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Office of the President Kirk Schulz biography

President Kirk H. Schulz

Transforming WSU into a top 25 public research university

New President Kirk H. Schulz—on the job since mid-June—is guiding Washington State University’s transformation into one of the nation’s top 25 public research universities.

To achieve that goal, President Schulz will emphasize the University’s exceptional research and innovation that addresses the world’s challenges and stimulates the state’s economy. He has also pledged a university-wide focus on providing a transformative educational experience for students—to ensure their success in the classroom and after graduating from WSU.

A successful launch of the Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine is also high on the list of the president’s priorities. Created by the legislature in 2015, the college is in the process of seeking accreditation, which would allow the University to admit the first class of medical students in the fall of 2017.

“Creation of the Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine is the most dynamic development for this University in generations,” President Schulz says. ”We are poised to improve health care for all Washingtonians, and in particular for underserved populations where access to quality health care is limited.”

Reaching out to Cougar Nation

During his first months at WSU, President Schulz has emphasized listening to the Cougar Nation. He is meeting regularly with faculty, staff, students, alumni, and other members of the Cougar family as he leads efforts to build upon the University’s recent successes.

The president is one of the most active college presidents nationally to communicate via Twitter, using the social media tool to connect with the WSU family and share his pride in the university. You’re invited follow him:


National leader

A nationally respected university leader, President Schulz became the 11th president of WSU and a tenured professor in the Gene and Linda Voiland School of Chemical Engineering and Bioengineering on June 13, 2016. He previously served seven years as president of Kansas State University, where he guided KSU to a number of significant achievements in research, enrollment, and fundraising:

  • Enrollment reached a record 24,766 students in fall 2014.
  • Private giving increased from $84.9 million to $211 million in a four-year period.
  • With more than 40,00 members, Kansas State ranked No. 1 in the Big 12 for 18 consecutive years for the percentage of graduates who are members of the alumni association.
  • Campus facilities were expanded significantly, including construction of a welcome center, theater, academic facilities, and a football complex.
  • The University won three Big 12 Athletic Conference championships in two years: football (2012), men’s basketball (2013), and baseball (2013).
  • KSU was selected as home for the $1.2 billion Department of Homeland Security National BioAgro Defense Facility (NBAF).

President Schulz also chairs the NCAA board of governors, the NCAA’s highest-ranking committee. His term runs until January 2017. The board is charged with ensuring that each division of the NCAA operates consistently within the basic purposes, fundamental policies, and general principles of the association.

Prior to his appointment at KSU, President Schulz served in a variety of administrative roles during nine years at Mississippi State University. As vice president for research and economic development from 2007 to 2009, he guided MSU to significant advances in landing research grants and contracts. He was dean of the James Worth Bagley College of Engineering from 2005 to 2007 and director of the Dave C. Swalm School of Chemical Engineering from 2001 to 2004. He has also served on the faculty at Michigan Technological University and the University of North Dakota.

Personal background, interests and activities

President Schulz is a member of several professional societies, including the American Institute for Chemical Engineering (AICE) and the American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE). He is a fellow in both the ASEE and the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

He is active in the Boy Scouts of America and served as president of the Coronado Council. In 2013, he was recognized with the Distinguished Eagle Scout Award from the National Eagle Scout Association. He has also served in a variety of roles on the boards of the Cereal Food Processors, the Greater Manhattan Community Foundation, the Kansas Bioscience Authority, and the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology.

President Schulz earned his undergraduate and doctoral degrees in chemical engineering at Virginia Tech.

He is married to Dr. Noel Nunnally Schulz, who is a professor in the Voiland College of Engineering and Architecture. She previously was the associate dean for research and graduate programs in the Kansas State University College of Engineering and the Paslay Professor of Electrical Engineering.

The Schulzes have two sons, Tim and Andrew.

President Kirk H. Schulz

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President Schulz’s CV (PDF)

Washington State University