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Committee Named In Search For Wichita State's Next President

Stephan Bisaha
Kansas News Service/File photo

The Kansas Board of Regents on Thursday announced a search committee for the next president of Wichita State University.

Wichita businessman Steve Clark, chairman and CEO of Clark Investment Group, will head the 20-person committee tasked with finding John Bardo’s successor. Bardo died in March after a long illness.

Clark, a WSU alum, also chaired the university’s 2012 presidential search committee that hired Bardo.

“I think that we have an extraordinary committee with a lot of brain power and experience,” Clark said Thursday.

Regent Mark Hutton will serve as the vice chair for the search committee.

Clark said the 2019 search process will be different from that of 2012. Last time the process was open, which meant that candidates were introduced to various stakeholders on and off campus, he said. This time, candidate names won’t be made public.

“A lot of the good talented people that may have applied do not want to jeopardize their current positions," Clark said, "so I believe that this is the best thing to do at this time."

The board has hired the Alabama-based search firm Wheless Partners to aid the search.

“We really just need a talented pool of candidates,” Clark said.

The regents named Andy Tompkins as interim president in April.

No candidate names have been sent to the committee yet. Clark said interviews will take place in September and October.

Other search committee members include:

  • Spirit AeroSystems President and CEO Tom Gentile
  • Koch Industries CFO and VP Steve Feilmeier
  • Airbus Americas VP of Engineering John O’Leary
  • Wichita Public Schools Superintendent Alicia Thompson
  • Kansas Board of Regents President and CEO Blake Flanders
  • Former General Counsel of Pizza Hut, Inc. Jerry Aaron
  • Wichita State Innovation Alliance board member David Mitchell
  • InSite Real Estate Group partner Dan Unruh
  • WSU Tech Advisory Board Chair Lyndon Wells
  • Wichita State University Foundation board of directors Chair Dr. Debbie Haynes
  • Automation-Plus, Inc. President Sheryl Wohlford
  • WSU Student Body President Kitrina Miller
  • Student Ambassador Society President Brandon Eckerman
  • College of Applied Studies Dean Shirley Lefever
  • School of Music Director Aleksander Sternfeld-Dunn
  • Psychology Department Chair Rhonda Lewis
  • Student Health Services Director Camille Childers
  • Vice President of Strategic Communications Lou Heldman

Audrey Korte is an intern in the KMUW News Lab.