hard work of the entire search committee who represented every aspect of the KSU community,” Papp said.  “I would especially like to recognize Dr. Tom Keene, professor of history and chair of the search committee, for his leadership.”
The search process for the new provost began in August 2010, when Papp appointed the 15-member provost search committee.  The search was conducted to fill the vacancy formed by the departure of KSU’s former provost, Lendley C. Black, who stepped down in July 2010 after being named chancellor of the University of Minnesota-Duluth. The committee was comprised of KSU faculty, staff and students, as well as a member of the KSU Foundation board of trustees.
A pool of 81 applicants submitted the required materials to be considered for Kennesaw State’s chief academic officer position. That pool was narrowed down to nine candidates during the first round and on November 23, three finalists were announced. Last week, the finalists participated in a series of day-long meetings and interviews with students, faculty, staff, administrators and alumni at Kennesaw State.
Parker Executive Search aided Kennesaw State’s provost search committee in conducting the national search.
Kennesaw State University is the third-largest university in Georgia, offering 80 graduate and undergraduate degrees, including 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 24,100 students from 142 countries.





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