Manhattan Kansas State University has inaugurated Kirk H. Schulz as its first new president in 23 years.
Schulz began work in June, but the formal ceremony didn’t take place until Thursday.
Schulz, who succeeded Jon Wefald, invoked the words of Benjamin Franklin in his address: “All mankind is divided into three classes: those that are immovable, those that are movable and those that move.”
“Let us be that university that moves, that’s not afraid to try new things and the leader of innovation in higher education,” he said.
Schulz listed a host of goals, including continually recognizing faculty excellence and ensuring a “wonderful” undergraduate educational experience. He also stressed the importance of building a multicultural staff and student body and ensuring that the school is affordable.
Melody LeHew, president of faculty senate and associate professor of apparel and textiles, challenged Schulz to lead the university through a time of budget reductions and decreasing resources.
“We will need you, President Schulz, to navigate Kansas State University through the institutional transformation required to meet these challenges,” LeHew said. “This will be no small task. However, we have faith in your ability to lead us, to co-create a new era for KSU.”
Before coming to Kansas State, he was vice president for research and economic development at Mississippi State University. He is a graduate of Virginia Tech University, where he received his bachelor’s degree in 1986 and doctorate in 1991 in chemical engineering.
His wife, Noel Nunnally Schulz, will teach electrical and computer engineering at Kansas State.
The couple have two sons, Tim, a freshman at Mississippi State, and Andrew, a freshman at Manhattan High School.