Eastern Michigan University names Jack Kay new provost

by Ward Mullens, Published June 04, 2009

Jack Kay

YPSILANTI — Eastern Michigan University has named Jack Kay as its new provost and executive vice president, pending approval by the Board of Regents.

 “We had a great pool of candidates and outstanding finalists,” said Susan Martin, president of EMU. “Dr. Kay will bring an intellectual focus with a strong administrative track record of igniting enrollment, internationalization, interdisciplinary work and guidance for new program development and program evaluation. I know he will work tirelessly to enhance our academic reputation and strong commitment to community engagement.”

"I feel this is an institution of opportunity.  It has a great faculty and is destined for a critical role in revitalizing Michigan’s economy over the next few years,” said Kay. "I worked closely with President Martin when she was at the University of Michigan-Dearborn.  We share a commitment to academic quality, diversity, and accessible and affordable education for Michigan’s citizens which is critical to the future of Michigan.”

Kay, of Grand Blanc, said he understood Eastern places a strong emphasis on teaching and that teaching is rewarded.  At the same time, he said he sees a “total linkage” between research and teaching.  He also points to strong parallels between the university and surrounding community, specifically in terms of community engagement and Eastern playing a strong role in the economy of southeastern Michigan.

 “We live in an age of tremendous change and uncertainty.  Universities like Eastern Michigan University that partner with the community will assure a pool of talent and ideas that will enable our region to thrive,” Kay said.

From September 2005-February 2007, Kay served as provost and vice chancellor for academic affairs at the University of Michigan-Flint. He served as interim chancellor at U-M Flint from January 2007 to August 2008, and then returning as provost.  He also served as acting vice chancellor for Institutional Advancement from October 2008 to the present.  He is a professor of communication at the University of Michigan-Flint. His expertise and scholarship are in the areas of rhetoric, political communication and hate crimes. 

Accomplishments at the University of Michigan-Flint include substantial undergraduate and graduate enrollment growth, general education reform, establishment of Genesee Early College High School, implementation of academic program review, campus internationalization, and successful completion of a capital campaign.

Kay, 58, was a professor of communication at Wayne State University from 1990-2005 and an associate professor of speech communication at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln from 1985-1990.

Kay received his Ph.D. in communication from Wayne State University in 1979. He received his master’s degree from Southern Illinois University-Carbondale in 1975 and an undergraduate degree from Wayne State in speech and political science in 1974.

He is married to Ruth Kay and has one daughter.

He will be paid a base salary of $252,000 and a one-time signing bonus of $20,000. He assumes his duties August 1, 2009. 

Associate Provost Robert Neely has been appointed to serve as Interim Provost through July 31, 2009.

Ward Mullens

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