In a news release yesterday, the Kansas Board of Regents announced that retired Air Force General Richard B. Myers, the former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, will step in as interim President of Kansas State University on the departure of Dr. Kirk Schulz to Washington State.
Myers, a Kansas Citian who graduated from Shawnee Mission North in 1960, currently holds the position of Foundation Professor of Military History at K-State. He is an alumnus, graduating in 1965 with a B.A. in Mechanical Engineering, and received his MBA from Auburn-Montgomery while in the service.
Myers was commissioned into the Air Force right after graduation from K-State, and was a command pilot. He moved through the ranks, eventually being named Commander of U.S. Forces in Japan in 1993. Four years later, he was placed in charge of the country's entire Pacific air fleet, and a year after that was made Commander in Chief of NORAD. In March 2000, he was appointed to the post of Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff under Bill Clinton; he was serving as acting chairman on 9/11. Three weeks later was appointed to the post proper, and was instrumental in planning the invasion of Afghanistan. He stepped down in 2005 on his retirement from active duty, and was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom five weeks later.
Shortly after his retirement, he accepted the professorship at Kansas State, based in the Military Sciences building which was named in his honor shortly thereafter. His business resume, which is relevant to his new duties, includes positions on the Boards of Directors of Northrup Grumman, United Technologies, Aon, and John Deere.
In Myers, Kansas State will have a very distinguished and accomplished person -- who, beneficially, is Purple to the core -- to guide the university through its transition to a new president. (It's even possible Myers himself will be a candidate for the full-time position, although that hasn't been addressed.)
Myers will move to Anderson Hall later this month, facilitating the early departure of Dr. Schulz.