Washington State University’s next president, Kirk H. Schulz, sees his new role at WSU as a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to lead a university poised to launch a medical school, continue its commitment to accessible higher education, and further its research mission.
Schulz will join WSU on June 13 from Kansas State University, where he has been president since 2009.
Schulz has a long commitment to land-grant universities and their historical mission to provide accessible, affordable higher education. He earned his degree in chemical engineering from Virginia Tech, a university similar to WSU with strong agriculture, veterinary medicine, and engineering components.
Virginia Tech, Kansas State, WSU, and Mississippi State—where Schulz worked as vice president for research and economic development and dean of their engineering college—adhere to the land-grant ideals, he says.
Schulz also notes the decision by the state to reduce tuition and then backfill the money as another reason he’s joining WSU. “That showed me that the state of Washington is interested in keeping higher education as affordable as practically possible,” he says.
The Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine gave Schulz another reason to get excited about the presidency of WSU. “It’s highly intriguing to lead a land-grant university with the opportunity to start and build from scratch a publicly-funded medical school,” he says.
Schulz brings his success in raising the research profile of Kansas State to WSU, which he sees as poised for even greater achievements.
Schulz is joined in Pullman by his wife Noel Schulz—an internationally recognized power systems expert and electrical engineer—who will join the faculty of the Voiland College of Engineering and Architecture.