President Jay Golden hosts student, faculty town halls


Austin Shaw

President Jay Golden addresses fine arts students at a town hall on Friday.

Wichita State University President Jay Golden continued with his week of town hall meetings with students and faculty in each college last week to introduce himself and his overall plans for the university during his time as president.

“I’m in a great position, I’m the new president, we’re going to a new decade and we’re doing new fundraising campaigns, this one’s about to end,” Golden said during the Applied Studies student townhall. “So, this is the time for students to step up your game and say these are the priorities we need on the campus.”

The focus on students was a theme that Golden leaned heavily into, even during the faculty townhalls.

Housing, and student nightlife on campus also came up. Golden responded by saying he wants to try to bring developers from around the nation to develop the areas around campus.

However, when he made that statement at the business school faculty town hall, he was sure to say he didn’t “want to gentrify a community.”

At the student town hall earlier, Golden said, “Could gentrification still happen? Yeah,” in response to how he would engage the community surrounding the campus before developing around those areas.

Parking was another subject that Golden touched on, claiming that WSU did not have a parking issue and that he, as someone with a background in sustainable systems and environmental engineering, believed the university actually uses too much space on campus (35%) for parking.

“Parking, I’d like to move to the perimeter of campus. Parking garages, put intramural fields on top of them like UC Berkeley does, he said.”

Golden consistently discussed his goals of improving the student experience, like hiring faculty that better represent the student body, saying that less than 2% of tenure track faculty is African American.

“We have a very white faculty,” Golden said at the business student town hall Wednesday.

He also stated he wanted to implement a condition that no research would be allowed grants without students attached to the project.

During the engineering townhall Golden said that he asked himself what he could do, and the answer was to be “big and bold.”

Golden said he wanted to bring more convergent sciences to campus with fields such as business working with psychology, psychology working with fine arts, and so on and so forth.

“University of Kansas is the flagship of the state . . . Kansas State University is the land grant for things about agriculture, etc. . . Wichita State is going to be known as the Innovation University,” Golden said during the graduate student town hall.