WSU Foundation makes quality a fundraising priority

Quality is a big issue at Wichita State. The word emerges frequently when WSU President John Bardo talks about his five major priorities for the university. To continue to recruit the best and the brightest, the university has to focus on being its best. Here’s how our WSU supporters can help.

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  When Bardo talks about quality, one of the topics he discusses is the reasons why WSU attracts and keeps the best faculty.

   “The reality is students’ experiences here are only as good as the faculty they have,” he said. “Maintaining our ability to hire and keep very high quality faculty is absolutely crucial.”

   More endowed chairs and professorships are needed to help encourage them. There are currently 31 endowed professorships and chairs that are fully or partially funded by private dollars. The College of Education, however, does not have any. This is a high priority.

   “If you have a heart to create excellence for our students,” says Elizabeth King, WSU Foundation president and CEO, “then establishing a professorship or chair is a wonderful place to start. It also speaks volumes about how we value our faculty.”

    “We also need to attract and keep the top students in the area so they have a higher probability of staying in Wichita,” Bardo said.

   There are two issues. One is the affordability of college — getting students here. And the other is to improve the quality of the university — we need to get the capable students to come and stay at WSU. It is like recruiting athletes; they have many offers and many opportunities. To build our student population with the best and the brightest requires money to bring them here. That money would be in the form of merit-based scholarships. More private funds are needed to help with this priority.

    The WSU Foundation is challenged with modernizing existing academic buildings.

   “No priorities have been established about which buildings are first in line, but we are bursting at the seams in engineering and business,” Bardo explains. “The health care field is changing so rapidly that we need to expand the capacities of our health care facilities, too.”

    In addition, renovations and new equipment will help give the historic buildings that we love and care about a longer life, meeting the needs of today’s faculty and students.

   Bardo also can see where his priority of technology transfer could align with facility updates, adding a new item to the WSU Foundation’s list. He has discussed Wichita State having a technology sandbox where students, faculty and staff can create new ideas for innovation and products in a centralized, staffed and equipped location. 

   The quality of life, programming and facilities all affect what students, faculty and staff see and feel and lead to the overall experience they'll remember for a lifetime. 

circle arrow If you would like to help WSU be its best, please contact Terre Johnson, WSU Foundation vice president for major gifts, at (316) 978-3808 or at

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Wichita State University Foundation

1845 Fairmount St., Wichita, KS 67260-0002
Phone: 316-978-3040 | Fax: 316-978-3277

© 2014 Wichita State University Foundation

Wichita State University Foundation is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization and donations are tax-deductible to the full extent allowed by law.