Meet Kansas State’s 3 new administrators

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Charles Taber will take over as provost and executive vice president after April Mason’s resignation on Aug. 15. In a release from K-State News, university president Richard Myers said Taber will also work on strategic enrollment management and budget modernization.

“I will work in three main areas to improve the financial position of KSU,” Taber said via email. “(1) There are steps all universities must take to improve efficiency and effectiveness in administration, including assessing and revising budget processes; (2) we must be tireless in making the case for the value of higher education as a public good that deserves more public support; and (3) we must explore new sources of revenue, including increased research funding and philanthropy. I have many ideas in these areas, but I also can’t wait to talk with KSU students, faculty and staff to hear what they are thinking.”

As chief academic officer, Taber will be, in addition to serving as an advisor to Myers and serving as CEO in his absence, responsible for K-State’s academic priorities. According to the news release, this will include remodeling academic programs, academic planning, resource allocation and curriculum design. He will “focus on the quality of teaching and learning; providing global perspective and strategic direction to successfully manage operating budgets; and enhance the quality of the student experience at all levels.”

Since 2013, Taber served as vice provost for graduate and professional education and dean of the Graduate School at Stony Brook University in New York. He said that in the past he has “led several administrative innovations, including a new budget process and a new enrollment management process.”

He has also worked as a professor and instructor in political science.

“I have been a college professor for 29 years and an administrator for the last 10 of those years, and I absolutely love what I do!” Taber said. “I have served as Dean of the Graduate School, Dean of the School for Professional Development, and Interim Provost at my previous institution, Stony Brook University. I have broad experience with many different approaches to education, including online education, experiential education and team-taught learning communities.”

Taber said K-State, like other universities, is a complex community of people who hold their beliefs very strongly. For that reason, he said his political science expertise comes into play a lot as an administrator.

“We have an opportunity to broaden perspectives by bringing people with different views together in challenging, supportive, inclusive environments,” Taber said. “I believe this is critical if our university is to truly be the engine of opportunity that we want it to be.”

Corey Williamson, on Sept. 10, will become the new executive director of the K-State Student Union. According to a news article from the Student Union, Williamson gained years of experience managing and operating student unions at three other universities.

After graduating from K-State with a master’s degree, Williamson worked as the coordinator of operations at the University of Akron Student Union. In 2010, he became the associate director of programs of the Joe Crowley Student Union at the University of Nevada, Reno.

Currently, Williamson serves as the associate director/interim director of the Iowa State University Memorial Union, where he works on departmental assessment initiatives, project management, technology services, as well as on annual capital renewal and budget planning. At Iowa State he also serves as the Black Faculty and Staff chair and co-chairs its Student Affairs Diversity and Inclusion committee.

“Corey is coming to our university with significant student union experience and a demonstrated understanding of what it takes to continue the momentum created by our current administration,” Pat Bosco, vice president of student life, said in the Student Union’s news release. “We are incredibly fortunate to attract this K-State graduate and former student leader to our university community.”

The current student union director, Bill Smirga, will retire on Sept. 10.

“I am excited about the opportunity to return to the campus living room where I discovered my passion for the student union profession,” Williamson said in the news release. “As true for many of my fellow Wildcats, the K-State Student Union served as my connection to the Kansas State University community and played a critical role in my development as a student.”

Ernie Minton assumed a new position July 1 as the College of Agriculture interim dean and interim director of K-State Research and Extension. But Minton is not at all new to the university; he has been faculty member since 1983 and an administrator since 2008.

“Since 2008, I have worked under three deans and in doing so, I have had the opportunity to represent the dean in a wide variety of activities,” Minton said via email. “So far, I haven’t encountered anything that was a complete surprise, although as would be expected, some of the responsibilities are less familiar than others.”

As chief administrative officer for the College of Agriculture and K-State Research and Extension, Minton will be a strategic leader in prioritizing the academic direction of the college, according to a K-State News release.

“I’m looking forward to working more closely with and on behalf of undergraduate students,” Minton said. “I will also have the opportunity to interact with our extension faculty more directly and understand more thoroughly the wide variety of programming activities that they deliver on behalf of Kansas residents. … I am looking forward to interacting more directly with the other two mission areas, teaching and extension, that are so vital to our mission as a land-grant university.”

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