The search committee is charged with assisting and advising the Kansas Board of Regents in the selection of the next President of Kansas State University.
Kansas State University Presidential Search Board of Regents
Charge to the Search Committee: July 2021
- The Kansas State University Presidential Search Committee (“The Committee”) shall be comprised of individuals appointed by the Kansas Board of Regents (“Appointees” or “Committee Members”), to assist and advise the Kansas Board of Regents in the selection of the next President of Kansas State University in accordance with the terms and conditions expressed herein.
- The Committee, in cooperation with the Board, shall recommend to the Board in the form of a “Statement of Leadership Characteristics” or “Presidential Profile” the criteria for the position of President of Kansas State University to be approved by the Board at its September 2021 Board meeting.
- Committee Members shall serve without predetermined bias for or against any prospective candidates nominated, referred, or discovered in the search process.
- Committee Members shall review all candidates without regard to gender, race, religion, creed, or national origin.
- Committee Members shall preserve the confidentiality of the search process and candidate identities. Such confidentiality is essential to the successful outcome of the search and must be maintained with professionalism and diligence at all times throughout the search process. Public communication regarding this search is to be done only by the chair of the Search Committee.
- Committee Members shall serve with the understanding that the Committee will meet frequently over a period of months and that attendance at scheduled meetings is a top priority.
- The Committee shall work with an executive search consultant to search and screen for appropriate candidates. The Committee shall evaluate nominations and applications.
- The Committee shall present to the Kansas Board of Regents an unranked list of at least four candidates who are the most qualified for Board selection as the next President of Kansas State University.
- In all deliberations, Committee Members shall adhere to Board of Regents policies and act in accordance with applicable state and federal laws.
Search committee members
Click each search committee member below to read a brief bio.
Carl recently concluded a highly successful 42-year career with BNSF Railway, the largest freight railroad network in North America with more than $20 billion in annual revenues and 35,000 employees. He was promoted through roles of increasing responsibility from his initial hire as an Intern to Executive Vice President of Operations and then to Chief Operating Officer following the $44 billion sale of the company to Berkshire Hathaway in 2010. He eventually rose to lead all aspects of the organization as Chief Executive Officer in 2014 and was invited by BNSF to continue to serve on the Board of Directors after his retirement from executive duties in 2020.
Throughout his tenure at BNSF, Carl delivered consistent financial outperformance. He increased annual revenues by 64 percent from $13.6 billion in 2009 to a peak of $22.3 billion in 2019 while doubling the net margin. He improved return on invested capital (ROIC) from 9.1 percent to 15.2 percent during the same time period.
He also created a culture of resiliency and ensured the company’s ability to adapt to changing market conditions. Under his leadership, BNSF was able to experience growth despite a contraction in the freight railway transportation market from 2014 to 2020 and to successfully offset a significant decrease in revenues derived from the transportation of coal by expanding the consumer products and agricultural freight businesses.
At BNSF, Carl recognized the importance of employee engagement and development at all levels of the organization. He championed a new leadership model and implemented the annual leadership development program for all managers, rolled out comprehensive training initiatives for the broader employee base, and achieved an unusually high employee retention rate with an average employee tenure of 13 years.
In addition to his many professional achievements at BNSF, Carl has made numerous contributions to the broader community. He serves as the Co-Chair of the Innovation Committee of the Salvation Army National Advisory Board and as the Chair of the Kansas State University Foundation. He was named “Outstanding Philanthropist” by the Dallas Chapter of the Association of Fund Raising Professionals in 2020, was recognized by the naming of the Carl R. Ice College of Engineering at Kansas State University in 2018, cited as “Distinguished Citizen” by the Longhorn Council/Boy Scouts of America in 2017, and lauded as “Railroader of the Year” by Railway Age Magazine in 2016.
Carl holds a Bachelor of Science in Industrial Engineering from Kansas State University from where he graduated summa cum laude. He also holds an Associate of Arts from Coffeyville Community College.
In June 2021, Carl was appointed to the Kansas Board of Regents by Governor Laura Kelly.
Mark Hutton of Andover was appointed to the Kansas Board of Regents by Governor Jeff Colyer in 2018. Hutton founded Hutton Construction in April 1992 and grew the company into one of the states’ largest and most respected construction firms. The company specializes in commercial and industrial construction, and its 250 employees have been consistently recognized with awards for the company’s work in Kansas and throughout the Midwest. Nine years ago Mark passed the day to day company management to his son Ben to allow him to pursue his passion for community service.
