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The Sunflower

Wichita State's independent, student-run news source

The Sunflower

Wichita State's independent, student-run news source

The Sunflower

President Muma, Provost Lefever discuss campus updates via university town hall

Topics discussed include an update regarding the Wichita State Biomedical Campus, degree programs under review and graduation
Wichita State University President Richard Muma, Staff Senate President Jason Bosch, Provost Shirley Lefever and Chief HR Officer Vicki Whisenhant elaborate on the university’s upcoming economic and programming developments. The administrators shared these updates during the Fall 2023 Wichita State University Town Hall on Monday, Dec. 11.

Students, staff and faculty all had the opportunity to watch the Fall 2023 Wichita State University Town Hall via YouTube livestream on Monday, Dec. 11 . The meeting was hosted by Faculty Senate President Jolynn Dowling and Staff Senate President Jason Bosch.

Economic developments

University President Richard Muma provided some details regarding Gov. Laura Kelly’s recent announcement. Kelly announced that Wichita State has been chosen as the site for Kansas’ first Internet Exchange Point (IXP). The facility will be built across from Eck Stadium off of 21st Street and will be funded by a $5 million grant from the state.

“It also gives us the opportunity for research and to be able to use some of that space for our research capabilities,” Muma said. “It’s the first IXP in the country at a university, so that’s also very unique in terms of this particular development. It’s … a really good opportunity for us to further help grow the economy, which is one of our main priorities of our institution.”

Muma also provided an update regarding the Wichita State Biomedical Campus. He said construction crews will break ground in March or April of 2024, and the 30-month build process will be completed by the fall of 2026.

“It’s the largest capital investment in the history of downtown Wichita and really one of the larger construction projects ever in downtown Wichita,” Muma said. “It’s really going to be exciting, not just for the College of Health Professions but for the entirety of the university.”

Changes to university programs

Provost Shirley Lefever provided an update regarding changes being made to the following programs: Women’s Ethnicity and Intersectional Studies, Philosophy, Geology, Physics and Forensic Science. The programs were previously identified as needing further evaluation by the Kansas Board of Regents.

“I did meet with the dean and the program chairs of all five programs,” Lefever said. “I think there was general consensus that we wanted to put forth an action plan for each of the five programs. The faculty came to that meeting with some ideas already about what they wanted to do so now those programs will put some things into writing.”

Dowling ended the town hall by expressing her excitement about this weekend’s graduation ceremony and encouraged faculty and staff to attend to support students.

“Don’t forget to come and support the students,” Dowling said. “They’ve done wonderful work, and we want to launch them into their careers with great anticipation and joy.”

Anyone interested in learning more about the town hall can watch the full meeting here.

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About the Contributor
Avery Gathright, Reporter
Avery Gathright is a first-year reporter for The Sunflower. Gathright is a secondary education major with an emphasis in English. She hopes to eventually teach AP Literature. Gathright uses she/her pronouns.

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