General Information

Wichita State University Profile

WSU’s location in the largest city in Kansas enhances the traditional classroom experience by providing students greater opportunities in resources, contacts with business and government leaders, employment and internships. WSU is also a local resource for businesses, industry, nonprofits and local government.

Both traditional and nontraditional students enjoy a wide selection of day, evening and summer courses in more than 200 areas of study at the main, west and south locations. Of approximately 14,500 students 77 percent are from Kansas, representing 102 counties in the state, and the remainder are from almost every state in the U.S. and 105 other countries. The average age of entering freshmen at Wichita State is 19; the average age of all undergraduate students is 23.

Nearly 72 percent of the students attend full time, while the remainder attend part time and take advantage of gaining work experience at local companies including Airbus, Bombardier Aerospace, Spirit AeroSystems, Textron Aviation (including Beechcraft and Cessna), Via Christi Regional Medical Center, Wesley Medical Center and Koch Industries. Many students also take advantage of WSU’s work-based learning program, which has partnerships with 500 top organizations in the United States.

Wichita State, which is classified by the Carnegie Foundation as a doctoral granting, high research institution, offers undergraduate and graduate degree programs in more than 200 areas of study culminating in 58 bachelor degree programs, an associate degree, 12 doctoral degrees, 44 master’s degrees, a Specialist in Education degree and 37 credit bearing certificates in seven colleges and one institute: Dorothy and Bill Cohen Honors College, W. Frank Barton School of Business, College of Education, College of Engineering, College of Fine Arts, College of Health Professions, Fairmount College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, and the Institute for Interdisciplinary Creativity.

The Higher Learning Commission and 21 program-specific accrediting agencies accredit WSU. A listing of WSU programs and degrees is located in both the graduate and undergraduate catalogs.

Wichita State has 539 full-time faculty and 74 part-time faculty, with 71 percent of the faculty having earned the highest degree in their fields.

Although WSU’s first commitment is to excellence in instruction, it also has strong commitments to excellence in research and public service as integral parts of its educational mission. The National Institute for Aviation Research consistently receives funding from such agencies as the FAA and NASA to continue important research in such areas as composites and aging aircraft. According to the National Science Foundation, WSU is one of the top research universities for aerospace research in the country. WSU’s Regional Community Policing Training Institute is helping train law enforcement and other officials in the region on such relevant topics as counter­terrorism.

Businesses, local government, industry and nonprofits benefit from such WSU resources as the Mid-America Manufacturing Technology Center, Small Business Development Center, Center for Management Development, Center for Entrepreneurship, Community Engagement Institute and Hugo Wall School of Public Affairs.

WSU offers numerous recreational and cultural opportunities through the many concerts, recitals, theater, dance and other productions performed in its fine arts facilities. The Ulrich Museum of Art specializes in contemporary art. More than 77 pieces of sculpture by internationally known artists adorn the campus as part of the Martin H. Bush Outdoor Sculpture Collection, which has been recognized as one of the top 10 campus art collections by Public Art Review. In 2004, WSU became only the second U.S. university to acquire a sculpture by renowned artist Andy Goldsworthy. The university’s premier cultural collection of Asmat art, one of the largest such collections in the United States, is on display in its Lowell D. Holmes Museum of Anthropology.

As an NCAA Division I institution, WSU fields teams in tennis, cross country, basketball, track, golf, crew, bowling, baseball, volleyball and softball.

More than 160 social and special interest clubs provide opportunities for students to meet and work with others who share their interests. Approximately 20 national sororities and fraternities are active on campus.

The 330-acre traditional campus is modern and accessible and at the same time retains the flavor of the university’s heritage, combining distinctive Georgian-style architecture with more modern buildings of stone and brick that are accentuated by attractive landscaping. During the past 25 years, Wichita State has more than doubled its instructional space, adding major buildings for art, engineering, health sciences, sciences, physical education, music, dance, and liberal arts and sciences.

The adjoining Innovation Campus was announced in 2014 and construction will be completed by early 2017 on a new Experiential Engineering Building and on a separate building to house an Airbus engineering center with more than 300 full time employees. Additional buildings committed for Innovation Campus include a Law Enforcement Training Center, student apartments, hotel and coffee shop. Additional buildings are planned, including a new home for the Barton School of Business.

To find out more about WSU, go online to


The mission of Wichita State University is to be an essential educational, cultural and economic driver for Kansas and the greater public good.


Wichita State University is internationally recognized as the model for applied learning and research.

2017–2018 University and Academic Officers

John W. Bardo, president
Tony Vizzini, provost and senior vice president
Werner Golling, vice president for administration and finance
John Tomblin, vice president for research and technology transfer
Lou Heldman, vice president for strategic communications
Teri Hall, vice president for student affairs
David Moses, general counsel
Andrew Schlapp, executive director of operations, government relations
Marche Fleming-Randle, assistant to the president for diversity
Richard Muma, senior associate vice president for enrollment management
Darron Boatright, director of athletics
Dennis Livesay, dean of the Graduate School
Kimberly Engber, dean of the Dorothy and Bill Cohen Honors College
Anand Desai, dean of the W. Frank Barton School of Business
Shirley Lefever, dean of the College of Education
Royce Bowden, dean of the College of Engineering
Rodney E. Miller, dean of the College of Fine Arts
Sandra C. Bibb, dean of the College of Health Professions
Ronald R. Matson, dean of Fairmount College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
Kathy Downes, dean of university libraries

Kansas Board of Regents

Blake Flanders, president and CEO

Board Members

Joe Bain, Goodland
Shane Bangerter, Dodge City
Ann Brandau-Murguia, Kansas City
Bill Feuerborn, Garnett
Dennis A. Mullin, Manhattan
Dave Murfin, Wichita, vice chair
Zoe Newton, Sedan, chair
Daniel J. Thomas, Mission Hills
Helen Van Etten, Topeka

WSU History

Wichita State University began as Fairmount College, a Congregational institution, in 1895. In 1926, by a vote of the citizens of Wichita, the college became the Municipal University of Wichita, the first municipal university west of the Mississippi River. After 38 years as a municipal university, WSU again changed its status July 1, 1964, when it entered the state system of higher education. The citizens of Wichita had voted to move the university into the state system and when the measure passed the Kansas Legislature, Wichita endowed WSU with a 1.5 mill levy, a tax that was later adopted by Sedgwick County. The WSU Board of Trustees administers these funds and other local assets of the university.

During its history, the university has had 13 presidents:

Nathan J. Morrison, 1895–1907;
Henry E. Thayer, 1907–1914;
Walter H. Rollins, 1914–1921;
John Duncan Finlayson, 1922–1927;
Harold W. Foght, 1927–1933;
William M. Jardine, 1934–1949;
Harry F. Corbin, 1949–1963;
Emory Lindquist, 1963–1968;
Clark D. Ahlberg, 1968–1983;
Warren B. Armstrong, 1983–1994;
Eugene M. Hughes, 1993–1998;
Donald L. Beggs, 1999–2012; and
John W. Bardo, 2012–present.