Hutton Construction has also garnered numerous accolades for being a great place to work, having been a multi-year finalist in the Wichita Business Journal’s “Best Places to Work”. In 2010, Hutton Construction was honored as “Company of the Year,” while Mark was named “Man of the Year” by Kansas State University’s College of Engineering. That same year, the company received a “Best in Business Award” from the Wichita Business Journal. Mark is also a member of the Kansas State University School of Engineering Seaton Society and was inducted into the Engineering Hall of Fame.
Born and raised in Wichita, Mark is a 1977 graduate of Kansas State University College of Engineering with a degree in Construction Science and Management. After graduating, Mark was employed by a Wichita based construction firm from 1977 until 1992 where he held a variety of positions with the company, including field engineer, superintendent, project engineer and project manager.
With a passion for giving back to the industry, Mark serves in a number of additional capacities. He is a past president and currently serves on the board of directors of the Associated General Contractors of Kansas. Mark also serves on the Kansas State University Foundation. He is a past member and chair of Kansas State University’s Construction Science advisory board as well as the College of Engineering Advisory Board. In 2012 Mark was appointed by the Governor to the Kansas Turnpike Authority’s board of directors where he served 2 years as the chairman.
Locally, Mark represented the 105th district in the Kansas House of Representatives from 2013 thru 2016 where he served on the Financial Institutions Committee, Taxation Committee, Appropriations Committee and as the Vice Chair of the Insurance Committee and Chairman of the Commerce and Economic Development Committee. He has served on the Wichita Chamber of Commerce’s board of directors and is a past chairman of that board’s Government Relations Committee. He is a past board chairman of Youth Horizons, a faith-based youth mentoring organization that he and his wife, Mary have long supported. Mark has also served in numerous capacities at his church and currently as an Elder for more than 30 years.
Mark was born and raised in Wichita, Kan. He and his wife of 42 years, Mary, have two married sons and seven grandchildren. Mark’s hobbies include woodworking, cooking with Mary, and bicycling.
A retired U.S. Air Force Lt. Colonel, Glenn A. Caldwell Jr. served as an Air Force pilot during the Vietnam War. After his active-duty pilot commitment, he served as a member of the Admissions staff to the United States Air Force Academy for more than 30 years. Seven of those years were in the position of Liaison Office Director for the state of Kansas.
Caldwell has served as a director on the board of East Kansas Agri Energy since its inception in 2001. He graduated from Kansas State University in 1970 with a B.S. in Agricultural Engineering. He has served as the Vice President of Caldwell Enterprises Inc., and oil and gas production company, from 1980 until 2000 when he became president. Since 1982, he has served as the president and general manager of Caldwell Farms Inc., operating several thousand tillable acres in three counties.
Shari Crittendon was appointed General Counsel of K-State in June 2020. She earned her law degree from the Francis King Carey School of Law at the University of Maryland and a bachelor's degree in communication and rhetorical studies/public policy from Syracuse University.
Prior to K-State, Crittendon served as senior corporate counsel and director of outreach and compliance for the Constitutional Law Center for Muslims in America. Previously, Crittendon was vice president, general counsel and secretary of the corporation of the United Negro College Fund, Inc., known as UNCF, where she served as strategic advisor and counsel to the president and CEO, senior management and the board of directors regarding legal, regulatory, governance and legislative matters.
As principal of her own firm, Crittendon represented tax-exempt organizations and school systems on employment, governance and compliance matters. Earlier in her career, Crittendon was assistant general counsel at Morgan State University and also practiced in the commercial litigation groups of two Mid-Atlantic law firms.
Michael is a senior studying Animal Science and Global Food Systems Leadership at Kansas State University. On campus, he is serving as the Student Body President and is a member of Blue Key Honor Society and the Alpha Gamma Rho fraternity. Hailing from Spring Hill, Kansas, Michael grew up actively involved in 4-H and FFA through raising and showing swine. During his freshman year, he served as the State FFA Vice President and chaired the National FFA Committee on inclusion and access. Michael is passionate about leadership as well as creating wealth and efficiency within systems to build a more productive food system. His hobbies include trying new wines, cooking with friends, and collecting vinyl records.
Blake Flanders serves as President and CEO for the Kansas Board of Regents. The Kansas Board of Regents is the governing board of the state’s six universities and the statewide coordinating board for the state’s 32 public higher education institutions (seven public universities, nineteen community colleges, and six technical colleges). In addition, the Board administers the state’s student financial aid, adult education, GED, and career and technical education programs. The Board also authorizes private proprietary schools and out-of-state institutions to operate in Kansas.
