Rick Muma Named Interim President At Wichita State

Oct 14, 2020

The Kansas Board of Regents selected Wichita State University provost Rick Muma as the university's interim president.

Wichita State needed an interim president after former President Jay Golden resigned unexpectedly in late September. Since then, Muma has been the school’s acting president.

Muma spent more than 30 years as a professor and physician's assistant in internal medicine and infectious diseases. In 2018, he becamse the university's provost.

Previously, Muma had served as chair of the departments of Public Health Sciences and Physician Assistant. Before coming to Wichita State, Muma chaired Saint Lous University's Department of PA Education. 

The board will eventually start the search process for a permanent president. The Regents have yet to commit to what that process will look like or how transparent it will be. Students criticized the closed door search that selected Golden in 2019.

The Regents picked Golden as Wichita State’s new president in October 2019. Golden held the position for less than a year before resigning. Neither the university, the Regents or Golden have given a reason for the resignation.

In June, Golden angered some university donors and alumni after he removed Ivanka Trump’s remarks from the keynote position at WSU Tech’s virtual graduation. The university made the recorded speech available for students and family, but some donors called for Golden’s resignation.

The Regents did not take action against Golden over the summer, and Regent Jon Rolph said Golden’s recent resignation was unrelated to that controversy. Rolph said the Regents could not comment further  about the reason for the resignation because it is a personnel matter.

Stephan Bisaha reports on education and young adult life for the Kansas News Service. You can follow him on Twitter @SteveBisaha or email him at bisaha (at) kmuw (dot) org. The Kansas News Service is a collaboration of KCUR, Kansas Public Radio, KMUW and High Plains Public Radio focused on the health and well-being of Kansans, their communities and civic life.

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