Regents, search committee members react to presidential pick

New+President+Jay+Golden+speaks+to+sophomore+Drue+Owen%2C+a+student+studying+history+at+WSU%2C+after+his+public+address+on+Thursday%2C+Oct.+31+in+the+RSC.
Back to Article
Back to Article

Regents, search committee members react to presidential pick

New President Jay Golden speaks to sophomore Drue Owen, a student studying history at WSU, after his public address on Thursday, Oct. 31 in the RSC.

New President Jay Golden speaks to sophomore Drue Owen, a student studying history at WSU, after his public address on Thursday, Oct. 31 in the RSC.

Morgan Anderson

New President Jay Golden speaks to sophomore Drue Owen, a student studying history at WSU, after his public address on Thursday, Oct. 31 in the RSC.

Morgan Anderson

Morgan Anderson

New President Jay Golden speaks to sophomore Drue Owen, a student studying history at WSU, after his public address on Thursday, Oct. 31 in the RSC.

The Kansas Board of Regents voted Thursday to name Jay Golden the 14th president of Wichita State University

A career engineer and researcher, Golden has worked in the private sector and various roles at The University of California – Santa Barbara, Arizona State University, Duke University — and most recently, as a vice chancellor at East Carolina University. 

Golden’s track record was one of the reasons KBOR thought he was the best choice for president. 

“I thought he hit all the buttons for me,” said Mark Hutton, a KBOR member and vice chair of the presidential search committee. “He had great academic pedigree, a degree from cambridge, also had some industry experience … I just felt all around that he was just the right person for Wichita State.” 

Hutton said he is excited to see how Golden chooses to grow WSU’s main campus and unite the university across its satellite locations. 

“I’m excited about his vision to expand the Innovation Campus, and especially to include the fine arts in that discussion,” Hutton said. “That’s something we heard loud and clear from faculty and students.”

Student Body President Kitrina Miller, one of two student members on the presidential search committee, said that Golden had always been her favorite out of all the candidates.

“I was (very pleased with the new president announcement),” Miller said. “Jay was my No. 1 pick from the candidates we had put forward so I’m extremely happy.” 

“He was really student-focused … that was really the No.1 thing I was looking for.”

PHOTOS: Jay Golden, new WSU president, makes first campus visit

Miller said Golden stood out from the crowd because he took matters into his own hands when pursuing the presidential position. 

“One thing that really stuck out to me was during his interviews he shared that he came to the search firm,” she said. “The search firm didn’t come to him about this position. He really wanted to come here and he developed that passion for WSU.” 

KBOR Chair Shane Bangerter said Golden’s skillset stood out in his application. 

“His skill set was just a really good match for Wichita State,” Bangerter said. “His applied learning background, his engineering background, his people skills — I just think he’ll really be able to move Wichita State forward.”

Bangerter said diversity is also something that Golden will focus on as WSU moves forward. 

“And, as he mentioned in his speech, to diversify (Wichita State) even more,” Bangerter said. “So that Wichita may be not just tied to one industry or two industries, but really broadening the scope.”

Jon Rolph, who represents Sedgwick County on KBOR, said he believes Golden has a grip on the purpose and changing model of higher education. 

“I know he has a real heart for accessibility to higher ed, an openness to how the higher education model is changing,” Rolph said. 

Miller said that she hopes Golden will strive to create a more welcoming campus and continue to diversify the skill sets that Wichita State provides its students.

“(I hope he continues) to grow this university, Innovation Campus. Making sure that, you know, students feel welcome and comfortable,” Miller said. “Whether that’s socioeconomic status or just diversity in general, but also the diverse skill set we provide to our students, increasing that.”