As President and CEO, Blake oversees the implementation of the Board’s strategic goals and manages the day-to-day operations of the Board Office. Current initiatives he is directing include the implementation of a new strategic plan for public higher education in Kansas centered on helping Kansas families, helping Kansas businesses and increasing economic prosperity for the State; Supporting strategies including a plan to address facility renewal at state universities; and advocacy for programs that increase access including enhanced need-based student financial aid and concurrent enrollment.
Prior to serving as President and CEO, Blake served as the Vice President for Workforce Development for the Board of Regents and as the liaison between the Board and the Kansas Department of Commerce.
Blake is a graduate of Colby Community College and Kansas State University where he earned a Bachelor of Science in Animal Science, Master of Science in Animal Science, and Doctorate of Philosophy in Curriculum and Instruction. Before joining the Board office, he served as Vice President of Instructional Services at Manhattan Area Technical College, and as a member of the faculty at Butler Community College.
Blake and his wife, Risa, have three children and reside in Topeka.
Wayne Everett Goins, University Distinguished Professor of Music (2015), is the Director of Jazz Studies in the School of Music, Theater, & Dance at Kansas State University, where he conducts big bands and teaches combos, private guitar lessons, jazz theory and jazz improvisation courses. He joined K-State in 1998 after he received his PhD in Music Education from The Florida State University. He has published numerous CD reviews and columns for magazines such as Pure Guitar, Jazz Ambassador, Jazz Improv, Living Blues and Jazz Guitar Today.
Goins serves as Senior Associate Editor and Musician-In-Residence and is a regular featured columnist for Positive Feedback magazine, one the premier audiophile journals in the world today.
Goins has written five books on jazz, three of which were published by The Edwin Mellen Press: Emotional Response To Music: Pat Metheny's Secret Story, The Jazz Band Director's Handbook: A Guide To Success, and Charlie Christian, Jazz Guitar's King of Swing. One of his books, The Wise Improviser: A Jazz Method for Instrumentalists, was written specifically for his students who actively participate in the jazz program at K-State. Goins also wrote the 2014 biography Blues All Day Long: The Jimmy Rogers Story, which was awarded the “Blues Biography of the Year” by Living Blues Magazine in July 2015. Goins has been chosen to write a new book entitled Maestro, the definitive biography on legendary blues musician Taj Mahal for the University of Illinois Press.
Tanya González is a Professor in the Department of English at Kansas State University and is currently serving as the Acting Associate Provost for Institutional Effectiveness. Originally from California, Prof. González started at Kansas State in 2005 as an Assistant Professor. She served as Faculty Senate President from 2019-2020 and throughout her career has provided leadership in faculty affairs, academic affairs, undergraduate research, enrollment management, and diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts. Her areas of teaching and research are American literature and Latinx Studies.
Kevin Gwinner joined the College of Business Administration faculty at Kansas State University in 1999 and was appointed Edgerley Family Dean for the College of Business Administration in April of 2016 after a national search. He had served as interim dean of the college since June of 2015 and was head of the college’s department of marketing for ten years prior to his appointment as interim dean. He is a professor of the Department of Marketing and held the Jon Wefald Chair in Business Leadership. He received a doctorate in marketing from Arizona State University and holds a master’s in business administration from ASU as well as a bachelor’s in finance. Dr. Gwinner was previously on the faculty in the Department of Marketing at East Carolina University.
During his time as Dean of the College of Business, the college has raised $94 million in philanthropic funding, was successfully re-accredited by AACSB, completed and moved into a new 160,000 sq. ft. business building, graduated a record number of students, increased the 4-year graduation rate by 18%, increased graduate student enrollment by 80%, and grew total student credit hours taught by 3%.
Dr. Gwinner has consulted with a variety of organizations, including Bayer HealthCare Animal Health, the Food Animal Welfare Network, the National Food Animal Veterinary Institute, Sprint Nextel Corp., Anderson Consulting, Veriprime, Jalas, Honeywell International Inc. and the American Veterinary Medical Association. In addition, he has supervised marketing research projects for many small and midsized business organizations throughout Kansas.
At K-State, Dr. Gwinner has taught Marketing Management, Sports Marketing, Services Marketing, Professional Selling, Principles of Marketing, and Marketing Concepts and Research in the Master of Business Administration and the Master of AgriBusiness programs. In recognition of his teaching performance, he received the Hormel Meritorious Teaching Award from the Marketing Management Association and the Commerce Bank Award for Distinguished Undergraduate Teaching from K-State.
