Shirley Lefever named next provost of Wichita State

Shirley Lefever (Courtesy of

After 17 years at the university and two years as interim provost, Shirley Lefever will serve as the next provost of Wichita State University. Lefever is the first woman to serve in the role.

The executive vice president and provost serves as the head of the academic programs.

Lefever spent 14 years at the University of Arkansas before moving to WSU in 2005. Lefever received her bachelor’s, master’s and Ph.D from Kansas State University. The university named her interim provost in 2020 after former provost Rick Muma became interim president following the resignation of Jay Golden.

At an open forum last week, Lefever said through her optimism, she can make the correct decisions for the community.

“I’m an eternal optimist,” Lefever said. “I’m very team driven, I think when we have teams working together, the solution that we come up with is going to be a lot more powerful.”

Lefever said the topic of higher education can sometimes become stigmatized. She said this is something that needs to change.

“I think the public’s perception of higher education needs to be addressed,” Lefever said. “We are addressing it by the way we approach our conversation with industry and how we approach determining what degree programs we offer.”

Wichita State used a search firm to find the next provost. There were two other finalists who also came to campus to speak in open forum.