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Source: Kansas Board of Regents,
Photos, video:
News release prepared by: Cheryl May, 785-532-6415,

Wednesday, Feb. 11, 2009


MANHATTAN, KAN. -- 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 president of Kansas State University by the Kansas Board of Regents. He succeeds Jon Wefald, whose presidency spanned 23 years of service to K-State. Most recently Schulz has been vice president for research and economic development at Mississippi State University.

"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."

Nelson Galle, chair of the search committee, said, "We are fortunate to have Kirk Schulz as the next president of Kansas State University. I am confident he will do an excellent job of leading K-State into the future."

Schulz's selection concludes a search which began with the naming in May 2008 of Galle as search committee chair, followed by the committee's appointment 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 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.

"The faculty and unclassified professionals welcome Dr. Kirk Schulz as the new president of Kansas State University," said Fred Fairchild, president of faculty senate and professor of grain science and industry. "Dr. Schulz brings a strong background in 'shared governance' by seeking and sharing faculty input in the university decision making process. 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.


Additional comments on Dr. Schulz' selection:


"On behalf of more than 155,000 graduates, we look forward to the Dr. Schulz administration. We're very proud of our K-State family, and we know our alumni and friends are excited to welcome him, his wife, Noel, and their family to the university. We also are grateful to Chair Nelson Galle and the search committee for doing an outstanding job of seeking input from many alumni, faculty, staff, students and the Manhattan community during this process. Dr. Schulz is an excellent choice." Amy Button Renz, president and CEO of the K-State Alumni Association

"The staff and volunteers of the KSU Foundation are delighted to welcome Dr. Kirk Schulz, and his wife, Dr. Noel Schulz, to K-State. Dr. Schulz has a record of leadership that is characterized by collaboration among all university constituencies, including students, faculty, donors, alumni and friends. K-State has been extremely fortunate in having Dr. Jon Wefald as president for the past 23 years. He and Ruth Ann have created a legacy of achievement. We are certain that this transition in leadership marks the beginning of another period of growth and achievement for Kansas State University." Gary Hellebust, president and CEO, KSU Foundation

"This announcement marks the transition of eras from Dr. Wefald to Dr. Schulz. Jon and Ruth Ann have left a tremendous legacy at K-State, and we are very pleased to welcome Dr. Schulz, his wife, Dr. Noel Schulz, and their family as he begins his presidency. The alumni association has enjoyed a strong relationship with the university. We are confident Dr. Schulz's vision and leadership will help us build on those vital partnerships to advance our university’s excellence for years to come." Jackie Hartman, chair of the K-State Alumni Association board of directors

"Dr. Kirk Schulz is an outstanding choice as the next president of K-State. He has a solid record of achievement as an administrator and an academician. His vision and leadership skills will be a tremendous asset to K-State in the coming years. We are delighted to add our welcome to Dr. Schulz and his wife, Dr. Noel Schulz. We know they will continue to build K-State’s reputation of prominence. At the same time, the KSU Foundation Board of Trustees recognizes the incredible leadership of Dr. Jon Wefald and his wife, Ruth Ann, who have created a significant legacy at K-State." Lee Harris, chairman, KSU Foundation Executive Committee