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Governor Brownback Signs Bill Approving WSU, WATC Affiliation


Updated Wednesday at 4:00 p.m.

Gov. Sam Brownback signed a bill into law officially tying together Wichita State University and Wichita Area Technical College (WATC).

A signing ceremony was held Wednesday at the Experiential Engineering Building on the WSU campus.

WATC will remain a separate legal entity and will be called the WSU Campus of Applied Sciences and Technology.

"What this does for WATC immediate is that it gives them access to our national and international student base," says WSU Vice President for Communications Lou Heldman. "From WSU's perspective, the truth is, engineering students need to know how to weld. And computer science students don't just need to know numbers, they need to know how the hardware goes together."

The two schools had initially proposed a full merger, but WSU President John Bardo and WATC President Sheree Utash proposed an affiliation instead because it would be less costly and less time-consuming.

Correction: An earlier version of this story mistakenly referred to the "Experiential Building." It is the Experiential Engineering Building.


Aileen LeBlanc is news director at KMUW. Follow her on Twitter @Aileen_LeBlanc.

To contact KMUW News or to send in a news tip, reach us at news@kmuw.org.