Following a lifetime of public service, Kansas State University President Richard B. Myers plans to retire at the end of this calendar year. Myers has served as the university’s 14th president since 2016. He also is a Kansas State University Foundation professor of military history and leadership.
“Mary Jo and I truly loved our time at K-State and working with students, faculty and staff,” Myers said. “Being president of my alma mater was one of the most fulfilling jobs I’ve ever had. It was an honor to help move K-State forward on many fronts. I’m grateful for the opportunity to work with the many talented and dedicated people who comprise the K-State family.”
During Myers’ time as president, the university has undergone significant changes to prepare for the future. One major initiative was the adoption of a new budget model. The new model is performance-based and supports strategic investments to drive innovation and growth. Now in full implementation, the new model is much more transparent than the historical model the university had used for decades.
Myers also led a comprehensive Strategic Enrollment Management initiative to counter declining enrollment. This included restructuring the entire university recruiting, student success, and scholarship programs, moving to a data-driven strategic approach, and streamlining the tuition structure. Although interrupted by the pandemic, the initiative is showing positive results in establishing a base for future growth.
Last year saw the completion of the university’s Morris Family Multicultural Student Center following expanded efforts to lead diversity and inclusion efforts across the university. Myers also added a chief diversity and inclusion officer to the president’s cabinet and elevated diversity and inclusion issues to a top priority.
He and his wife, Mary Jo, served as co-chairs of the Kansas State University Innovation and Inspiration Campaign that raised $1.6 billion. The campaign surpassed its original goal by $600 million.
Myers graduated from the university in 1965 with a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering and joined the Air Force through K-State’s ROTC program. He received a master’s degree in business administration from Auburn University in 1977. He also graduated from Air Command and Staff College at Maxwell Air Force Base in 1977, U.S. Army War College at Carlisle Barracks in 1981, and the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, where he completed a program for Senior Executives in National and International Security in 1991.
The native Kansan from Merriam retired as a four-star general in the Air Force. From 2001-2005, he served as the 15th chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and was the principal military adviser to the U.S. president, secretary of defense, and the National Security Council. In 2006 Kansas State University named the military science building — home of the Army ROTC and Air Force ROTC programs — Gen. Richard B. Myers Hall, in honor of his service and dedication.
The Kansas Board of Regents will announce details on the search to replace Myers at a later date.