Kent State President-Elect Todd Diacon announced in an email Thursday that Melody Tankersley will take over as interim Senior Vice President and Provost on July 1, 2019. Diacon also said a national search to find a replacement would be conducted during the 2019-2020 academic year.

Tankersley is currently the Senior Associate Provost and Dean for Graduate Studies. Tankersley is also a tenured professor in the College of Education, Health and Human Services. Her research has focused on children’s behavioral disorders and how evidence-based practices could be identified and implemented both in school and at home.

In 2008, Tankersley was awarded the James M. Kauffman Publication Award for “scholarly work that results in knowledge leading to exemplary special education practices,” according to her Kent State University profile page. She has been awarded more than $2 million in research funding and has been published in over 100 professional journals and articles.

Last year Tankersley helped facilitate meetings between the LeBron James Family Foundation’s I PROMISE School and representatives from the University of Akron, The University of Mississippi, Radford University and Kent State. These meetings have the goal of ensuring students are adequately prepared for college by the time they graduate.

Tankersley could not immediately be reached for comment.

David Williams is a reporter. Contact him at

Corrections have been made to this story to reflect the correct titles and jobs held by Melody Tankersley. 

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