Peare: Diversity will be given ‘particular attention’ in search for next president


Selena Favela

The Rhatigan Student Center on March 23, 2020.

Roughly six months after former President Jay Golden unexpectedly resigned in September, the presidential search committee is in the process of collecting resumes before they begin the interview process for the next president.

“We’re just collecting resumes, we’ve placed ads all around the country in higher ed publications and we’re getting quite a bit of interest,” Peare said. 

Applications for the position are due March 8 and the committee members will meet on March 16 to go through the resumes together. Ten to 12 applicants will then be selected for Zoom job interviews. From there, three to five candidates’ names will be sent to the Kansas Board of Regents who will ultimately make the final decision in May.

Campus community members gathered last month in three different presidential forums to share with the committee what they hope to see in a future president. Diversity was given special attention in those forums. 

Search Committee Chair Dan Peare said that the committee has a dedication to keeping diversity in the conversation.

“We are very intentional about putting the committee together to include everyone, and I think we have a very, very well represented committee that is going to make sure that diversity is in every conversation, every selection, and make sure it is given its proper due,” Peare said.

Peare said that the committee is dedicated to finding a president who fits in with the attributes put in the president profile.

“If you go through and look at those eight attributes, you’ll have a pretty clear picture of what we’re looking for,” Peare said.

The attributes in the committee’s presidential profile are: strong character, proven leader, visionary, fundraiser, communicator, economic driver, visible presence, and passion for higher education.

The last presidential profile that led to Golden’s hiring had 43 attributes, 35 more than the current one. Peare said that change was intentional.

“There were so many attributes, there were so many characteristics that you almost got lost in it, you didn’t know what was most important,” Peare said. “So we thought, that’s almost impossible to find someone who will fulfill 43 attributes. What we need to do is concentrate on what is most important.”

Search committee members full list:

Dan Peare, chair

Allen Schmidt, regent

Blake Flanders, board president and CEO


Rija Khan, WSU student body president

Corinthian Kelly, WSU graduate student council representative

Sierra Bonn, engineering technology management senior


Aleksander Sternfeld-Dunn, Faculty Senate president

Melissa Walker, professor 

Mehmet Bayram Yildirim, professor

Shirley Lefever, interim executive vice president and provost

Trish Gandu, Unclassified Professional Senate president

Randy Sessions, university support staff senate president

Sheree Utash, WSU Tech president

John Tomblin, executive director of the NIAR


Elizabeth King, WSU Foundation CEO

Jeff Turner, WSU alumnus, retired president and CEO of Spirit Aerosystems

Junetta Everett, WSU alumni, VP of professional relations for Delta Dental in Kansas


Charmes Chandler, IV, CEO, INTRUST bank

Steven Packebush, founder and partner, Elevar Partners

Yolanda Camarena, board member of the Kansas Hispanic Education and Development Foundation

John Rolfe, chief business officer, Kansas Leadership Center

Paul Allen, chief executive of Allen, Gibbs & Houlik, L.C.