Klesner Named Next Associate ProvostGAMBIER, Ohio (January 18, 2010) Joseph L. Klesner, professor of political science and chair of the department, moves into the Kenyon administration as associate provost beginning in the 2010-11 academic year.
Provost Nayef Samhat recently announced the three-year appointment, saying that Klesner, with his breadth of experience in faculty governance and fine sense of appreciation for faculty concerns, brings "all the right and necessary qualities."
Klesner has taught at Kenyon since 1985 and has been a chair for political science and a director of the international studies program. He teaches courses in comparative politics, international studies, and Latin American politics, and his expertise in Mexican electoral politics has been noted in national publications. Klesner has also established a high profile in the full life and workings of the College, serving as chair of the Curricular Policy Committee, chair of the Faculty, chair of the Faculty Lectureships Committee, and coordinator of the Presidential Search Committee.
Klesner embraced the new role in helping shape the faculty and curriculum. "I think it's an exciting opportunity to engage more fully in the administration of the academic division," he said. "I'm looking forward to that broader involvement."
He replaces Paula Turner, associate professor of physics, who will complete four years as associate provost this academic year. Turner added a year to her term to help ease the transition from Interim Provost Howard Sacks to Samhat, who joined the College in 2009.
"I think Joe brings an extraordinary care and sensibility about Kenyon College as a whole," Samhat said. "He has earned, over the years, great respect from all quarters of the campus. He's an outstanding teacher, scholar, and collegiate citizen."
Klesner's specific responsibilities will evolve through discussion and work with Samhat and Associate Provost Ric Sheffield. Sheffield has accepted Samhat's invitation to continue as associate provost for another two years to assist in the transition.
"The associate provost's role," Klesner said, "is more than anything to support the provost. The provost sets the tenor for the office goals, and I want to be able to support him the best I can. I want to make sure that faculty affairs and matters related to the curriculum are handled smoothly."
Klesner hopes to teach a course during his second and third years as associate provost.
And he gave a nod to the administrative staff at what will be his new office. "It should be a good experience," he said. "We have a very good staff, first-rate people."