Skip to main content

Past Emporia State Presidents

Past presidents + interim presidents

Meet ESU's past presidents

Ken Hush, Interim President 2021-2022

Ken Hush was named ESU Interim President on Nov. 17, 2021. Hush is a graduate of Emporia State and was inducted into the ESU Athletics Hall of Honor in 1995. He previously served as chairman of the ESU Foundation Board of Trustees and on the Wichita State University Board of Trustees. Hush was named the 18th president of Emporia State University on June 22, 2022.

Dr. George Arasimowicz: Acting President October 2021-November 2021

Dr. George Arasimowicz was named ESU Acting President on October 16, 2021, after the departure of President Allison Garrett. He was named Emporia State Provost in April 2021. Prior to coming to ESU, Arasimowicz was dean of the College of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences at Central State University, an historically black university in Ohio. Arasimowicz’s academic background is in music. He earned an associate diploma (A.R.C.T.) in piano performance from Royal Conservatory of Toronto, honors bachelor of arts in English and history from Carleton University, bachelor of music from University of Toronto, master of arts from McGill University, Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada exchange award to Poland (Chopin State Academy of Music and Experimental Studio of the Polish Radio) and a Ph.D. from the University of California, San Diego.

Allison Garrett: 2016-2021

Named president October 22, 2015.

President of Emporia State University from January 4, 2016 to October 15, 2021.

Allison D. Garrett began her tenure as Emporia State’s 17th president in 2016. President Garrett brought a wealth of experience to Emporia State in both higher education and the corporate world. She worked for nearly four years as executive vice president at Abilene Christian University, five years as the senior vice president for academic affairs at Oklahoma Christian University and three years as an associate professor of law at Faulkner University.

Prior to entering the academic field, she worked for over 10 years at the Walmart Inc. corporate offices. During her time at Walmart, she held positions of vice president and general counsel for the corporate division and vice president of benefits compliance and planning. Earlier, she worked for the United States Securities and Exchange Commission and in private practice.

President Garrett has a bachelor’s degree in English from Oklahoma Christian University, a juris doctorate from the University of Tulsa College of Law and a masters of laws in securities regulation from Georgetown University.

She is a native of Neosho, Missouri. President Garrett and her husband, Chip, have three children. Ethan, an accountant, and his wife, Danielle, live in Edmond, Oklahoma. Daughter Tori, a communications professional, also lives in Edmond. Son, Noah, is a college student.

Dr. Jacqueline Vietti: Interim president June 2015 to Dec. 2015

Named interim president June 1, 2015

President of Emporia State University from June 1, 2015, to December 31, 2015.

Dr. Jacqueline Vietti has worked in public higher education for over 35 years, providing direction and leadership for community colleges and higher education systems in Kansas and Missouri and the 19-state region of the Higher Learning Commission. For over 17 years, she served as President of Butler Community College, the second largest public community college in the state, retiring in 2012.

Since then, Dr. Vietti has continued to work on behalf of public education and communities across Kansas, serving as a guest lecturer, an evaluator for the Higher Learning Commission, facilitating numerous initiatives, and as a member of a number of Boards, including El Dorado Inc., Susan B. Allen Memorial Hospital, and the Kansas Board of Regents Postsecondary Technical Education Authority.

Born in Eureka, Kansas, Dr. Vietti is a graduate of Kansas State University, where she earned a Bachelor of Science in Biological Science (1970); Emporia State University, where she earned her Secondary Teaching Certificate (1971); and Pittsburg State University, where she earned a Master’s of Science in Community College Teaching (1982). In 1991, she received her Doctorate of Philosophy in Adult and Occupational Education, also from Kansas State University.

Dr. Michael D. Shonrock: 2012-2015

Named president December 9, 2011.

President of Emporia State University from January 3, 2012 to May 29, 2015.

Michael D. Shonrock, an undying optimist and self-described futurist, became the 16th president of Emporia State University in January 2012. Michael’s presidency had similarities to another 16th president — Abraham Lincoln, who served as president of the United States in 1863, the same year Kansas State Normal, now Emporia State University, was founded.

