Benjamin Wolfe to lead K-State Olathe as CEO and dean
Friday, Feb. 18, 2022
Following a national search, Benjamin Wolfe will become the next CEO and dean of Kansas State University Olathe. Wolfe currently serves as associate dean of the School of Professional Studies at the University of Kansas and of the KU Edwards Campus in Overland Park.
Wolfe's appointment was made by Charles Taber, K-State executive vice president and provost. He will start his new position on June 12.
"Benjamin Wolfe possesses the knowledge and experience of the academic and workforce development needs of the Kansas City region, which will be key in his new job as CEO and dean of K-State Olathe," Taber said. "He will serve as an advisor to both President Linton and myself on establishing both strategic directions and significant initiatives in research and education in the Kansas City region by the university."
Wolfe also will work with university and regional stakeholders to maintain a strategic focus for K-State Olathe consistent with the strategic directions of the university and to build continued excellence and growth in education, research and outreach programs offered through the Olathe campus. As chief administrative officer of the campus, Wolfe will be responsible for overall program leadership, strategic direction, fiscal stewardship, fund development, policy formulation, impact assessment and aligning the efforts and strengths of K-State Olathe with the university's.
K-State Olathe, home to the School of Applied and Integrated Studies, has a focus on animal health, and food safety and security, and offers graduate programs with research- and professional-based degrees and certificates. The campus also continues to expand its undergraduate offerings and pathway partnerships with area community colleges.
"Building on the great work already taking place at the campus, K-State Olathe is poised to be the workforce development leader in Kansas City," Wolfe said. "I am excited to help align the current and new education and research opportunities of K-State Olathe and the Kansas City metro with the strategic vision of President Linton and Provost Taber."
In his current post since July 2020, Wolfe serves on the Edwards Campus leadership team and he collaborates with campus leadership to develop strategic approaches to increase degree offerings and build supportive infrastructure for enrollment strategies and student success for both undergraduate and graduate students. He is responsible for faculty, academic budgeting and finance. Wolfe has led new program development facilitating the launch of over 20 new degree and certificate programs, including a bachelor's in health sciences, professional science master's degree in environmental geology, a master's in applied statistics and data science, and more. He also supervises the KU Leavenworth campus, with responsibilities and oversight of campus instructional activities, and holds a teaching professor appointment in the environmental studies program at KU.
Before becoming associate dean, Wolfe served as KU Edwards Campus' director of faculty and administration and as director of academic and faculty support. He also has worked at Metropolitan Community College-Kansas City, where he served as director of the college's Title III grant program and was chair of the natural and social sciences department and was a member of the geology/geography faculty at the college's Blue River Campus in Independence, Missouri.
Wolfe is a published researcher in geoscience education and higher education policy and has presented at conferences and workshops nationally on topics, including workforce development, strengthening regional partnerships between higher education institutions and broadening participation in the sciences. He earned a bachelor's degree, with distinction, in geology from the University of Nebraska, Lincoln, a master's in geology from the University of Alaska, Fairbanks, and a doctorate in educational leadership and policy studies from KU.
A peer reviewer for the Higher Learning Commission, Wolfe was named the commission's 2018 Peer Reviewer Rookie of the Year. He is a member and committee chair of the National Association of Geoscience Teachers and is a member of the Geological Society of America and Golden Key International Honor Society. He is a recipient of the Missouri Governor’s Award in Teaching Excellence.