President of Emporia State University
from 1985 to 1997
Robert E. Glennen began his tenure as the 13th president of Emporia State University in 1984. He came to ESU from Western New Mexico University, where he had served as president. Previously, he had been vice president and dean at University of Nevada Las Vegas after beginning his administrative career as an associate dean at the University of Notre Dame.
Glennen holds a Doctor of Philosophy degree in counseling from the University of Notre Dame, and a Bachelor of Arts degree in languages and an Master of Education degree in Educational Administration from the University of Portland.
Glennen took the helm of ESU at a time when the university bore the marks of years of declining state support. He faced a $1.1 million budget cut, declining enrollments, and even the threatened closing of the institution. He adopted Daring to Excel as his administration's theme and challenged the university to succeed in academics, advising, extracurricular activities, and athletics in spite of its current condition.
Twelve years later, the university was financially sound and enjoying a national reputation as a leader in teacher education reform and student retention and as an innovative marketer through its regional distance program in the School of Library and Information Management.
During his tenure as president, Glennen was instrumental in the founding of the National Teachers Hall of Fame. Glennen has been recognized nationally for his teacher education reform efforts. He was one of six finalists for the AASCU 1992 Presidential Award for Support of Teacher Education. In 1989, he received the National Academic Advising Association's Award of Excellence for contributions to the field of academic advising over a 20-year period. Personally, he has received the Distinguished Alumni Award from the University of Portland, the Outstanding Faculty Award at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, and the University of Notre Dame Man of the Year. He was named a 1994 Kansas master teacher and was the 1994 recipient of the Mike Harder Public Administrator of the Year Award by the Kansas Chapter of the American Society for Public Administration.
Glennen Field at the Trusler Sports Complex is named for him.