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Rick Muma named as Wichita State’s 15th president

Published: May. 6, 2021 at 8:17 AM CDT
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WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) - Wichita State University named Dr. Rick Muma as its 15th president after a months-long closed search.

Most recently, Muma, born in Wichita, served as the interim president of the university after the resignation of Dr. Jay Golden. Golden was president for only nine months.

Before serving as interim president, Muma was appointed as provost of the university in 2018. Prior to serving as provost, Muma was the senior associate vice president for academic affairs and strategic enrollment management and held several positions at the College of Health Professions starting in 1994. Muma was also briefly the acting president of the university in 2019 when President John Bardo died.

Muma received a Bachelor of Science in Physician Assistant Studies from the University of Texas Medical Branch-Galveston, a Master of Public Health from the University of Texas Health Science Center-Houston, and a Ph.D. in higher education administration from the University of Missouri-St. Louis.

Muma’s time at Wichita State dates back to the 1980s. His grandmother, Mary Blowers, was a secretary for the philosophy department until her retirement in 1982.

According to The Sunflower, the student newspaper at Wichita State, Muma said he was not a candidate for the university president position.

The search for Wichita State’s president was closed, making it the second closed search for the university in two years. None of the candidates’ names were disclosed to the public.

Wichita State will announce its new president Thursday at 10 a.m. after a months-long closed search.

This is the university’s second presidential search in two years.

The new president follows the resignation of Dr. Jay Golden in September. Golden was hired after late President John Bardo died in 2019 from a chronic lung condition.

The new president will start by July, the beginning of the school’s fiscal year.

Wichita State’s president search chair Dan Peare said in March that most of the candidates for the position had a higher education background.

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