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K-State Today

June 28, 2022

New name for Staley School of Leadership Studies, Tolar named dean

Submitted by Charles Taber

Dear Colleagues,

At the June meeting, the Kansas Board of Regents approved a name change for the Staley School of Leadership Studies, now the Mary Lynn and Warren Staley School of Leadership.

The Staley School was founded as an independent academic unit reporting to the provost in 2009 and was named at that time for benefactors Mary Lynn and Warren Staley. From its start, the school has advanced the academic study and practice of leadership. In the beginning, the school's focus was an undergraduate leadership minor and service-learning taught primarily by non-tenure track faculty and staff. Today, the school develops and delivers both undergraduate and graduate interdisciplinary programs with faculty and staff now including tenured and tenure-track faculty. Beyond its academic programs, the school has also focused on developing leadership of students, faculty and staff, community members and industry partners; building capacity for community engagement and civic leadership; and contributing research and scholarship that strengthens our communities, state, nation and world and advances the public good. The new name reflects the expanded role and operations of the school beyond its academic leadership programs, including the additions of the university honors program, nationally competitive scholarships, and the university office of engagement that I announced last August. 

In addition, I am naming Dr. Mary Hale Tolar dean of the Staley School of Leadership. Dr. Tolar has demonstrated exemplary leadership of the school and at the university level. As we advance engaged learning as a differentiating student experience for K-State students, the expanded role of the Staley School of Leadership as a central partner and Dr. Tolar's record of effective collaboration with our colleges and university partners will serve the university well. Moving to a structure with a dean will allow the Staley School of Leadership to continue to grow its academic programs and research agenda, raise its visibility and build its reputation to attract outstanding faculty and staff.

Together these changes position the Staley School of Leadership for greater service to our students, our university, and our communities.


Charles Taber
Provost and executive vice president