Dr. Gwinner's research expertise is in the area of understanding and improving aspects of the employee-customer encounter, relational benefits in service businesses and corporate event sponsorship. His articles have been cited nearly 28,000 times and in 2020 a study from Stanford University listed Dr. Gwinner in the top 2% of researchers in the world. He is past chair of the American Marketing Association’s Services Marketing Special Interest Group and has more than 35 years of combined service on the editorial review boards of the Journal of Service Research, Journal of Marketing Education and Marketing Education Review. He was honored in 2009 with the distinction of Services Research Faculty Fellow from the Center for Services Leadership at Arizona State University and in 2016 was presented with the Career Contributions Award from the American Marketing Association’s Sports and Sponsorship Marketing Special Interest Group.
Dr. Gwinner serves on several community and company boards, including The Trust Company, Kansas State University Veterinary Clinical Outreach, Inc., Coronado Area Council Boy Scouts of America, and the Sunset Zoological Park and Wildlife Conservation Trust.
When the Covid-19 pandemic broke out, Maria decided to become more involved in her community and university through advocacy and action. Through her participation in student organizations during her freshman year she learned how impactful student leadership could be. While she had made it a priority to be involved as a student leader during her freshman year, her involvement grew leading up to and following the creation of Walk the Talk: Action Plan for a more Inclusive K-State.
She was asked to join the search and hiring committee for the newly created Student Ombudsperson position. During their work together, she was able to support the committee in identifying candidates who prioritized students, advocated for them, and would foster and strive for a more equitable and prosperous K-State.
As an active leader she is comfortable at administrative and student levels. The interconnectedness of advocacy at these levels led her to engage with SGA as the Multicultural Student Liaison for a student body presidential campaign. Here she was able to act as a catalyst for students to connect with their student government while also encouraging students to engage in campus politics through leadership positions. She is devoted to supporting students by being a resource and through academic processes such as research.
At the conclusion of the Fall 2021 semester Maria will have authored and published her first research article summarizing a three-year study that investigates the effects of Bicultural Identity Integration on adolescents’ decision-making pertaining to higher education. She hopes to use this data, in collaboration with K-State administrators, to further support the university.
Nabeeha Kazi Hutchins serves as president and CEO of PAI, a leading international Non-Governmental Organization with a 56-year history of advancing sexual and reproductive health and rights in communities around the world. Nabeeha brings 25 years of movement building, advocacy, fundraising and international development experience in public health, agriculture, food and nutrition security and human rights. She has dedicated her career to driving equitable health, social and development outcomes for women, youth and vulnerable communities globally.
Born in Pakistan and raised between Mexico and the United States (Kansas), Nabeeha has worked on development programs in more than 20 countries. Nabeeha holds bachelor’s degrees in political science and journalism and mass communications from Kansas State University and dual master’s degrees in international affairs and public health from Columbia University.
Nabeeha is Chair of the K-State Alumni Association Board of Directors and serves on the Board of Directors for the KSU Foundation. She lives in Washington, D.C., with her husband, Coleman, and two young children, Sanah and Coleman.
Steve Lacy was Chairman of the Board of Meredith Corporation (NYSE: MDP; www.meredith.com), a company committed to service journalism, until November 2020.
Lacy joined Meredith in 1998 as Chief Financial Officer. He served as President and Chief Executive Officer from July 2010 until February 2018.
Lacy has been instrumental in transforming Meredith into the multi-faceted company it is today. He oversaw the launch and aggressive expansion of the company's digital business, including the acquisition of Allrecipes.com and the Time Inc. digital properties that resulted in cutting-edge capabilities in areas such as digital, mobile, social and database marketing activities. Meredith now ranks in the Top 10 digital media companies in the country serving over 150 million unique visitors monthly.
Today, Meredith uses multiple distribution platforms - including broadcast television, print, digital, mobile and video - to provide consumers with content they desire and to deliver the messages of its advertising and marketing partners.
Lacy earned both a Bachelor's degree in Accounting (1976) and an MBA (1977) from Kansas State University, is a Certified Public Accountant and a Certified Employee Benefits Specialist. He began his career in the public accounting field, spending 10 years with Deloitte & Touche.
Lacy serves on the Boards of Hormel Foods Corporation, Great Western Bank and The Kansas State University Foundation.
In the Des Moines community, Lacy is past Chair of The Community Foundation of Greater Des Moines, the Des Moines Redevelopment Corporation, the Greater Des Moines Partnership Board and United Way of Central Iowa's annual campaign and has served in leadership positions with the American Red Cross, Junior Achievement, Big Brothers/Big Sisters, Easter Seals and the Dowling Catholic High School Foundation.
