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Accomplished higher education leader named Kansas State University provost

Thursday, Jan. 4, 2024



MANHATTAN — Jesse Perez Mendez, dean of the Texas Tech University College of Education, has been named the new provost and executive vice president of Kansas State University.

His appointment follows a nationwide search, with an anticipated start date on or before June 1.

"I am pleased to welcome Dr. Mendez to the K-State community as our next provost," said Richard Linton, Kansas State University president. "Jesse’s deep commitment to educational access perfectly aligns with K-State’s vision as a next-generation land-grant university, and the wealth of higher education experience he brings will undoubtedly serve the institution well in achieving new heights in academic excellence and innovation."

As provost, Mendez will serve as the university’s chief academic officer providing leadership for the university’s academic endeavors and for shaping the academic culture of K-State. He is also responsible for supervising K-State's strategic enrollment and student retention efforts and identifying and implementing strategies to reach the university’s next-generation land-grant goals.

"The Next-Gen K-State plan and President Linton's vision truly captured my imagination," Mendez said. "I am excited to join the Wildcat family as a servant leader as we all play a part to pen the next chapters of Kansas State University together with the campus communities in Manhattan, Olathe and Salina in the coming years."

Upon assuming the role of provost, Mendez will provide strategic oversight for academic planning, resource allocation and innovation in all academic programs while ensuring excellence and relevance in the design of curriculum. He will focus on the quality of teaching and learning; providing global perspective and strategic direction to successfully manage operating budgets; promote the development of K-State’s research programs by championing high academic standards in faculty appointments and research contributions; and develop and enhance the student experience to meet the needs of today’s learners.

Mendez brings a diverse educational background. He has served in his current role as dean since 2019. Prior to joining Texas Tech, Mendez served as the dean and a professor at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis School of Education. Mendez’s additional professional experience includes serving as associate dean for academic affairs in the College of Education and Community Innovation for the University of Central Florida, head of the School of Educational Studies at Oklahoma State University and a governor-appointed regent for the Northern Oklahoma College Board of Regents.

Mendez earned his bachelor’s degree in political science and history from Midwestern State University and a master’s in political science from Texas Tech University. He earned a juris doctorate from the Maurer School of Law and a doctorate in higher education and student affairs, both from Indiana University.

In 2015, Mendez was named an American Council on Education Fellow and served a term as a member-at-large of the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education Board of Directors. At Oklahoma State University, he received the OSU College of Education Leadership & Service Excellence Award and held the John A. and Donnie Brock Professorship in Educational Leadership and Policy.

Mendez replaces Charles Taber, who announced his retirement last summer. Debbie Mercer, dean of K-State’s College of Education, will serve as interim provost beginning Jan. 7 until Mendez’s appointment begins. 


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Jesse Perez Mendez

Jesse Perez Mendez will be the next provost and executive vice president for Kansas State University. Mendez currently serves as dean of the Texas Tech University College of Education.