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Culbertson named dean of K-State's College of Arts and Sciences

Thursday, May 11, 2023



MANHATTAN — The chemistry is right between Chris Culbertson and the College of Arts and Sciences: Following a national search, Culbertson has been named dean of Kansas State University's largest college, effective May 14.

Culbertson has served as interim dean for the past year and has also served as professor of chemistry and associate dean of research and graduate studies in the college. He was appointed to the post by Charles Taber, provost and executive vice president.

As dean, Culbertson will serve as the chief academic and administrative officer for the college. He'll lead all academic programs, promote high-quality student experiences, support effective academic advising and build continued excellence and growth in research and engagement. He will also support recruitment and retention work, address budget planning and management, collaborate with university and community partners on interdisciplinary and cooperative initiatives, and lead the college in strategic planning.

"Dr. Culbertson brings a wealth of experience in leadership, research, teaching and service to the dean role," said Taber. "His passion for research excellence, student success and university engagement will serve the college and the university well. We look forward to his continued strategic vision as he leads the College of Arts and Sciences into the future."
Culbertson joined K-State as an assistant professor in 2002. He was promoted to associate professor in 2008 and professor in 2018. He co-founded the Molecular Biosensing Diagnostics lab in 2017 and became associate dean for research in 2019.

He has received many honors, including the Stamey Award for Undergraduate Advising in 2010 and 2013 and a National Science Foundation CAREER Award in 2006. Other honors include the Karcher Medal from the University of Oklahoma, the Distinguished Alumnus Award from the University of West Florida, the Segebrecht Distinguished Faculty Teaching Award and the ACS Division of Analytical Chemistry Award for Young Investigators in Separation Science.

"I am very excited about the opportunity to serve and work with the students, faculty and staff of the college," said Culbertson. "I look forward to completing our strategic plan that will help guide us to be a great 21st century land-grant College of Arts and Sciences."

With a long history of service to the university, Culbertson currently serves on the Office of Undergraduate Research and Creative Inquiry advisory committee, the University Budget Steering Committee, the Conflict of Interest and Conflict of Time and Commitment Disclosure and Management Plan Review Committee, Campus Planning and Development Advisory Committee and several college and department committees.

He has authored more than 65 publications, journal articles or book chapters and has presented his work nationally and internationally. He also holds nine patents and has four patent applications pending. Culbertson was listed as being in the top 2% of cited researchers in the world, according to studies conducted by Stanford University based on information from 2020 and 2021.

Culbertson served for 12 years as the principal investigator for the chemistry department's Research Experience for Undergraduates program funded by the National Science Foundation.

His research interests are focused on developing novel separation and sample handling components for microfluidic devices and then using these devices to solve interesting bioanalytical problems with special emphasis in the areas of protein separations and single-cell analysis. This research is multidisciplinary and draws upon knowledge in the fields of chemistry, physics, engineering, cell biology and biochemistry. His work has been supported by grants from the National Science Foundation, the National Institutes of Health, NASA, the Johnson Cancer Research Center and the Kansas Wheat Commission.

Culbertson holds a bachelor's degree in biology from Harvard College, a second bachelor's degree in chemistry from the University of West Florida, a doctoral degree in analytical chemistry from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and he served as a postdoctoral fellow at Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee.

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Chris Culbertson

Chris Culbertson has been named dean of Kansas State University's College of Arts and Sciences, effective May 14. He has served as interim dean for the past year and has also served as professor of chemistry and associate dean of research and graduate studies in the college. 

Written by

Malorie Sougéy