Engineering dean candidate hopes to re-engineer the college


Tanat Maichan

John Woolschlager, a finalist for dean of the College of Engineering, speaks to staffs and faculties on Tuesday, Sept. 25, 2018. His current position is the Director of the Emergent Technologies Institute, Backe chair Eminent School Professor and Director of Engineering Graduate Programs at Florida Gulf Coast University.

John Woolschlager, director of the Emergent Technologies Institute and professor and director of Engineering Graduate Programs at Florida Gulf Coast University, is Wichita State’s third of four candidates for dean of the College of Engineering to visit the university.

Woolschlager hosted a public forum Tuesday so members of the university community could ask him questions.

Woolschlager outlined his leadership approach, which has five components: build constructive and positive relationships, be enthusiastic, develop a motivating and realistic vision, use consensus-based decision making, and be fair and transparent in resource allocations.

He also outlined his re-engineering process for Wichita State’s college of engineering, evaluation, visioning, planning, implantation, and assessment.

“If you want to consider re-engineering any academic or business unit, you need to have all the stakeholders of the unit involved, so you need to involve students, faculty, staff, external stakeholders, and it would be a long process,” Woolschlager said.

During the open Q&A, Jan Twomey, associate dean for Graduate Studies, Research and Faculty Success, asked the candidate what experience he has had with increasing funding in order to increase research.

“My approach is to always do interesting things, talk about them, connect that with potential donors, and then, if they find it interesting as well, then I think you have a chance of getting a significant gift.”

“We made it clear as a priority for our university and we made an effort towards that, and it was an important goal,” Woolschlager said.