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Summer 2014 Horizon Header

       

Strengthening faculty is a priority in upcoming campaign

John Tomblin, left, the Sam Bloomfield Distinguished Professor of Aerospace Engineering, says the professorship has enabled him to explore his passion in the area of composite materials research.
John Tomblin, left, the Sam Bloomfield Distinguished Professor of Aerospace Engineering, says the professorship has enabled his students to explore new areas of research and innovation.

The level of education WSU students receive is dependent on the caliber of the faculty that Wichita State is able to retain and recruit. 

    For that reason, faculty support is one of the four philanthropic priorities of Wichita State’s upcoming comprehensive campaign. Included in this priority is the endowment of more chairs and professorships. Currently, the university’s six colleges have a total of 31. 

    “These positions are one way to make us more competitive in our recruitment efforts and to give recognition to the faculty already on staff,” said WSU President John Bardo. “Our basic mission is carried out by people, and the primary people are the faculty.” 

    Each new chair or professorship created at Wichita State will be focused on advancing innovative teaching and engaging in research initiatives that have the potential to improve the region’s social and economic well-being. 

    “The new economy is being driven by knowledge,” said Bardo, “and our faculty will lead the creation of knowledge.” 

    Many of the new positions also will support the Innovation Campus initiative, with a particular emphasis on faculty collaboration to advance technology innovation across academic disciplines. 

    Two faculty members who currently hold endowed posts — John Tomblin and Stanley Longhofer — are great examples of the kind of leaders Wichita State needs, Bardo said. 

    Tomblin is the Sam Bloomfield Distinguished Professor of Aerospace Engineering. He also is executive director of the National Institute for Aviation Research and recently was named vice president of WSU’s research and technology transfer division. 

    “One of my most honored moments at Wichita State was receiving this professorship because of Sam Bloomfield’s reputation as one of Wichita’s aviation pioneers,” Tomblin said. “The professorship has allowed me to expand my research of composite materials, which in turn has enabled me to empower my students to explore new areas of research and innovation, and help WSU influence new aircraft development.” 

    Longhofer is the Stephen L. Clark Chair of Real Estate and Finance and director of the WSU Center for Real Estate. 

    “The Clark endowment played an essential role in bringing me to Wichita State,” said Longhofer. “The analysis and expertise we offer through the Center for Real Estate can help policy makers and real estate professionals make better decisions in their work, and my interactions with them help inform my teaching and inspire new topics for research.”