Steve and Cathy Lacy have been married for 39 years and have a son Paul (34) who is a Project Engineer for a construction firm in Denver and Mary (31) who is a Doctor of Pharmacy practicing at a hospital in Chicago.
Kevin Lockett is a Partner at Fulcrum Global Capital, a venture capital fund focused on investments in the Agriculture and Animal health sectors. He is also a Kauffman Fellow and is responsible for the fund administration as well as identifying, evaluating, financing, and managing innovative food production, food safety, and food waste investment opportunities.
Kevin previously served in several roles at the Kansas Bioscience Authority ultimately as the Chief Executive Officer where he led the organization to attract and grow the bioscience sector as an economic growth engine for the state of Kansas through venture capital investing. His extensive background in growing companies in tough, competitive environments served the mission of the KBA and the entrepreneurial companies in its portfolio of investments.
Kevin Lockett also worked for several years at the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, a $2 billion private foundation consulting nationwide to advance education and entrepreneurship. Kevin ultimately served as Chief Operations Officer for the Urban Entrepreneur Partnership Inc. (UEP) at the Kauffman Foundation. Joining the Foundation in 2004 as an entrepreneur-in-residence, Kevin worked to raise angel investment funds for Kansas City businesses and served as a business coach assisting clients with accounting, financial analysis, operations management and project management.
A former professional football player, Kevin owned and operated a business during his 7 year National Football League career with Kansas City , Washington, Jacksonville, and the New York Jets. He also spent 5 years at Kansas State University where he was both an Academic All-American and an Athletic All-American. In 1998, he and his family formed a nonprofit organization that encourages academic achievement in public schools.
Kevin currently serves on the board of trustees of INTRUST Bank, Kansas University Hospital Authority Board, Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences, Colbert Hills Golf Club, and Kansas State University’s advisory board for the School of Business. He recently completed his term as a board member of the United Way of Greater Kansas City and Kansas State University Foundation where he served as the Chair of the Finance committee and Asset Management committee. He previously served on Kansas State University’s President’s Advisory Council on Intercollegiate Athletics and as President of the Kansas City Chiefs Ambassadors.
Kevin was selected as the Kansas City Business Journal CFO of the Year in 2015.
Kevin earned his bachelor’s degree in accounting from Kansas State University.
He and wife Cheryl have been married 20 years and have four boys -- Tyler, Sterling and twins, Jacob and Jordan. Kevin coaches Jacob's and Jordan’s basketball and football teams. Somehow he finds time to be an avid golfer and yet, when they have all worn themselves to a stub, his favorite pastime is family movie nights at home.
Dennis A. Mullin serves as Chairman of Steel and Pipe Supply, one of the largest steel service centers in the nation. Mullin earned his bachelor’s degree in 1970 from Pittsburg State University graduating as the Outstanding Senior Man. He was a Pittsburg State University Outstanding Young Alumnus in 1984.
Mullin served as a member of the Kansas Board of Regents from 2015-2019, including as vice-chair and chair of the Board.
Mullin is a member of the Business Advisory Council for the College of Business Administration at Kansas State University, Trustee Emeritus for the KSU Foundation, and a board member of the KS State Bank of Manhattan. He was selected as Entrepreneur of Year by Ernst Young and INC Magazine for the state of Kansas and Western Missouri in 1995. Mullin is a past president/chairman of Manhattan Chamber of Commerce, Manhattan Rotary Club, and Greater Manhattan Community Foundation. He is a Founding Member and President of the Boys and Girls Club, Flinthills Breadbasket, and Flint Hills Christian School all of Manhattan.
He and his wife, Rhonda, have two children and four grandchildren. In his free time, he enjoys watching his grandchildren play sports and everything K-State.
Originally from Howells, Neb., Mary has called Kansas home for 34 years. She earned a B.S. in Business Administration from McPherson College and has had the opportunity to live and work in various industries in Hutchinson, Leavenworth, Emporia, Fort Riley and Manhattan. She joined Kansas State University in 2015 in the College of Health and Human Sciences (formerly the College of Human Ecology) working in the Department of Hospitality Management before moving to the Department of Kinesiology in 2017.
Since her hire, Mary has been active in various committees and work groups across campus as well as the Greek community. Mary is beginning her second year as President of the University Support Staff Senate. She and her husband Mike are the proud K-State parents of a daughter, Taryn, who graduated in 2018 from the College of Arts and Sciences.
