WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – The Kansas Board of Regents named Dr. Jay Golden as the next president of Wichita State University.
Golden will become Wichita State’s 14th President in January 2020 during a period of rapid growth for the university and changes in higher education.
Golden was introduced to students, faculty and staff and community leaders on Thursday, Oct. 31, following his appointment by the Kansas Board of Regents. Golden is currently vice chancellor at East Carolina University, with responsibilities including developing public-private partnerships and building research campuses.
His previous faculty and administrative roles have been at two highly admired universities, Arizona State and Duke.
President Elect Jay Golden will be filling the shoes of late WSU President John Bardo, who passed away back in March from a chronic lung condition.
“President Bardo always believed in positive growth,” said Vice President of Strategic Communications, Lou Heldman.
Dr. Bardo’s legacy is hard to miss on campus. Over the last seven years, he helped WSU grow with the creation of the innovation campus, establishing an alliance with WSU Tech, partnerships with private industry and more.
Golden says he wants to build on Bardo’s legacy, not change it. “We are going to take advantage of the facilities, the people and partnerships. Hopefully, I’ll be able to add quite a few new partnerships both domestically and globally,” said Golden.
Heldman says it is hard to compare the growth from Bardo’s presidency to what is expected of Golden.
“This president will bring their own values and experiences. They will have to adapt to a lot of changing times in higher education,” he said.
Golden brings a background as a leading thinker and national leader on environmental sustainability, applied learning and economic development.
Golden says he plans on leading Wichita State through transparency and communication.”Take time to talk to members of the community, the faculty, students and staff and at the same time to challenge everybody,” he said.
Steve Clark, a Wichita business leader who served as search chair, said, “Dr. Golden has an extremely impressive record of accomplishments in research and higher education that will be invaluable for WSU’s future growth.”
“I have no doubt,” Clark said, “that Jay’s record of proven leadership will result in even greater accomplishments and recognition for Wichita State during what we expect will be his long tenure as President.”
Clark also chaired the search process leading to the appointment of John Bardo, who led the university from 2012 until his death in March 2019. Clark said that Golden, like Bardo, is focused on building upon the university’s history of innovation, entrepreneurship and applied learning.
Golden said he has long admired Wichita State from afar and gotten to know it better through his role organizing an American Athletic Conference Research and Innovation Consortium and through his visits to campus during the search process.
“I see this as an opportunity to dedicate myself to the university and the Wichita community as part of a team that can further transform our university and our region,” Golden said. “We can be the next great public research university in our own special Shocker way.
“That includes,” Golden said, “developing business and entrepreneurial approaches that make a Wichita State university degree more accessible, more affordable and more valuable for all of our students and all Kansans.”
Golden said he doesn’t see himself as a lone change agent, but rather as part of a team that will build on the legacy of President Bardo and the work of many others still at the university.
“It is imperative,” he said, “that leadership commits to an institutional culture at WSU based on respect, collegiality, inclusiveness, belonging and transparency. My personality is such that I thrive in a setting that encourages teamwork and innovative approaches in creating new visions for academic pursuits, research, innovation and service.”
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