Like Lincoln, who believed it was important for morale and communication to circulate with the troops during the Civil War, Michael was often seen representing Hornet Nation on campus, in the Emporia community, in the region, across the state and at special events throughout the United States.

Among Michael’s education are two graduate degrees earned in Kansas — a specialist in community college and a doctoral of philosophy in higher education administration. Michael feels strongly about the sense of the Common Good and embedding leadership competencies and experiences for our students, faculty and staff.

Michael and his wife, Karen, enjoyed the campus and community. They loved hosting events and attending Hornet athletic, alumni, foundation and performing arts events. Both served on various committees and volunteer groups. They are very appreciative of the support of the Emporia community, Lyon County, Kansas legislators and friends who support the Hornet Nation.

Dr. H. Edward Flentje: Interim president July 2011-December 2011


Named interim president July 1, 2011.

President of Emporia State University from July 1, 2011 to December 31, 2011.

Dr. H. Edward Flentje returned to his alma mater at the request of the Kansas Board of Regents, who named him interim president beginning July 1, 2011.

Dr. Flentje earned his bachelor’s degree in education in math and physical science in 1964 from Kansas State Teachers College, now Emporia State University. He earned a master’s degree in government from George Washington University in 1965 and a Ph.D. in political science from The University of Kansas in 1970.

His career in higher education and government has spanned four decades.

Dr. Flentje joined Wichita State University in 1979 and served as a professor of public administration and also held numerous administrative assignments. From 1999 to 2008, he served as the director of Wichita State’s Hugo Wall School of Urban and Public Affairs.

He also has taught at Chicago City College, Southern Illinois University at Carbondale and The University of Kansas and held administrative appointments at the Illinois Board of Higher Education and Southern Illinois University.

Dr. Flentje’s public service has included serving in the cabinets of former Kansas Govs. Robert F. Bennett and Mike Hayden. Dr. Flentje also served as chair of the Kansas Development Finance Authority, president of the Wichita Airport Authority and as interim city manager of Wichita in 2008.

At ESU, Dr. Flentje served on the board of the ESU Alumni Association, was elected to the Emporia State University Foundation board in 2010 and was named a Distinguished Alumni in 2010.

A native Kansan, Dr. Flentje was born and reared in Harper County, attending public schools in Bluff City. He is a member of the American Political Science Association, American Society for Public Administration, Kansas State Historical Society and International City/County Management Association.

Michael R. Lane: 2006-2011

15th President of Emporia State University, November 1, 2006 to June 30, 2011.

Dr. Michael R. Lane became the 15th president of Emporia State University on November 1, 2006.

Dr. Lane earned a doctorate in accounting from Texas A&M University, a master’s in accounting from Northeastern University and a bachelor’s in finance from Lowell Technological Institute (now the University of Massachusetts at Lowell).

A native of Melrose, Massachusetts, Dr. Lane’s career in higher education began in Boston as an assistant professor of accounting at Northeastern University. As a professor at Bradley University he served as Chair of the Department of Accounting, Associate Dean of the College of Business and Director of the MBA Program. In 1994 he was named dean of the School of Business at Indiana University-Purdue University-Fort Wayne. He later advanced to dean of the Campbell School of Business at Berry College in Rome, Georgia. At Mansfield University of Pennsylvania, Lane served over four years as provost and vice president for academic affairs. Prior to coming to Emporia State University, he was vice chancellor for academic affairs and provost at the University of Arkansas – Fort Smith.

Dr. Lane was active for many years in the American Accounting Association, serving on the board of the Midwest region. He served Beta Alpha Psi, the national accounting honors and professional fraternity for several years as faculty vice president at Northeastern University and Bradley University where he was selected as one of five “Outstanding Faculty Vice President” by the national organization. Dr. Lane also served on the national Council of Beta Alpha Psi.

As a business dean, Dr. Lane was active in regional activities of Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB). Dr. Lane has published or presented more than two dozen papers and has written ethics cases for a principles of accounting text book.

A strong advocate for international education, Dr. Lane has traveled to Russia on several occasions for both Bradley University and Mansfield University. His international emphasis for ESU has been in Asia where he has visited with ESU partners in South Korea, Japan, and the People’s Republic of China. Dr. Lane encourages all students to study abroad and experience the world!

