Gregory Spaid named provost
Howard Sacks will be special assistant to the president
Gregory P. Spaid '69, who served as Kenyon's acting provost during the 2002-03 academic year, was named provost effective July 1. The announcement was made by President-elect S. Georgia Nugent and confirmed by the College's Board of Trustees during the board's annual spring meeting April 24 through 26. Spaid succeeds Ronald A. Sharp, who was Kenyon's provost before serving as acting president for 2002-03. Sharp took up the position of dean of the faculty at Vassar College this summer.
Nugent also announced the appointment of Howard L. Sacks to the position of special assistant to the president for the 2003-04 academic year. Sacks, who has served as associate provost this year, began his one-year appointment when Nugent took office on July 1.
According to Nugent, her decision to appoint Spaid as provost was based on his extensive knowledge of the College and his strength as an administrator. "Greg has an artist's eye and the talents of a gifted administrator, which is a rare combination," says Nugent. "I felt as though it was important to Kenyon to appoint a provost right away, and it was striking to me how well Greg and I hit it off from the moment we first met."
As provost, Spaid will be the College's chief academic officer, overseeing matters involving the faculty, the curriculum, and instruction.
Sacks will handle the presidential inauguration as well as new community outreach programs that Nugent plans to develop. These will include opportunities for local middle-school and high-school teachers to come to the College for seminars and symposia that aid in their professional development. "I want to have a porous boundary between town and gown," says Nugent. "The wealth of the College is its knowledge, and I want to look for opportunities to share that wealth with the community."
Spaid, a noted photographer and digital imagist, has been a member of the College's art faculty since 1979. Prior to his position as acting provost, he served for three years as associate provost. He graduated from Kenyon with high honors and went on to earn a master of fine arts degree from Indiana University, where he worked with the renowned photographer Henry Holmes Smith.
Spaid has also taught at Indiana and at Berea College in Kentucky, as well as in summer programs at Kenyon, in Sante Fe, New Mexico, in Bozeman, Montana, and at the Nantucket Island School of Design and Art. In 1987, he won a Fulbright Research Fellowship to conduct a photographic project in Italy.
In 2002, Spaid published his third book, the photographic essay On Nantucket, with an introduction by New Yorker architecture critic Paul Goldberger.
Spaid, who was born in Mishawaka, Indiana, and grew up in Louisville, Kentucky, is married to Susan R. Spaid, the College's Faculty Lectureships and Common Hour coordinator.
Sacks, a professor of sociology and director of the Rural Life Center, has taught at Kenyon since 1975. He and his wife, Judith Rose Sacks, are the authors of Way Up North in Dixie: A Black Family's Claim to the Confederate Anthem. Published in 1993, the book was hailed in the Nation as "the fullest, most finely detailed account of the musical life of a nineteenth-century African American family anywhere in the United States." It received a 1994 Ohioana Book Award.
Sacks has served on panels of the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH), as well as on the board of directors of the National Council for the Traditional Arts. A regular consultant to organizations and communities on arts activities and rural culture, Sacks presents numerous programs on art and culture as director of the Gambier Folklore Society. He and his wife ran the Gambier Folk Festival for most of its twenty-five year existence.
Sacks received his bachelor's degree from Case Western Reserve University and his Ph.D. and M.A. from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
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