Editor's Corner
Michael O'Shea

Several pieces of news really stand out at KSU in 2008.  In May, President Jon Wefald announced that he would retire at the end of the 2008-2009 academic year.  When he retires his time as KSU’s President will span 23 years.  He is credited with transforming KSU into a nationally ranked top 10 land grant university.  Under his leadership enrollment has increased, private giving has increased, and competitive research awards have increased.   A search was done in the fall of 2008 and the 13th President of KSU will be Kirk Schulz.  He comes to us from Mississippi State University where he was vice president for research and economic development.   

The tornado of June 2008 that touched down in several places in Manhattan destroyed homes in Manhattan and did significant damage on campus.  Fortunately the tornado moved through the city and campus very late in the evening when few people were around and there were no fatalities reported anywhere in Manhattan. Significant damage was done to Weber Hall, the Engineering complex, Waters Hall, Call Hall, Cardwell Hall and Ward Hall, and the Wind Erosion lab was destroyed.  In Cardwell where Physics is located, windows were blown out, the roof was damaged and the line of trees northeast of Cardwell was pretty much removed. 

Towards the end of 2008 we began to learn that budgets are being cut – this of course came as no surprise!  The unusual thing is that they are being cut in mid fiscal year due to the difficult financial climate in Kansas and throughout the US.  It will be a challenge to maintain the high quality of teaching and research but faculty and staff feel they are up to this challenge.   

Still there is good news.  A few weeks ago K-State was selected as the preferred site for the National Bio and Agro Defense Facility (NBAF).  This will be a half billion dollar animal health facility and it is expected that this facility will be the best in the world.  

Kansas State Director of Athletics Bob Krause announced earlier this year that Ron Prince will not return as the school’s head football coach for the 2009 season.  Bill Snyder, the architect of the greatest turnaround in the history of college football during his previous tenure at Kansas State, was named the Wildcats’ 34th head football coach.