VCU provost to become Kent State University president

Beverly J. Warren, Ed.D, Ph.D.
Beverly J. Warren, Ed.D, Ph.D.

Beverly J. Warren, Ed.D., Ph.D., Virginia Commonwealth University’s provost and senior vice president for academic affairs, was introduced today as Kent State University’s new president at a meeting of its governing board.

Warren will remain at VCU until the end of May and assume the presidency of Kent State on July 1.  Warren has served as VCU’s chief academic officer, the second ranking officer of the university, since April 2011, after serving as interim provost for a year.

“VCU is proud that Dr. Warren has been offered the presidency of a great institution like Kent State University,” said VCU President Michael Rao. “Her outstanding leadership skills and accomplishments are reflected in VCU’s growing reputation as a nationally competitive urban public research university. She leaves a legacy of excellent and unselfish service as one of VCU's greatest academic leaders. Dr. Warren has been a valued partner and friend and will be missed by all of us who had the good fortune to work with her." 

Rao said that Warren’s leadership has been essential to articulating and carrying out the vision for the university’s Quest for Distinction strategic plan.  She helped to build a national caliber team to implement Quest – engaging faculty and students “who believe in our mission as a research university.” Rao specifically noted significant progress toward academic quality and student success in the areas of increased graduation rates and degrees awarded, advancement of faculty excellence, expansion of the university’s global partnerships and the formation of a living-learning residence village.

“I have been very fortunate to serve VCU over the last 14 years and am particularly grateful for the opportunity to have served as provost for the last four,” Warren said. “I have learned so much under the leadership of Mike Rao and have benefited greatly from his guidance and friendship during my tenure as provost. The opportunity to serve Kent State University as president is an honor and would not have been possible without our work together as a VCU family to help shape VCU into one of the nation’s leading urban public research universities.”

Warren has held several senior leadership positions at VCU since she arrived in 2000 as professor and head of the School of Education’s division of health, physical education and recreation.  She was appointed dean of the School of Education in January 2007, after serving as interim dean since July 2005 and associate dean for faculty affairs since 2003.

Before coming to VCU, Warren served as professor and chair at Lander University, Greenwood, S.C, and as associate professor and director of graduate programs at Appalachian State University, Boone, N.C.  She also served on the faculty at Auburn University, at Smith College in Northampton, Mass., and at the University of Montevallo in Alabama.

Warren’s current research interests focus on issues in urban education, including access and success for urban youth, the preparation of teachers for urban environments and coordination of education through P-20 initiatives.

Warren’s work in the areas of childhood obesity and the impact of physical activity on metabolic health earned her the title of Fellow of the American College of Sports Medicine. She also is a fellow of the Research Consortium of the American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance. She was elected to the Board of Trustees of the American College of Sports Medicine in 2004 and is a former president of the Southeast Chapter of the American College of Sports Medicine.

Warren earned her Ph.D. in exercise physiology from Auburn University and an Ed.D. in administration of higher education from the University of Alabama. She earned a master’s degree from Southern Illinois University and a bachelor’s degree from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.

For more information on Warren’s appointment as Kent State University president, visit