KBOR approves several WSU projects

The Kansas Board of Regents met on Thursday, Sept. 15 in Topeka for its monthly meeting. Among the issues discussed were the following items:

  • Wichita Biomedical Campus: KBOR approved a proposal from Wichita State and the University of Kansas to develop a $302 million, 470,000-square-foot facility that will consolidate and align the two universities’ health- and biomedical-related education and research.
  • New NIAR building: The board approved WSU’s proposal to construct a Technology and Innovation Building on the Innovation Campus. The $36.5 million project will be financed through a combination of EDA funds that were recently awarded to the university, NIAR funds, and revenue bonds.
  • University Stadium: The board approved a plan to replace Cessna Stadium with a new facility that will accommodate about 10,000 spectators. The project will be completed in two phases, with the first phase beginning in August 2023. Funding is yet to be identified for this project.
  • Woodman Alumni Center: A $1.7 million proposal to renovate WSU’s alumni building was approved. The 18,718-square-foot project is driven by the merger of the Alumni Association and the WSU Foundation. The renovation aims to unify the WSU Foundation staff on the upper level and refresh the building finishes to be in line with the current modern university aesthetic. WSU Foundation will be funding the renovations.
  • City-County Mill Levy: The board approved the university’s proposal to spend mill levy funds from Sedgwick County and the city of Wichita. The proposal included more than $3 million for capital improvements, $5.2 million for student services, $495,720 for economic and community development, and $422,444 for university research and support services.
  • Peer institutions: KBOR approved an updated list of peer institutions for Wichita State University to include Cleveland State University, Portland State University, University of Memphis, University of Nebraska at Omaha, and University of Texas at San Antonio.
  • Regents Distinguished Professor of Public Finance: President Muma nominated and the board approved Dr. Hai (David) Guo as the fourth Regents Distinguished Professor of Public Finance. The purpose of the Regents Distinguished Professorship is to attract and retain established scholars whose research projects augment the state’s economic and industrial development. Guo, who previously served as an associate professor at Florida International University, has published in the most prestigious journals in the field of public administration and public finance.
  • Honorary doctorate: The board approved Dr. Mona Nemer to be awarded an honorary doctorate from Wichita State during commencement ceremonies in December 2022. A 1977 WSU graduate, Nemer holds a bachelor’s degree in chemistry with minors in French and mathematics from Wichita State. She is currently serving as the chief science advisor to Canada’s Prime Minister, Minister of Innovation, Science Industry and Cabinet.