She has held the position of interim dean and chief academic officer at the university's largest regional campus since July 2014.

 Denise Seachrist will remain dean of Kent State University at Stark.

She has held the position of interim dean and chief administrative officer at the university’s largest regional campus since July 2014. Her appointment was effective Monday, when university officials made the announcement.

“I never saw myself as a placeholder,” Seachrist said. “But now because that interim (title) is removed, it really will allow me to move the campus forward with really important initiatives with a sense of permanency.”

Seachrist said she wants to expand the campus’s College Credit Plus partnerships, which allow students to earn college credit early, and she wants to make sure the university is meeting workforce needs in Stark County. She’s also interested in sending more students and faculty abroad and increasing an international presence on campus.

“I just want to continue to build on the foundation that we have,” she said.

Seachrist originally was not among the three finalists who were invited to campus in December to give public presentations. But following outcry from the campus’s advisory board — members of which recommended Seachrist for the position — she also was given the opportunity to interview.

Two candidates withdrew their applications in January, leaving Seachrist and David Pearson, former dean of San Diego State University’s Imperial Valley Campus, in the running.

A Florida-based firm aided a selection committee comprising advisory board members, faculty, alumni and students with the search. Kent State University’s provost, Todd Diacon, made the final decision in consultation with the committee and the university president.

“Chosen as the result of a national search, she brings an outstanding mix of external relations skills, administrative experience and scholarly accomplishments,” he said in a news release posted on the university’s website.

Before taking the interim post at Kent State University at Stark, Seachrist was director of the Hugh A. Glauser School of Music at the university’s main campus. She also has served as interim associate provost at Kent State University, as interim dean of academic and student services for the university system’s regional campuses, and as interim assistant dean at Kent State University’s Trumbull campus.

Her 2015 performance evaluation, obtained by The Repository through a public records request, rated her as “outstanding.”

Reach Alison at 330-580-8312 or alison.matas@cantonrep.com.On Twitter: @amatasREP