May 8, 2012
Corporate Engagement Director Richard Potter to create streamlined approach for businesses-university interaction
In a more than 30-year career, Richard Potter has engaged companies like IBM, American Express and Coca-Cola in partnerships.
In June he'll bring that experience to Kansas State University as director of the new corporate engagement office.
"My experience has taught me that leading academic and corporate professionals into mutually beneficial partnerships involves both art and science," Potter said. "It requires confidence, patience and diplomacy to develop complementary relationships in both worlds. I'm looking forward to cultivating those relationships between Kansas State University and its corporate partners."
Through this new venture, the university is striving to coordinate corporate engagement throughout the three campuses -- Manhattan, Salina and Olathe -- and the Kansas State University Foundation. Potter will help the university support a corporation's goals and maximize its connection to the university. Corporations and K-State can partner on everything from student internships to product research and development.
"As we work to become a top 50 public research university by 2025, one of the ways we're getting there is by increasing engagement and outreach," said Kansas State University President Kirk Schulz. "We are fortunate to have existing partnerships with corporations like BNSF, Cargill and ConocoPhillips. With Richard directing the corporate engagement office, we'll be in an even better position to work with these companies and expand our outreach to many more."
Potter comes to the university from Kansas City, Mo., where he worked as a fundraising and communications consultant since 2009. Before that, he worked at American Humanics Inc., now known as the Nonprofit Leadership Alliance, as vice president for development and communications. In that role he developed long-term, collaborative relationships with foundations and corporations like UPS and Mutual of America, resulting in significant program and financial support.
Throughout his career, Potter also worked in academia -- at the University of Dubuque in Iowa -- and in fields as varied as radio advertising, telemarketing management and retail management and sales. Potter earned a bachelor's degree of business administration in marketing from the University of Iowa and a master's of business administration from the University of Dubuque.