University announces organizational changes

Wichita State University is updating its organizational structure to better support our vision and mission. With the recent executive retirement announcements, there is an opportunity to reevaluate our current needs, create more efficiencies and advance our priorities. Effective immediately, the following changes will be reflected in our organizational structure:

Title changes

  • The position of executive vice president and provost will change to senior executive vice president (EVP) and provost.
  • Senior vice president for industry and defense programs will be EVP for research, industry and defense programs.
  • Vice president of administration and finance will be senior vice president for administration, finance and operations.

Organizational realignment

Academic research and industry and defense research will once again be united in one office under the leadership of Dr. John Tomblin. This change will allow the university to reunite our academic and industry research efforts, as was the case prior to 2020.

“John Tomblin has been leading our research efforts in industry and federal expenditures for the past 30 years and is considered by our elected officials and regent leadership as the voice of research for WSU,” said WSU President Rick Muma. “We have had great successes in both academic and industry research areas. However, our industry research is outpacing our academic research. We have built up a nationally known capability for applied research, and now is the time to grow our other research capabilities by leaning into these successes.”

To support Tomblin in his new role, a new associate vice president for research position will be added to the university research office. This position will specifically focus on faculty-led academic research, aiming to enhance our applied research efforts and align both with the university’s vision for applied learning.

Dr. Coleen Pugh, who has been serving a dual role as both the vice provost for research and the dean of the Graduate School, will focus solely on her duties as dean, and she will continue to support and advance university research through engagement with the Graduate School.

“As Wichita State University continues to grow in research and enrollment, the time is right to separate the roles of the Graduate School dean and vice provost of research to allow us to bring more intentional focus to the university goals to become an R1 institution and grow graduate enrollment,” Pugh said. “Over the past four years, the amount of faculty-funded research awards has doubled. I am proud of the work of the Office of Research has done to support, recognize and celebrate the successes in faculty-led research. It has been a pleasure to work with such a talented and devoted team in the Office of Research, and I am confident this team will continue to serve us well as we continue to pursue our next milestones.”  

Pugh’s current vice provost for research responsibilities will transfer to the new AVP.

The finance and administration VP is being renamed senior VP for administration, finance and operations, allowing the next SVP hired in this area to add an operational role to the division to care for our rapidly expanding university footprint. 

Finally, as these aforementioned changes are being made, the senior leader in charge of the university in the absence of the president, currently the EVP and provost, will be become the senior EVP and provost.