Office of the President Kirk Schulz biography

President Kirk H. Schulz

Kirk H. Schulz became the 11th president of Washington State University and a tenured professor in the Gene and Linda Voiland School of Chemical Engineering and Bioengineering on June 13, 2016.

President Schulz is guiding WSU’s transformation into one of the nation’s top 25 public research universities, one that offers exceptional research and innovation and a transformative educational experience to undergraduate and graduate students.


In his 7-year tenure as president of Kansas State University, President Schulz guided the university to a number of significant achievements.

  • Research
    In 2015 the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching reclassified Kansas State University as an institution with the “highest research activity,” a notch up from its 2010 “very high research activity” standing. K-State faculty researchers received record amounts of extramural funding.
  • Enrollment
    A record-setting 24,766 students enrolled in fall 2014, maintaining K-State’s longtime status as the top choice of high school graduating seniors in Kansas.
  • Fundraising
    For 5 consecutive years, fundraising at Kansas State exceeded $100 million annually, reaching a total of $211 million in fiscal year 2014.
  • Athletics
    $192 million in athletic facility improvements were completed, including:

    • Expanded football complex $69 million, 4-story complex with an academic learning center; strength, conditioning, training and recovery area; locker rooms; a team theater and meeting rooms; an office complex for coaches; and improved seating and fan amenities
    • Transformed stadium center $75 million project designed to create an unsurpassed game-day experience for fans
    • New basketball training facility $18 million, 50,000-square-foot headquarters for the men’s and women’s basketball teams
    • New rowing program practice center 9,000-square-foot climate-controlled facility with two 2,800-gallon vessels
    • New tennis stadium Six outdoor, lighted courts with bleachers
  • Alumni
    The alumni association boasts enrollment of more than 40,000 members. For 19 consecutive years, K-State has ranked No. 1 in the Big 12 for the share of graduates who become members.
  • Awards
    • Recognition for service and patriotism, Topeka Military Order of World Wars (Honoring President Schulz, 2015)
    • Friend of the Flint Hills, Flint Hills Discovery Center Foundation (Honoring Kansas State University, 2014)—Recognized the university’s contributions to the Konza Prairie, one of the last remaining tallgrass prairies in North America
    • Chief Executive Leadership Award, Council for the Advancement and Support of Education (Honoring President Schulz, 2012)
  • Government relations
    Secured funding for the construction of the National Bio and Agro-defense Facility, or NBAF, working with the Kansas congressional delegation, the governor’s office, and the Kansas legislature
  • Communications and marketing
    Created a one-stop shop for free campus marketing and creative services: web, video, publications, design, photography, news, and marketing. Launched a new university website.


Virginia Tech, Ph.D., 1991, chemical engineering
Virginia Tech, B.S., 1986, chemical engineering
Old Dominion University, 1981-84

Professional background


Current, president and professor of chemical engineering


2009–2016, president and professor of chemical engineering
Kansas State University Leadership Professorship


2007-2009, vice president for research and economic development
2005-2007, dean of the James Worth Bagley College of Engineering
2001-2005, director of the Swalm School of Chemical Engineering


1998-2001, associate professor and department chair, chemical engineering
1995-1998, assistant professor of chemical engineering


1991-1995, assistant professor of chemical engineering

Professional and academic affiliations

  • Chair, NCAA board of governors, 2014-16
  • American Society of Engineering Education (fellow)
  • American Association for the Advancement of Science (fellow)
  • American Institute for Chemical Engineers (member)
  • Various roles serving boards of the following organizations:
    • Cereal Food Processors
    • Greater Manhattan Community Foundation
    • Kansas Bioscience Authority
    • Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology

Personal interests and activities

Boy Scouts of America

Served as president of the Coronado Council, 2012-14. In 2013, presented the Distinguished Eagle Scout Award by the National Eagle Scout Association.



Married in 1987 to Dr. Noel N. Schulz, professor, Voiland College of Engineering and Architecture, Washington State University

Two sons

Tim, computer scientist, Sandia National Laboratory
Andrew, undergraduate in engineering, Oklahoma State University

President Kirk H. Schulz

Download environmental photo
Download portrait photo

President Schulz’s CV (PDF)

Washington State University