This week’s news in brief – Aug. 25

WSU National Institute for Aviation Research announces first passenger to freighter conversion program

The WSU National Institute for Aviation Research (NIAR), along with Erickson Precision Ventures, LLC, introduced a new program that aims to convert a passenger aircraft, Airbus 321, into a freighter. Together, the two organizations hope to perform as many as 24 similar conversions per year starting in 2023. 

Many WSU Tech students, full-time engineers and engineering students will have the opportunity to participate in the WSU-NIAR “Get to WERX” program. This program provides paid employment and credits, commonly known as an earn-and-learn program, to create a lasting impact for students via hands-on learning.

Business School and WSU Tech to create new supply chain management career program

The W. Frank Barton School of Business and WSU Tech plan to work together this year to create a new career pathway program that focuses on supply chain management. The pathway aims to give students the perfect mix of technical skills, applied experiences and conceptual background to aid them later in life in industry-essential supply chain and logistic careers.

Upon completion of the four-year pathway, students will receive a Bachelor of Business Administration and an Associate of Applied Science degree in Logistics and Supply Chain Management from WSU’s Barton School and WSU Tech, respectively. 

The program, which became available at the start of the Fall 2022 semester, is available now to incoming and current students.

OneStop temporarily extends office hours

OneStop, Wichita State’s student service program, will expand its office in-person availability by two hours during the month of August. OneStop Student Services is well known as the “one stop” office for enrollment, student account, financial aid and registration concerns. 

While students can call or contact the office 24/7, from Aug. 1 to Sept. 1, the offices in Jardine Hall will be open and available for in-person service from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Dean Rodney Miller announces retirement from College of Fine Arts

After 19 years of serving the College of Fine Arts and Wichita State, international operatic performer and dean Dr. Rodney Miller announced his retirement. 

Miller, who began his deanship in 2004, is well known for urging the College of Fine Arts to become “relevant” and for his approval of the adoption of digital technologies in the School of Digital Arts.

Prior to serving as a dean at WSU, Miller was a dean for the College of Fine Arts and Humanities at the University of Nebraska at Kearney. 

Along with being an active arts education advocate, Miller has written on the importance of arts in society and how it correlates to health and wealth and served as the founding president of the Nebraska Alliance for Arts Education. 

A retirement party will be held in his honor at a later date.

Former WSU Anthropology Professor Dorthy “Dotty” Billings dies.

After struggling with a brief illness, former Wichita State university emerita Anthropology Professor Dorothy K. “Dotty” Billings passed away on Aug. 12. Dotty taught at WSU for 44 years. During her lifetime, she wrote more than 30 articles and traveled to dozens of countries for field work crucial to the anthropology community.

A celebration of life service will be hosted on campus at the Marcus Welcome Center on Sept. 29 from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

Wichita State and K-State host first nursing class in dual-degree program at K-State campus

Wichita State hosted its first Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) program on the Kansas State University campus on Aug. 22.

This dual degree program between WSU and K-State is the first of its kind.

This nursing program was approved by the Kansas Board of Regents (KBOR) in March 2022.

“We are extremely excited about this unique partnership with WSU which has brought WSU’s excellent nursing program to Kansas State University and help with the growing health care needs of Kansas,” Craig Harms, interim dean of the K-State College of Health and Human Sciences, said in a WSU media release. “This innovative collaboration allows students to receive both an undergraduate degree from K-State and a bachelor’s degree in nursing through WSU while remaining on our campus.”

More information about the dual program can be found at