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Kansas State University

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Kirk H. Schulz named K-State's next president

Land-grant, research experience a plus for former Mississippi State VP


Kirk H. Schulz, 45, an outstanding academic leader with experience at land grant universities and a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, has been selected as the next president of K-State by the Kansas Board of Regents.

"I am delighted and thrilled to have been selected as the next president of Kansas State University," Schulz said. "I have a strong appreciation for the critical role that K-State has to the future of the state of Kansas, and it is an honor for me to lead this great institution. Noel and I have been very impressed with the passion K-Staters have for their university, and we look forward to being the two newest members of the K-State family."

Schulz's selection concludes a search which began with the naming in May 2008 of former regent Nelson Galle as search committee chair. The committee was then appointed in July. The search involved broad consultation with faculty, students, staff, alumni association, the foundation, the board of regents, the Manhattan community and other Kansas constituents.

"I am confident that Kirk Schulz will continue to take K-State to the next level of success," said Lydia Peele, K-State student body president. "His passion for leading our university was obvious while visiting with various constituents on campus, and especially with the students. I am excited for the future of our school, and am happy to welcome Dr. Schulz to the K-State family."

Schulz began his academic career in 1991 as an assistant professor of chemical engineering at the University of North Dakota, Grand Forks. He moved in 1995 to Michigan Tech as an assistant professor of chemical engineering. He was promoted to associate professor in 1998, and was named chair of the department of chemical engineering at Michigan Tech that same year.

In 2001, he moved to Mississippi State University to become director of the Dave C. Swalm School of Chemical Engineering and holder of the Earnest W. Deavenport Jr. endowed chair. In 2005, he was selected as dean of the James Worth Bagley College of Engineering and the inaugural holder of the Earnest W. and Mary Ann Deavenport Jr. endowed chair. In 2007, he was named interim vice president for research and economic development, and was named to the permanent position later in the same year.

"Dr. Schulz brings a strong background in 'shared governance' by seeking and sharing faculty input in the university decision making process," said Fred Fairchild, president of the faculty senate and professor of grain science and industry. "His administrative experience, enthusiasm and initiative will set a progressive course for the future of Kansas State University."

Schulz was born in Portsmouth, Va., in 1963 and grew up in Norfolk,Va., where he attended Norfolk Christian High School. He attended Old Dominion University for three years, then transferred to Virginia Tech in 1984. He graduated with B.S. and Ph.D. degrees in chemical engineering in 1986 and 1991, respectively. He did his doctoral work in metal oxide surface chemistry under the direction of Dr. David Cox.

He is a member of ABET, the recognized accreditor for college and university programs in applied science, computing, engineering and technology and a member of its Engineering Accreditation Commission. He also is an active member of AIChE -- the American Institute of Chemical Engineers; and the American Society for Engineering Education. In recognition of his work in chemical engineering, he was named a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in 2007 and a Fellow of the American Society for Engineering Education in 2008. He also is active in the community, and serves as a committee member with Troop 14 in Starkville.

"Classified senate is very pleased to welcome Dr. Schulz as the next president of K-State," said Jennyfer Owensby, president of classified senate. "The senators are excited to begin working with Dr. Schulz to help him achieve his goals. We believe his leadership will bring a new energy and fresh ideas to K-State."

Schulz is married to Noel Nunnally Schulz, the Tennessee Valley Authority Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Mississippi State. They have two sons, Tim, 18, a senior at the Mississippi School for Mathematics and Science, and Andrew, 14, a student at Armstrong Middle School. Kirk Schulz' parents are Carl and Judy Schulz, who live in Norfolk, Va.