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Shock the World Campaign
In This Issue


Meet David Xu, WSU’s newest faculty member of distinction

Cooper family
David Xu recently spent several days teaching middle and high school students about computer coding and digital apps at a summer camp at Wichita State University.

David Xu has been selected to hold the H. Russell Bomhoff Professorship in the W. Frank Barton School of Business, making him Wichita State’s newest faculty member of distinction.

A WSU professor and researcher the past six years, Xu was one of nine Wichita State faculty members to receive the university’s top award for teaching and research in 2017. He also won the award in 2015. He has published 12 articles, many of them in the most prestigious journals in his field. His research – mostly about how and why we interact with technology – has drawn widespread interest and recognition.

And he’s a favorite with students, perhaps because of his philosophy toward teaching.

“The first key is to literally care about their success and future. After that, everything else comes naturally,” says Xu, associate professor of management information systems. “The second key is to have high expectations. When the bar is set high, students will meet their true potential.”

Bomhoff, who died in 2015, was a longtime supporter of Wichita State who also established a professorship in engineering and an engineering scholarship during his lifetime. His estate gift to Wichita State endowed the new business professorship and also supplemented the engineering endowments.

“Russell cared very deeply about Wichita State students and faculty,” says Elizabeth King, president and CEO of the WSU Foundation. “He wanted to share his success and good fortune with them. We are grateful for his generosity.”

Endowing new faculty chairs and professorships is a top priority in the WSU Foundation’s Shock the World campaign to raise $250 million for Wichita State. These distinguished positions are viewed as the highest tribute a university can bestow on a faculty member. For that reason, they are coveted by the most accomplished educators, scholars and researchers, and they are used by universities as tools to help recruit and retain exemplary faculty.

Another top campaign priority is building a new facility for the W. Frank Barton School of Business, a project that Xu sees as an investment in student and faculty achievement.

“When students see a facility that is up to date, they know that the university is serious about providing a good learning environment and is willing to invest in them,” he says. “And faculty see that they have the resources and spaces to conduct valuable research in a timely, efficient manner.”

Xu’s research focuses on technology, a topic that touches consumers as well as businesses. He has examined how to design what’s known in e-commerce as a recommendation agent, a tool that helps online shoppers select products that suit them best. Xu is looking at ways to improve customer satisfaction and make the decision-making aid better.

He also has studied why and how people choose certain technologies and how factors influencing their decisions change over time.

His new professorship comes with a stipend and additional funds to support his research and scholarship, Xu says. The extra money will be instrumental in allowing him to collect research data, attend professional conferences, hire graduate research assistants and upgrade equipment such as computers.

“I’m very excited about this professorship,” Xu says. “It is a great recognition of what I have done the past six years and it will enable me to sustain my research and deliver better outcomes as an educator.”

For more information

If you would like to learn more about endowing a faculty chair or professorship at Wichita State, contact Keith Pickus, WSU Foundation vice president, at 316-978-7791 or

Aaron Winter