President Lane is a member of Congressman Jerry Moran’s Executive Committee and the Board of Directors for The Renaissance Group. He is a member of the Kansas Park Trust, Steering Committee for the Visitors Center at the Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve and a member of the Board of Directors of the Kansas Park Trust. He also serves on the Board of Directors for the Kansas Business Hall of Fame, the Regional Development Association of East Central Kansas and the National Teachers Hall of Fame. He serves on the Newman Regional Health Board of Trustees and on the Board of Directors of the Emporia Area Chamber of Commerce. He is a member of the Kansas Cavalry, and the Rotary Club of Emporia and a graduate of the 2009 Class of Leadership Kansas.

His wife, Dr. Peggy Lane, was the Chair and Professor in the Department of Accounting and Information Systems in the Emporia State University School of Business.

John O. Schwenn: Interim president May 2006-October 2006

Dr. John O. Schwenn served as interim president from May 31, 2006 to Oct. 31, 2006.

A native of La Crosse, Wisconsin, Dr. Schwenn obtained his BS degree in Psychology from the University of Wisconsin - La Crosse where he received the Maurice O. Graff Distinguished Alumni Award in 2005. He earned a M.S. and a Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin - Madison.

In 1976, Dr. Schwenn became a faculty member and Director of Special Education at Delta State University in Cleveland, Mississippi. In 1989, he was named the Associate Chair of Psychology and Special Education at Emporia State University. He has since held the positions of Chair of Psychology and Special Education, Dean of Graduate Studies and Research, Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs, and since 1997, Vice President for Academic Affairs.

Dr. Schwenn has been active in numerous professional organizations including the Learning Disability Association where he was Mississippi and Kansas state president, the Council for Exceptional Children where he was the Mississippi Federation President, the Kansas Division of Learning Disabilities where he was state president, and the Kansas Teacher Education Division state president. He is a member of the Board of Directors of the William Allen White Community Partnership, Incorporated, the Board of Governor’s of the Renaissance Group, and the Board of Directors of the National Teachers Hall of Fame. He is also a member of the Board of Trustees of the Flint Hills Technical College.

His more than 40 scholarly publications include books, chapters, and journal articles. He has presented at more than 60 international, national, and state conferences

Dr. Kay Schallenkamp: 1997-2006

14th President of Emporia State University, 1997 to 2006

A native of Salem, South Dakota, Dr. Schallenkamp earned a doctorate in communication disorders from the University of Colorado in 1982. She also received a master’s degree from the University of South Dakota and a bachelor’s degree from Northern State.

Dr. Schallenkamp began her career in higher education in 1973 as a professor of communication disorders at Northern State University in South Dakota. She served as department chair from 1982-84 and was named dean of graduate studies and research in 1984. In 1988, she was named provost of Chadron State College and in 1992, provost of the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater. She was active in numerous professional associations including the North Central Association – Higher Learning Commission, the American Association of State Colleges and Universities, and the American Speech, Language, and Hearing Association. She served on more than 25 accreditation teams and served as the team chair for visits to Japan and England. She served as a Commissioner of the North Central Association – Higher Learning Commission. She chaired the Board of Trustees for the National Teachers Hall of Fame and served on the Executive Committee of The Renaissance Group and the Board of Directors for the Kansas Chamber of Commerce and Industry. She also served as chair of the Presidents Council of NCAA Division II.

During Dr. Schallenkamp’s tenure at ESU she stabilized enrollment. Several years of decline preceded Schallenkamp’s tenure and an accomplishment was a reversal of the trend. She created a graphic identity standard for the University. The “Power E” replaced multiple logos and improved recognition of ESU. She improved statewide recognition of ESU and improved its statewide visibility. She built a student recreation center, addressing a longtime need for more recreational and social opportunities for students. Also under her leadership, the endowment pool in the ESU Foundation increased and she initiated the Presidential Scholars program, allowing the automatic offer of a scholarship to those with high ACT scores. This initiative improved recruiting.

Dr. Schallenkamp ended her career at Emporia State University to become the ninth president of Black Hills State University in Spearfish, South Dakota.