David C. Poole is a University Distinguished Professor of Kinesiology and Anatomy & Physiology at K-State who has taught over 5,000 undergraduate and 2,000 graduate/professional students. His discoveries have helped define how oxygen is transported from the lungs to target tissues. Together with his colleagues and students he has studied humans, racehorses, dogs, elephants and rodents at rest and during exercise to identify key sites of metabolic control: driving a paradigm shift in our understanding of capillary function and advancing novel therapeutics for diseases such as heart failure.
As Principal Investigator Dr. Poole has received in excess of $5 million with $17.9 million more in collaborative research and teaching awards from NIH, AHA, and NSF. The author of over 300 publications, reviews and three books, he has served as editor/assoc. editor for four scientific journals and President of the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) Central States Chapter.
His teaching awards include: Commerce Bank (Distinguished Undergraduate), Merial Award for Excellence in Veterinary Medicine (2006 & 2013), Myers-Alford (2016). For research: Doctor of Science (Liverpool John Moores Univ. UK), Rechnitzer Distinguished Lectureship (Canada), Pfizer Award (KSU), Krogh Lectureship, Danish Royal Academy of Sciences (Denmark), ACSM Citation, Adolph Distinguished Lectureship and the 2019 Iman Distinguished Research Award.
Usha Reddi has served as city commissioner for the City of Manhattan since 2013 to the present. She served as Mayor in 2016-2017 and in 2020. She works closely with Kansas State University, Fort Riley, Manhattan Area of Chamber of Commerce, Manhattan-Ogden USD383 and social service organizations in the community to ensure economic vitality and the well-being of residents.
She is an active community member and serves on the Board of Directors for National Association of Mental Illness, Rotary Club of Community Action Against Human Trafficking, Friends of McCain, and American Association for University Women.
Usha was recognized by the National Foundation for Women Legislators as the Elected Women of Excellence Award winner in 2019. She is also the recipient of the Susan M. Scott Award for Community Leadership by Kansas State University Staley School of Leadership Studies, 2017, Kansas State University Office of International Programs 2017 International Innovative Educator of the year, Manhattan-Ogden USD383 Teacher of the Year, 2010-2011 and Kansas Department of Education Horizon Award Winner, 2004.
Usha’s family immigrated from India to the United States in 1973, when she was eight years old. She was primarily raised in Columbus, OH along with her two brothers. Manhattan has been her home for more than 28 years. She has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Developmental Psychology from the Ohio State University, and a Bachelor of Science degree in Elementary Education and a Master of Science in Educational Leadership from Kansas State University. She taught at Ogden Elementary School for over 15 years in the Manhattan-Ogden USD383 school district. She and her husband, Brian Niehoff, have four adult children: Ben, Ravi, Sri and Santhi.
Darrell Reese, Jr. is currently a Management Trainee on the College Recruiting Team at BNSF Railway. He graduated from Kansas State University in May of 2020 with his Bachelor of Science in Business Administration and a minor in Leadership Studies. At Kansas State University, he had the privilege to serve as the Student Ambassador and the President of the K-State Black Student Union. As a graduating senior, he was the recipient of the Robinson Family Multicultural Leadership Award, Anderson Senior Leadership Award, and the Dean of Student Life Outstanding Graduating Senior Award.
Charles (Chuck) Rice joined K-State in 1988 and is a University Distinguished Professor and holds the Vanier University Professorship at Kansas State University. He is a Professor of Soil Microbiology in the Department of Agronomy. He has received over $35 million in research grants, has advised over 47 graduate students and 18 post-doctorates and has over 225 publications.
Dr. Rice has also served in numerous capacities with professional societies, including President of the Soil Science Society of America in 2011. Internationally, he served on the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change to author a report on Climate Change in 2007 and 2014 and was among scientists recognized when that work won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2007. He is a Fellow of the Soil Science Society of America, American Society of Agronomy, and the American Association for the Advancement of Science.
In 2020, Dr. Rice received the title of “National Associate” of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. Dr. Rice chairs the Board on Agriculture and Natural Resources of the U.S. National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine.
Pat Roberts represented Kansas as a member of the U.S. Senate from 1997-2021. He was born in Topeka, graduated from Holton High School and went on to earn his journalism degree from Kansas State University. He is a fourth generation Kansas and has always puts Kansas' needs and concerns front and center in his public service career. Prior to his election to the Senate, he represented the Big First District, including his home of Dodge City, in the U.S. House of Representatives.
Roberts built a reputation as a national leader in agriculture, health care and defense. He is an advocate of a strong education system, free and fair trade policies, increased investment in science and technology, a focused foreign policy and a strong military.
