Emporia State Distinguished Alumnus Dr. H. Edward Flentje to take helm as interim president

May 16, 2011

Ed FlentjeA Wichita State University professor who graduated from Emporia State and serves on the university’s Foundation board will take the helm of his alma mater as interim president beginning July 1.

Dr. H. Edward Flentje was named interim president during a special meeting today of the Kansas Board of Regents. Flentje replaces Dr. Michael R. Lane, who will step down from the presidency on June 30. Flentje will serve as interim president until the Regents name a new president. He will not be a candidate for the presidency.

"The Board is excited that Dr. Flentje has accepted our invitation to serve as Emporia State's Interim President," said Regent Gary Sherrer of Overland Park, the chairman of the Kansas Board of Regents. "Ed is well-known throughout the state and in the Emporia community, and he brings with him a wealth of knowledge and experience that will serve ESU well through this transition period."

Said Flentje, who was a member of the 2010 class of ESU Distinguished Alumni, "Emporia State plays a vital role in our state's future, and I look forward to assisting the Board of Regents and the University in their transition to new leadership. The faculty and staff of Emporia State gave me an extraordinary foundation for my career, and I view this appointment as a special opportunity to be of service to the University that has given me so much."

Flentje, who earned a bachelors degree in education-mathematics and physical science from ESU in 1964, has served as a professor of public administration and in a number of administrative assignments at WSU since 1979. Most recently, he served as the director of WSU's Hugo Wall School of Urban and Public Affairs from 1999 to 2008.

Flentje served as a cabinet officer and state agency head for two Kansas governors. From 1986 to 1988, he chaired the transition and served as secretary of administration for Gov. Mike Hayden, and from 1975 to 1979, he served as the director of state planning and sesearch for Gov. Robert Bennett. In addition, Flentje served as the interim city manager for the City of Wichita in 2008.

A native Kansan, Flentje was born and raised in Harper County, and attended public schools in Bluff City. In addition to his undergraduate degree from ESU, he holds a master’s degree in government from George Washington University and a Ph.D. in political science from The University of Kansas.

Flentje's association with ESU extends over a half century. He graduated from ESU in 1964 and was recognized by the University with the Distinguished Alumni Award in 2010. He was elected to the ESU Foundation board last year, and he previously served on the ESU Alumni Association board. In recent years, Flentje has assisted in re-establishing the Alpha Kappa Lambda fraternity on campus.

"While at Wichita State, I have actively recruited graduates of Emporia State and know from this experience that the faculty and staff of Emporia State are dedicated to their educational mission and are performing an exceptional job of preparing their students," Flentje said. "I also know from my continuing association with the young men of ESU's Alpha Kappa Lambda fraternity that the university continues to attract outstanding students from throughout Kansas."

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