Golden changing administrative structure, creating task forces to strengthen shared governance


Morgan Anderson

Jay Golden, the new president of Wichita State University, gives his first public address to the university. After a month on the job, Golden is making changes to administrative structure.

A month in on the job, Wichita State President Jay Golden is already making structural changes to the president’s executive team and creating tasks forces in the name of shared governance.

Currently, the president’s team includes a chief of staff position, held by Andy Schlapp. This position will be replaced with a director of operations, filled by current Deputy Chief of Staff Anna Clark.

“In most cases, a chief of staff is someone who steps in when the president or the chancellor’s not there and can play the bully pulpit — and sometimes with a baseball bat,” Golden said Tuesday morning. “I don’t need that. I want to be very transparent. I want to be very personable. I don’t need a spokesperson for me.”

Schlapp will lead a “re-envisioned” Office of Government relations and Strategy as executive director. The new office will focus on relations with the federal government and non-governmental organizations in Washington, DC.

Schlapp will still serve as the executive director of the Wichita State Board of Trustees and Zachary Gearhart will still hold the director of government relations role.

“If we’re going to do more research, if we’re going to have more internships, if we’re going to have more opportunities for students to do global internships or experiences, we need to have a bigger presence in Washington DC.,” Golden said.

Graduate School Dean Coleen Pugh will continue on in her role while leading the Office of Research. Current Vice President of Research and Economic Development John Tomblin is being reassigned to the role of senior vice president, where he will lead the newly formed Office of Industry and Defense Programs.

“We have very strong research going on with aviation, aerospace, and defense, and industry, but we need even more research — traditional research — National Science Foundation, National Institutes of Health, humanities,” Golden said. “We need to build up that portfolio to diversify our research and diversify the economy of Kansas.”

Associate Vice President for Industry Engagement Tonya Witherspoon will take on an additional management role on Innovation Campus, where she will work with the President’s Office to form an Innovation Campus Advisory Committee of “non-conflicted” campus and community representatives.

“We have to make our Innovation Campus more transparent as to what facilities are there and how we leverage them for research and activities — if we’re helping the community,” Golden said. “We also have to be more transparent, I believe, so people understand what we’re trying to do on the Innovation Campus and what it means.”

Golden said General Counsel David Moses told him he plans to retire by the end of the fiscal year. Stacia Boden will replace Moses and Misha Jacob-Warren will serve as deputy general counsel.

“I need to have the right leaders and structure in place to say, ‘Go do it. You’re the person. I trust you. I’ll mentor you, but go off and do great things and help us then with the systems and the culture,’” Golden said.


Task forces

At the same time as announcing structural changes, the president said he would be creating task forces that focused on a number of campus issues. 

Each task force will consist of a chair and co-chair with students, faculty, staff and for some, alumni and community members. 

“I believe in shared governance, so I’m trying to be transparent and say, ‘Here are things I’ve heard,’ in the context of, I’m forming task forces,” Golden said.

He said task forces will have 90 days to report back to him with “preliminary findings and recommendations.”


Task forces and their chairs:

Engagement and regional prosperity: Assistant Vice President Kaye Monk-Morgan and Dr. Scott Wituk, the Executive Director for WSU’s Community Engagement Institute

Diversity, human resources and professional development: Professor Edil Torres-Rivera and Professor Voncella McCleary-Jones

Military, veterans and first responders: Vice President Marché Fleming-Randle and University Police Chief Rodney Clark

Foundation and alumni affairs: CEO of the WSU Foundation Elizabeth King and CEO of the WSU Alumni Association Courtney Marshall 

Campus community and inclusion: Dr. Aaron Austin, AVP of Student Affairs, and Dr. Rodney Miller, Dean of the College of Fine Arts

New academic-institutional partnerships: Provost Rick Muma

Access to Higher Education: WSUTech President Sheree Utash

Finances: VP of Administration and Finance Werner Golling and Business School Dean Larisa Genin

Athletics: Athletics Director Darron Boatright and Dr. Jeremy Patterson, Dean of the Institute for Interdisciplinary Innovation