May 26, 2011

19 Individuals Selected For Search Process

(TOPEKA) – Today the Kansas Board of Regents selected the 19 individuals who will guide the search process for the next president of Emporia State University (ESU).

The search committee, comprised of 19 individuals representing ESU constituencies such as faculty, students, administration, staff, alumni, foundation, the Emporia community, and the Board of Regents, will be led by former-Regent Deryl Wynn of Kansas City. Wynn, a Senior Partner with the McAnany, Van Cleave & Phillips, P.A. law firm, served on the Kansas Board of Regents from 2001 to 2005 and is a graduate of ESU.

“It is an honor to chair this excellent group of individuals,” said Wynn. “Selecting the next leader of Emporia State is an exciting and important task. The members of the search committee welcome the opportunity to help shape the future of the University.”

“The selection of a university leader is an important responsibility of the Board of Regents to the current and future students of ESU and the citizens of Kansas,” said Regent Ed McKechnie of Arcadia, the Vice Chair of the Kansas Board of Regents. “I’m impressed with the outstanding talent and dedication these members will lend to the search process. ESU will play an increasingly important role in helping to meet the future economic and workforce needs of Kansas, and ESU’s next president will have opportunities to promote the growth of these programs and position the University as a quality provider and valuable leader of higher education in Kansas. The Regents look forward to supporting the committee during their work and to ultimately receiving their recommendations.”

Over the next several months, the committee will work to identify and recruit candidates to replace current ESU President Michael Lane who, after four and a half years of service, will step down on June 30. Dr. H. Edward Flentje was selected by the Board to serve as ESU’s Interim President beginning July 1 and until a new president takes office. Dr. Flentje, an ESU alumnus, is currently a professor of public administration at Wichita State University (WSU) and most recently served as the Director of WSU’s Hugo Wall School of Urban and Public Affairs. Flentje has indicated he will not be a candidate for the ESU Presidency. Throughout the search process, the committee will work closely with a yet-to-be-determined higher education executive search firm.

The seven search committee members representing ESU faculty, staff, and administration are: Dr. Phil Bennett, Dean of The Teacher’s College; Dr. Steve Catt, Professor of Communication, and Chair of the Department of Communication and Theatre Arts; Diana Kuhlmann, Associate Vice President for Fiscal Affairs; Dr. Joella Mehrhof, Faculty Senate Past President, and Professor of Health, Physical Education and Recreation; Dr. Barbara Railsback, Assistant Professor of Business Administration and Education; Karla Rodgers, Classified Senate President, and Senior Administrative Assistant; and Dr. Andrew Smith, Assistant Professor of Library Information Management.

The two members representing ESU students are: Jonathan Rivers, Past President of Associated Student Government; and Ashley Vogts, President of Associated Student Government.

The four members representing ESU alumni and foundation are: Dale Cushinberry, past member of the ESU Foundation Board of Trustees and the Alumni Board of Directors, and the former principal of Highland Park High School, Topeka; Russ Everhart, President, ESU Alumni Association, and Vice President of Sales, Zave Networks, Kansas City, Kansas; Lana Oleen, ESU Foundation Board of Trustees member, ESU Alumni Board of Directors member, and Former-State Senator, Manhattan; and Randy Steinert, ESU Foundation Member, Co-Chair of the Memorial Union Campaign, Past President of the ESU Alumni Association, and Senior Vice President, Director of Internal Audit of Emprise Financial Corporation, Wichita.

The three members representing the Emporia community are: Jim Kessler, President, Modern Air Conditioning, Inc., Emporia, City Commissioner and former-mayor of Emporia; Jeanine McKenna, President and CEO, Emporia Area Chamber of Commerce; and Dr. Fred Neuer, retired Radiologist, Emporia.

The two members representing the Board of Regents are: Dr. Mildred Edwards of Wichita, Regent; and Dr. Andy Tompkins, President and CEO.


About the Kansas Board of Regents:
The nine-member Kansas Board of Regents, founded in 1925 and established in the Kansas Constitution, is the governing board of the six state universities and the statewide coordinating board for the state’s 32 public higher education institutions (six state universities, one municipal university, 19 community colleges, and six technical colleges). In addition, the Board administers the state’s student financial aid, adult education, GED, career and technical education programs, and the state university retirement plans. The Board also approves private proprietary schools and out-of-state institutions to operate in Kansas, and administers the Kan-ed network, a statewide network that provides broadband Internet access and distance learning capabilities for schools, hospitals, and libraries.

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