Dr. Robert E. Glennen: 1985-1997

13th President of Emporia State University, 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.

Dr. John E. Visser: 1967-1985

12th President of Kansas State Teachers College from 1967 to 1985

Dr. John Evert Visser served as the president of Kansas State Teachers College, now Emporia State University, for more than 17 years. He was born April 24, 1920, in Orange City, Iowa. He earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Hope College in Holland, Michigan, a Master of Arts degree and a Doctor of Philosophy degree from the University of Iowa in Iowa City, and an honorary doctoral degree from Universidad Industrial de Santandar in Bucaramunga, Columbia, in 1968. He received and honorary doctoral degree from Hope College in 1995.

He was an Army officer in the infantry during World War II, having served in Europe from 1944 to 1946. He had received a Bronze Star, Combat Infantry Badge, and ETO Ribbon with two battle stars. He held the rank of captain when he was discharged. He was inducted into the Infantry Officer Candidate School Hall of Fame in Fort Benning, Ga., in 1982.

He was an assistant professor of history at Hope College from 1949 to 1957 and served as dean of men in 1955-56. He held administrative positions at Western Michigan University and Grand Rapids Junior College in Michigan until 1962. He was executive assistant to the president and a professor of history at Ball State University in Muncie, Ind., from 1962 to 1967. In 1967, he accepted the presidency at KSTC.

During Visser’s administration, he established the faculty and student senates and placed a strong emphasis on open communication between students and the administration. In addition, he organized the school into separate academic schools with departments and divisions within each. He also obtained funding for the Education-Psychology building, which is now named in his honor.

The most significant change occurred in April 1977, when KSTC was granted university status and was renamed Emporia State University.

Visser left Emporia State University in 1984 and became an advisor to the Alaska university system. He was vice chancellor at the University of Alaska at Anchorage and was interim chancellor at the University of Alaska at Juneau. He was vice chancellor of the University of Wisconsin at Green Bay in 1988.

Dr. Larry Boylan: Interim president August 1966-February 1967

Dr. Larry Boylan served as Interim President of Kansas State Teachers College from August, 1966 to February, 1967

Laurence (Larry) Boylan served as interim president at Kansas State Teachers College (KSTC) from August 1966 to February 1967.

Boylan was born on November 26, 1908 in Le Roy, New York. After graduating high school, he attended Allegheny College and completed his bachelor of arts in 1932, and then earned his master’s and doctorate from Cornell University. After graduating with his master’s degree, Boylan served as a guidance director at the Gloversville, New York public school district.

Boylan began his 20-year career at the Kansas State Teachers College in 1954 as the Student Services Director. In 1958, he became Dean of Graduate Studies, a position he held until he retired in 1972.

Dr. John E. King: 1953-1966

11th President of Kansas State Teachers College, 1953 to 1966

John E. King became the 11th president of Kansas State Teachers College, now Emporia State University, in 1953. King was raised in Texas, served as lieutenant in the Navy during World War II, and later served as provost of the University of Minnesota at Duluth before coming to KSTC. During his 13 years as president, KSTC’s enrollment increased six-fold, reaching its highest enrollment ever. Scholarships also increased in number and there was an emphasis on science as scientific competition with the Soviet Union increased.

King left KSTC in 1966 to take a position as president of the University of Wyoming. Emporia State’s King Hall, which houses the Art Department and the Communication and Theatre Arts Department, is named in his honor.

Dr. John E. Jacobs: Interim president January 1953-June 1953

Dr. John E. Jacobs served as interim president from January 16, 1953 to June 26, 1953.

John E. Jacobs was appointed interim president of the Kansas State Teachers College on Jan 16, 1953, after president David L. MacFarlane died from heart problems. MacFarlane had been ill and in the hospital for several months. Jacobs served until John King was named the school’s 11th president on June 26, 1953.

Jacobs was a graduate of the teachers college at Pittsburg, had a M.S. in education and also a Ph.D. from the University of Kansas.

