October 4, 2022
Executive searches update
I am writing today to update you on the status of several executive searches currently underway, including a national search just launched for a vice president for executive affairs, university engagement and partnerships, and chief of staff to the president.
When I joined K-State last spring, a number of key university leadership positions were filled on an interim basis, including the interim vice president and chief operations officer; interim chief diversity and inclusion officer; interim vice president for communications and marketing; and interim chief of staff/director of community relations. The exemplary service of those individuals serving in these positions allowed me the time to intentionally think about how to best fill those positions permanently. I am grateful to Ethan Erickson, Be Stoney, Ashley Martin and Kevin Nalette for stepping into these interim positions and providing the leadership to continue advancing K-State during my presidential transition period.
Over the summer, we launched three executive searches, including the vice president for administration and finance, the vice president for diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging, and the vice president for communications and marketing. With the appointment of Ethan Erickson in September as our vice president for administration and finance, we consolidated two leadership positions — chief financial officer and chief operations officer — into one vice presidential position. We are in the process of wrapping up our search for the vice president for diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging and expect to have candidates for the vice president for communications and marketing on the Manhattan campus for interviews in mid-October. With these searches on their way to completion, we have launched another critical search — one for a vice president for executive affairs, university engagement and partnerships, and chief of staff to the president, or VPCOS.
This position replaces the current chief of staff and director of community relations, redefining and expanding the responsibilities of that role to include management of the day-to-day operations of the Office of the President and the president's cabinet, growing university engagement and partnerships, and working with university leaders to facilitate strategic initiatives with universitywide, community, state, national and international impact.
As a strategic executive leader and member of my cabinet, the VPCOS will provide leadership and management for the Office of the President, including the units and staff currently reporting in that structure (administrative office staff, governmental relations, the Beach Museum, McCain Performance Series and the Landon Lecture Series). In addition, military and veterans affairs will move from the Division of Student Life to the Office of the President. Finally, the vice president for communications and marketing will report to the VPCOS to ensure alignment on presidential and university communications, marketing and public information and relations. The VPCOS will also work closely with the K-State Alumni Association, the KSU Foundation and K-State Athletics as strategic partners to our university.
This is a crucial role for K-State and what we aim to accomplish in the future, which will only be possible through highly coordinated strategic initiatives that we advance through strong communications and engagement. The individual in this position will be responsible for driving the effective communication and implementation of these initiatives, bringing key university functions together in the most productive way possible and maximizing their collective impact.
Inquiries, nominations and applications will be treated confidentially, and applicant names will not be publicly disclosed at any point during the search process. For full consideration, application materials must be received by Thursday, Oct. 20, via K-State's application portal.
You can view the executive search profile and more details about the search process at the Office of the President Administrative Searches webpage.
As we evolve the President's Office and cabinet to better serve the university's needs for growth and engagement, our overall structures may also continue to evolve. I look forward to having our universitywide leadership team in place in the next few months and working together to best serve the university and its mission.