Former Kansas Rep. Don Hill New ESU Government Relations Consultant

August 1, 2017

A familiar face will advocate for Emporia State University and Kansas public higher education in the Statehouse beginning today, Tuesday, Aug. 1. Former Kansas Rep. Don Hill will serve as ESU’s new government relations consultant.

A longtime education advocate, he has served on both the House Education (K-12) and the Higher Education Committees. Hill was also a founding member and convener of the legislative Higher Education Caucus, a bipartisan group of lawmakers from both the Kansas House and Senate devoted to supporting higher education and advancing opportunities for the state of Kansas.

Hill also served on the House appropriation committee and represented the Kansas Legislature at a Midwest Higher Education Compact conference.

“As ESU is poised for new vitality and growth,” Hill said. “I am excited and grateful for the opportunity to play an advocacy role for the university. While serving in the legislature there was no more important issue to me than support for Emporia State and higher education in general. I am looking forward to this new adventure!”

Hill’s association with Emporia State began when he purchased a local pharmacy, moved to Emporia and enrolled in a class in the School of Business. Previously he attended Kansas State University before earning his bachelor of science degree in pharmacy from the University of Kansas. He has served on the ESU President’s Community Advisory Council and the ESU Foundation Board of Trustees, a position he has now vacated as a result of his new role. 

In 2014, Hill received the University Service Citation from the ESU’s Alumni Relations.

“Don Hill’s career in the Kansas House was highlighted by his success in building consensus on important issues,” said ESU President Allison D. Garrett. “We are excited that he will use his expertise to work on Emporia State’s behalf.” 

Matt Casey, director of government relations at the Kansas Board of Regents, agreed. “I am very excited to work with Don in this new capacity,” Casey said. “I’ve known Don for 10 years and enjoyed working with him during his time as a legislator. He will make a great addition to the Kansas higher education government relations team as we continue our work in the statehouse.” 

Hill moves into the government relations role recently held by Brian Denton since 2014. Denton is moving to ESU’s Office of Institutional Research and Assessment where he will serve as coordinator of institutional effectiveness. 

“Institutional research is key for us to make informed decisions that will move Emporia State forward,” Garrett said. “I am so grateful that Brian will add his expertise to this very important department.”

Denton came to ESU in 2012 with a background in business analysis and corporate reporting for a Fortune 1000 company. Experience in these areas and government relations make him a natural fit for Institutional Research and Assessment, which is responsible for providing data to the U.S. Department of Education and Kansas Board of Regents among others.

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