Senator Roberts served as the ranking member of the Senate Agriculture Committee, becoming the first in history to hold the post in both the House and the Senate. As a member of the Senate Finance Committee, his leadership ranged from taxes to trade, health care, Medicare, Social Security, the aviation industry and transportation--issues impacting all families. He sat on the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, where he has passed legislation addressing the high costs of quality childcare and has long supported fully funding individuals with disabilities in the Disabilities in Education Act.
Roberts has been recognized as a leader in food and biosecurity and held the first hearings on the issue in Congress, helping pass major biosecurity legislation, leading to the Biosecurity Research Institute at Kansas State (housed in Pat Roberts Hall). As Chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee for four years, he worked to improve intelligence gathering and analysis capabilities at a critical time in our history, and led the Congress through one of the most sweeping and exhaustive reviews of U.S. intelligence ever conducted. The bipartisan report led to proposals by Roberts for critical and forward-thinking intelligence reforms, many of which were included in the 9/11 Intelligence Reform Act of 2004.
Following graduation from Kansas State University, Roberts served in the U.S. Marine Corps for four years. He served as officer in charge of the 3rd Marine Division Information Office before returning to Headquarters Company, Marine Corps Schools in Quantico where he was assigned to the Marine Corps Development Center and later became part of a special Education Center unit assigned the task of writing and editing Marine Corps Guerilla Warfare Manual, FMFM Ill 21.
Roberts was discharged from the Marine Corps on June 1, 1962 and left reserve status as a Captain. He was active in Capitol Hill Marines throughout his time in Congress.
Roberts and his wife, Franki, have three grown children--David, Ashleigh and Anne-Wesley, and four grandchildren.
David V. Rosowsky joined Kansas State University in 2021 as Vice President for Research. In this role, Dr. Rosowsky reports to the KSU president and is a member of the president’s cabinet. As VPR, Rosowsky is responsible for encouraging and facilitating the integration and enhancement of research, scholarly and creative activities across the university's colleges and multiple research centers, and leading university-wide strategic research growth activities. He also provides leadership for the acquisition of research funding, the planning and development of academic research space, patenting and commercialization efforts, the incubation of new companies and recruitment of corporate research partners, and guiding public outreach as it relates to research, innovation, industry engagement, and economic development.
Prior to joining K-State, Rosowsky served as Provost and Senior Vice President at the University of Vermont where he drove significant growth in the research enterprise, the launch of several new transdisciplinary centers and institutes, and the creation of a university-wide innovation and entrepreneurship ecosystem. Prior to that, Dr. Rosowsky served as the 15th Dean of Engineering at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, and before that as Head of the Zachry Department of Civil Engineering at Texas A&M University, where he also held the A.P. and Florence Wiley Chair in Civil Engineering.
Dr. Rosowsky maintains an active research program in wind and earthquake engineering and continues to supervise graduate students and post-doctoral researchers. He is a member of numerous editorial boards, national technical committees, is a registered Professional Engineer, and holds the rank of Fellow of the American Society of Civil Engineers and Fellow of the Structural Engineering Institute.
Rosowsky has written extensively about the pandemic's impact on public universities and the opportunities for institutions to emerge from the pandemic stronger, more resilient, more accessible and more sustainable. His writing has appeared in Forbes, The Chronicle for Higher Education, Inside Higher Ed, University Business, Trusteeship Magazine and several other major publications. As a recognized higher education thought-leader, Rosowsky has been invited to speak with university leadership teams, boards and foundations on higher education leadership, finances, governance, partnerships, innovation and entrepreneurship, particularly in the context of preparing for the post-pandemic era in higher education.
Dr. Alysia Starkey is the chief academic and administrative officer of K-State Polytechnic and is responsible for providing leadership, management and support for all academic programs and administrative units on its campus. She is also charged with ensuring high-quality undergraduate and graduate experiences, continued excellence and growth in the campus’ research programs and the recruitment and retention of quality, diverse students.
Starkey joined K-State Polytechnic in June 2002 and has served in various roles at the Salina campus since then, including assistant professor, associate professor, professor, library director, assistant dean of academics and distance education. In 2017 she was named associate dean of academics and acting director of professional education and outreach.
Starkey is familiar with Kansas higher education, earning all but one degree from schools in the state. She has a doctorate in curriculum and instruction from K-State, a master’s in library science from the University of North Texas, a bachelor’s in psychology from Fort Hays State University and an associate degree in social work from Colby Community College.
Gene Taylor, who in June 2020 was named the eighth-best Athletic Director among FBS programs by Stadium, was named the Director of Athletics at K-State in April 2017. During his tenure K-State has seen the football program qualify for three bowls, the men’s basketball team win a Big 12 Championship, earn an Elite 8 appearance and advance to two NCAA tournaments and the women’s track and field team win back-to-back Big 12 Outdoor championships.
