Former Salinan Named Interim FHSU President

A former Salina school superintendent has been appointed interim president of Fort Hays State University. The Kansas Board of Regents Wednesday appointed Dr. Andy Tompkins to the position.

Tompkins’ interim presidency begins Monday, Dec. 19.

Tompkins became president and CEO of the Kansas Board of Regents on June 1, 2010, and retired from the position on June 30, 2015.

Throughout his career, he served at all levels of public education, beginning as a high school English teacher in 1969. He became a Principal in 1973, then served as Superintendent of Schools in Satanta, El Dorado and Salina from 1977-1994.  In 1994, he was hired by Pittsburg State University as Chair and Associate Professor in the Department of Special Services and Leadership Studies.  He then went on to serve as Interim Dean for the College of Education (1995-1996), a position he returned to as Dean from 2007-2010.  In 1996, he was asked to serve as the Commissioner of Education for the Kansas Department of Education, a role he continued in through 2005.  From 2005-2007 he was an Associate Professor at the University of Kansas, teaching in the Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies.  He came to the Kansas Board of Regents in 2010.

Tompkins was selected as Kansas Superintendent of the Year in 1992, was inducted into the Kansas Teachers Hall of Fame in 2001, and received the Governor’s Award presented by the Kansas State High School Activities Association in 2002. He was the 2002 recipient of the Leadership Kansas Alumnus of the Year Award, received the University of Kansas College of Education Distinguished Service Award in 2004, and was given the Emporia State University Distinguished Alumni Award in 2005.

Tompkins is taking over for Dr. Mirta Martin, who caught many students, staff, and faculty by surprise when she unexpectedly announced her resignation on November 23rd. Martin had served as FHSU President since May of 2014. She was the ninth president of Fort Hays State University, and the first ever female president at the school.