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Ohio


Kent State's Lester Lefton announces his retirement
It will take effect the summer of 2014 to allow the board time to find a successor
by WKSU's MARK URYCKI


Senior Reporter
Mark Urycki
 
Kent State University President Lester Lefton will retire next summer, marking eight years at the university.
Courtesy of KENT STATE UNIVERSITY
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The president of Kent State University has announced his retirement.   Lester Lefton sent word to the university community this morning that he will not be returning when his contract expires in 2014.

URYCKI: Lefton's tenure

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President Lester Lefton says he will leave July 1st of next year. He made the announcement now to give the Kent State Board of Trustees time to find a replacement. 

Lefton arrived in 2006 after serving as provost at Tulane University in New Orleans.  The chair of Kent State’s board, Mary Murphy Timken, called him “the right president and the right time.”

In his seven years at the helm, Kent State’s enrollment has grown 25 percent to reach more than 42,000  students today across its eight campuses. The school’s endowment has topped $265 million, surpassing its goal. He added a College of Public Health and the College of Podiatric Medicine, which is located in Independence.

Lefton also embarked on a $200 million building campaign that continues today.  The long-planned new entrance to the Kent campus from downtown is nearing completion,   with a new architecture building planned along the approach.  A university hotel is expected to open in June.

The 66-year-old Lefton is expressing no particular plans after leaving Kent State. He recently sold his house in Kent.

He and his wife have two daughters and five grandchildren, who live in California.

Read StateImpact Ohio's post on Lefton's tenure. 

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