Additionally, Taylor and staff have fundraised and begun to implement a department-wide facility master plan that will benefit all Wildcat teams including the newly completed baseball and soccer projects in addition to Building Champions, a $105 million initiative focused on the South End Zone of Bill Snyder Family Stadium, a new volleyball arena, an Olympic training Center and a football indoor practice facility.
Taylor has implemented a strategic plan for the department that places an emphasis on the student-athlete experience, while his leadership in navigating the COVID-19 crisis, in addition to enhancing the department’s already-strong diversity and inclusion program, has been well documented. Most recently, Taylor and his leadership team grew K-State Athletics’ diversity and inclusion program with the implementation of 10 new action items to begin in the 2020-21 season.
Hiring and retaining top coaches is also a critical function of the program. Graduating student-athletes remains the top priority for the department and academic success has continued under Taylor’s guidance as K-State continues to rank among the top schools in the Big 12 in APR and graduation success rate.
As Athletics Director at North Dakota State, Taylor immediately spearheaded a comprehensive evaluation of the Bison athletic department in 2001, all while successfully guiding the athletics program through the unpredictable waters of reclassification to NCAA Division I from Division II and securing conference affiliations for all 16 sports. He also played an instrumental part of forming the Great West Football Conference in February 2004, an affiliation that gave the Bison football program an immediate home in Division I.
In 2014, Taylor accepted the role of deputy athletics director at Iowa where he was responsible for the administrative oversight of the department’s day-to-day operations while also serving as the leading advisor to the Director of Athletics and the primary decision maker in his absence.
Twice Taylor has been recognized for his success by the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics. He was selected as the FCS Central Region AD of the Year in June 2008 and June 2012. Taylor received the Blue Key Honor Society Doctor of Service Award, one of the most prestigious honors an NDSU faculty member can be bestowed, in April 2012.
Taylor is a 1980 business management graduate of Arizona State, and he received his master’s degree in sports administration in 1985 from St. Thomas University in Florida. He and his wife, Cathy, have one daughter, Casey, and a son, Jared.
Mary Vanier, vice chair of the KSU Foundation Board of Directors, has served on the board since 2012 and has been a trustee since 2004.
Mary graduated from Kansas State in 1989 with a BS in hotel and restaurant management. After working in the hospitality industry for ten years, she returned to Manhattan, Kansas in 2000, to lead Grand Mere Development, Inc. the residential and commercial real estate development which surrounds KSU’s Colbert Hills golf course.
Mary is a founder of Manhattan Community Foundation, past chair of the Homecare and Hospice Foundation in Manhattan, and has served on many local, state, and national philanthropic boards. Currently, she is serving on the board of Spark, a nonprofit organization with a vision to connect, resource, and successfully launch entrepreneurs and promote a dynamic and inclusive culture of entrepreneurship and innovation in the Greater Manhattan region.
In 2019, Mary was named Philanthropist of the year by the Greater Manhattan Community Foundation and in 2018, received the Manhattan Chamber of Commerce Leadership Manhattan Distinguished Service Award.
Dr. Lisa Wilken is an associate professor in the Carl and Melinda Helwig Department of Biological & Agricultural Engineering (BAE) at K-State. Wilken is a native Kansan and earned a bachelor's degree in biological and agricultural engineering from K-State in 2003 and a Ph.D. from Texas A&M University in 2009. She joined the faculty at K-State in 2012 and has been dedicated to enhancing the educational experience of students through teaching, mentoring, research, and advising; integrating high impact learning activities and teaching strategies; and course and curriculum development.
Wilken has served leadership roles in the American Society of Agricultural & Biological Engineers (ASABE) and as a member of K-State Faculty Senate, Multicultural Overlay Committee, and Innovation in Education Strategic Initiative Planning Group. She has been honored with 22 awards at the college, university, and national levels including the 2019 Dr. Ron and Rae Iman Outstanding Faculty Award in Teaching, 2018 K-State Presidential Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Advising, 2017 ASEE Early Achievement in Education Award in Biological and Agricultural Engineering, 2017 ASABE Gale A. Holloway Professional Development Award, 2016 University Distinguished Faculty Award for Mentoring of Undergraduate Students in Research, 2016 K-State Presidential Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching, and 2016 ASABE A.W. Farrall Young Educator Award.
In 2019, Wilken was named the Mark C. Nyquist - Carl and Mary Ice Cornerstone Teaching Scholar in the Carl R. Ice College of Engineering.