FLORENCE---Kenneth D. Kitts of Florence has been selected the J. Lorin Mason Distinguished Professor for the 2002-2003 year at Francis Marion University.
Announced at a campus banquet April 24, this award has been given since the 1975-76 school year and is based upon a faculty member’s contributions to teaching, professional service and scholarly activities.
The award, named in honor of the former chairman of the FMU Board of Trustees, is the highest honor to be bestowed upon a faculty member. It will be presented at FMU’s spring commencement Saturday, May 10. The award carries a $3,000 cash prize, sponsored by the FMU Foundation.
As a result of his selection, Kitts will be the Francis Marion University nominee for the Governor’s Professor of the Year Award competition next fall.
“Ken Kitts is recognized for the excellence and rigor of his instruction,” said Fred Carter, FMU president. “Students hold him in high regard as a demanding teacher, and his colleagues have enormous respect for his outstanding abilities as a classroom instructor and for his scholarly activities.”
Carter also praised Kitts for his strong commitment to research and his service to the university and community.
An associate professor of political science, Kitts joined the FMU faculty in 1987. He has previous teaching experience at Appalachian State University and the University of South Carolina.
A native of Waynesville, N.C., he earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Appalachian State University and a doctorate from the University of South Carolina. He was the first recipient of the Florence World Affairs Council’s Citizen Diplomat Award in 2000.
His scholarly publications and presentations have earned him a reputation as an expert on the U.S. Presidency and national security policy. He also has emerged as a leader of his department, including serving as department chairman for three years and interim chairman for one year. He was appointed associate provost and director of the graduate program in December 2002.
He has served on a variety of university committees, work groups and task forces, including the Faculty Senate, Faculty Life Committee, the Budget Committee, and the ad hoc Committee on Faculty Governance. He also served as faculty adviser to the Political Science Club for six years and adviser to the Rho Lambda Chapter of Pi Sigma Alpha for 12 years.
Kitts is a member of Phi Kappa Phi, Alpha Chi, Pi Sigma Alpha, the American Association of University Professors, the Center for the Study of Intelligence, and the S.C. Political Science Association.
#152 / 4-24-03