Stephen Jordan, who has been the Kansas Board of Regents' executive director since 1994, will become president of Eastern Washington University in Cheney, Wash.
Topeka (ap) -- The leader of the Kansas Board of Regents' staff is resigning to become president of a university in Washington state.
Stephen M. Jordan announced his decision Friday. His resignation as the regents' executive director is effective July 1.
The board oversees the operation of Kansas' six state universities, including Kansas University, as well as the teaching programs at the KU Medical Center in Kansas City, Kan. As executive director, Jordan directed the regents' 18-member staff and often led its efforts in lobbying the Legislature.
Jordan will become president of Eastern Washington University in Cheney, Wash. He was chosen from among 67 applicants and four finalists.
Jordan said he leaves Kansas with mixed feelings, despite his excitement over becoming a university president.
``This is a time of great opportunity for higher education, and I am sure the Kansas system is well positioned for the challenges that lie ahead,'' Jordan said. ``Kansans have every right to be proud of their state universities.''
Jordan has served as the regents' executive director since January 1994.
During his tenure, the regents clarified mission statements for state universities and began the process of setting goals and standards to measure how well universities were meeting those goals.
Also, with the board's support, the state enacted a law setting admission standards at the universities.
``While the board is sorry to see him leave Kansas, we recognize that this is an excellent opportunity and a definite step forward for Steve,'' said Regents chair Robert Talkington, an Iola attorney and former state Senate president.
Before joining the regents, Jordan served for five years as the deputy executive director of the Arizona Board of Regents. He also was vice chancellor for planning and budgeting at the University of Colorado's Health Sciences Center.
Eastern Washington University has 7,000 students and more than 1,000 employees, including 450 faculty members. It has two campuses, one in Cheney and the other in Spokane, 17 miles to the southwest.
Its annual budget is about $95 million.
Jordan, 49, has a three-year contract that includes a base salary of $135,000, not including incentives, a $20,000 expense allowance and a campus residence in the school's University House.
KU Chancellor Robert Hemenway could not be reached for comment regarding Jordan's decision.