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Wichita State selects five finalists for next university president

The public is invited to attend a series of forums this month with the five finalists to become the next president of Wichita State University.

The finalists will visit WSU in the next two weeks. During the visit, candidates will tour the campus and interact with various WSU constituent groups. A portion of each visit will be open to the public.

WSU is replacing Don Beggs, who is retiring after 13 years in which he helped transform WSU.

He changed its focus to become more of an “urban-serving” university, with more emphasis on practical hands-on work with local industries involving, for example, aviation and engineering.

University officials say he not only redefined WSU’s purpose but probably defined who will replace him to continue the work.

The five candidates are:

•  Glen Hahn Cope, a provost and vice chancellor for academic affairs and a professor of public policy administration and political science at the University of Missouri in St. Louis. She earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Michigan in economics, a master’s degree from Syracuse University in public administration and a doctorate from Ohio State University in public administration. Cope will visit WSU Sunday and Monday. The open forum will be held from 4 to 5 p.m. Monday in 209 Hubbard Hall.



•  Chuck Staben, a provost and vice president for academic affairs at the University of South Dakota. He earned his bachelor’s degree in biochemistry from the University of Illinois and his doctorate from the University of California in biochemistry. Staben will visit WSU Monday and Tuesday. The open forum will be held from 4 to 5 p.m. Tuesday in 209 Hubbard Hall.



•  Lisa Rossbacher, president of Southern Polytechnic State University in Marietta, Ga. She earned a bachelor’s degree from Dickinson College in geology, a master’s degree from State University of New York at Binghamton in geological sciences, a master’s degree from Princeton University in geological and geophysical sciences, and a doctorate from Princeton in geological and geophysical sciences. Rossbacher will visit WSU Tuesday and Wednesday. The open forum will be held from 4 to 5 p.m. Wednesday in 211 Hubbard Hall.



•  Bjong Wolf Yeigh (pronounced

be-yong wolf yeah

), president of the State University of New York Institute of Technology. He earned a bachelor’s degree from Dartmouth College in engineering science, a master’s degree from Stanford University in mechanical engineering, and a doctorate from Princeton in civil engineering and operations research. Yeigh will visit WSU on April 15 and 16. The open forum will be held from 4 to 5 p.m. Monday, April 16, in 209 Hubbard Hall.



•  John Bardo, former chancellor of Western Carolina University in Cullowhee, N.C., from 1995-2011. He earned a bachelor’s degree in economics from the University of Cincinnati, a master’s degree from Ohio University in sociology, and a doctorate from Ohio State in sociology. Bardo will visit WSU on April 16-17. The open forum will be held from 4 to 5 p.m. Tuesday, April 17, in 209 Hubbard Hall.



The WSU and Wichita communities are invited to meet the candidates at the open forums. Feedback from the campus and community also will be sought with an online survey.

The presidential search committee will submit its candidate recommendations at the conclusion of the campus interviews to the Kansas Board of Regents.

The regents hope to name WSU’s 13th president in May. Beggs’ retirement becomes effective June 30.

The 20-member search committee, appointed by the regents in November 2011, includes WSU faculty, students, administration, staff and alumni and representatives of the Wichita community and Board of Regents.

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