Chris Culbertson has been named dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at Kansas State, serving his first official day on Sunday.
Culbertson said his extensive background in the College of Arts and Sciences, as well as the research he’s conducted, made him an excellent candidate for this position.
“I started at K-State in 2002 in the chemistry department,” Culbertson said. “I moved up the ranks to professor, and then I became the associate dean for research of the college. In 2022 I became the interim dean. … My research has dealt with creating devices that can detect cancer early. … I also ran the research experience for undergraduates program in chemistry for 12 years.”
Culbertson said as dean, it is his job to ensure all students and faculty in the college are supported and provided with adequate resources for their success.
“I am here to help people,” Culbertson said. “I consider myself a servant leader in that sense. I consider myself successful if the people in the college are successful — that means faculty, staff and students. I work really hard to make certain people have the opportunities and resources they need.”
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Culbertson said the first issue he plans to address as dean is the decreasing enrollment within the College of Arts and Sciences.
“Our enrollment has declined over the last 12 years continuously,” Culbertson said. “The first thing we put in place is a new way of doing recruitment. By personalizing that, redoing our campus visits and redoing our scholarship model we can begin to grow our majors in the College of Arts and Sciences.”
Culbertson said the work done by the College of Arts and Sciences has a positive effect on every student at K-State, not just students in the college.
“We provide simply the gen-ed courses for all the students that promote critical thinking,” Culbertson said. “The foundational courses we offer improve civic engagement and the personal feeling of satisfaction. … You learn those types of things in the arts and sciences. We provide the basis upon which a lot of the other courses in the other colleges build upon.”