October 20, 2021
Senior administrators to retire in 2022
Two top administrators at Kansas State University will retire in 2022. Linda Cook, chief of staff and director of community relations, will retire on Jan. 31 after four years of service. Jeff Morris, vice president for communications and marketing, plans to retire on March 19 following 12 years of service.
Cook and Morris chose to announce their retirements now to allow time for a smooth transition following the anticipated hiring of a new president in December.
"As lifelong K-Staters, Linda Cook and Jeff Morris provided outstanding service to their alma mater," said Richard Myers, K-State president. "They exemplify the K-State spirit and the university is grateful for all they have done. We have been fortunate to have experienced professionals willing to give back to their university."
Cook, who is completing a 45-year career in public affairs, communications and business planning that included assignments with two Fortune 100 companies, came to the university in February 2018 after serving as assistant vice president of communications for the K-State Alumni Association.
As chief of staff and director of community relations, Cook had oversight of the Office of Institutional Equity, McCain Auditorium and the Beach Museum of Art, provided leadership for the prestigious Landon Lecture Series, represented the university on community boards and municipal government initiatives, and coordinated numerous special projects for the president.
"It has been a pleasure to directly serve my alma mater in these positions over the past several years," Cook said. "I've had a very fulfilling and successful career that started with a solid educational foundation and diploma from K-State in 1977. I look forward to continuing my support and participation with the university and K-State family as a loyal and active alumna."
Morris became the university's first vice president for communications and marketing in February 2010. Under Morris' leadership, the division has increased the effectiveness and consistency of institutional communications and marketing initiatives. This includes enhancing and growing the university's branding efforts; modernizing the university's web presence; starting K-State Today and expanding media coverage and overall exposure of the university nationally.
For these efforts, the university has been recognized by the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education, or CASE, with numerous awards and sweepstakes honors for excellence in all forms of communication, including three international CASE Circle of Excellence Awards. Morris also received the 2013 Flinchbaugh Family Wildcat Pride Award, which recognizes K-State faculty or staff who have been instrumental in advancing the mission of the K-State Alumni Association through the support of its programs.
"It has been an honor to serve my family's university and help support the land-grant mission of a world-class research institution," Morris said. "I represent the third generation of my family to retire from K-State and deeply appreciate the opportunities provided by Presidents Kirk Schulz and Richard Myers. We're ready to help the next generation take the lead."
Announcements on searches and replacements for the chief of staff and vice president for communications and marketing will be released as transition plans are finalized.