He joined the faculty at Kansas State Teachers College at the time as supervisor of secondary education in 1947. He was a visiting professor of education at the University of Kansas, and for a year was principal of the University high school, Mt. Oread. After teaching a rural school in Osage County and elementary schools in Burlingame, Jacobs became principal of the senior high school in Osawatomie, Kan. He was principal of the junior high in Lawrence from 1934 to 1941.

Jacobs was one of several individuals responsible for the development of the Endowment Association in 1953.

After being replaced by King, Jacobs became director of the program for exceptional children under the state Department of Education.

Dr. David L. MacFarlane: 1945-1953

10th President of Kansas State Teachers College, 1945 to 1953

David L. MacFarlane was named the 10th president of Kansas State Teachers College, now Emporia State University, in 1945. Born in Scotland, MacFarlane came to America with his parents at age 5 and settled in West Warren, Mass. He received bachelor’s degrees from Northwestern University, in 1916, and from Garrett Theological Institute, in 1917. He later obtained a doctoral degree from Edinburgh University in Scotland in 1931.

MacFarlane accepted a position on KSTC’s history faculty in 1935 and was named Dean of Men at KSTC a year later. In 1943, he was appointed chairman of the Kansas State Board of Social Welfare. He accepted the presidency at KSTC in 1945.

During his tenure at KSTC, MacFarlane obtained the funds necessary to build William Allen White Library and residence halls. MacFarlane died in 1953 while still president of KSTC.

James F. Price: 1943-1945

9th President of Kansas State Teachers College, 1943 to 1945

James F. Price served as the ninth president of Kansas State Teachers College from 1943-1945. He was Dean of the law school at Washburn University before being named president of KSTC. Many committees were created during Price’s tenure and the needs of the students were his most immediate concern. Price resigned in 1945 to become Dean of the Denver Law School and because of his wife’s deteriorating health.

Thomas W. Butcher: 1913-1943

8th President of Kansas State Normal School, 1913 to 1943

Thomas W. Butcher served as the eighth president of Kansas State Normal School, now Emporia State University, for 29 years. Butcher graduated from the University of Kansas in 1894, obtained a master’s degree from Harvard in 1904, served as president of Central Oklahoma State Normal School for two years, then studied at the University of Berlin for a year. Upon his return to the United States, he served as superintendent of schools at Enid, Okla., before being named president of KSN.

Among the many accomplishments during his term, KSN became one of the first normal schools recognized and accredited by the North Central Association. KSN became Kansas State Teachers College on February 20, 1923, by an act of the Kansas legislature.

Butcher left KSTC in 1943. Butcher Children’s School is named for him.

Joseph H. Hill: 1906-1913

7th President of Kansas State Normal School, 1906 to 1913

Joseph H. Hill, the seventh president of Kansas State Normal School, later Emporia State University, was the first president to have graduated from KSN. He graduated from KSN in 1876 and went on to teach at the secondary level and obtain a higher degree from Northwestern University before returning to teach at KSN in 1887. He was head of the Latin department for 19 years and was an instructor in the history of education. He was vice president of KSN for five of those years before being named president in 1906.

Two new buildings were built during Hill’s tenure: the gymnasium and the Science Hall. The Old Music Hall also was acquired. The Normal schools at Hays and Pittsburg were branches of KSN at that time as well. Buildings opened during Hill’s term were old Albert Taylor Hall, Kellogg Library, and the hospital. The graduate program also was introduced during Hill’s tenure.

After leaving KSN, Hill was a professor of education at Boston University. Hill started the Clark Teachers Agency in 1915 and later served as a pastor of the First Methodist church in Topeka before moving to Kansas City.

Jasper N. Wilkinson: 1901-1906

6th President of Kansas State Normal School, 1901 to 1906

Jasper N. Wilkinson served as the sixth president of Kansas State Normal School, later Emporia State University, from 1901-1906. Wilkinson was a graduate of Illinois State Normal University and came to KSN in 1884 as director of training and physical culture. He later was vice president of KSN before succeeding Albert R. Taylor as president. During his tenure, the first organized basketball game was held in 1901. He is most remembered for his contribution to the development of physical education at KSN. Following his tenure as president at KSN, he went into business in Oklahoma.

Albert R. Taylor: 1882-1901

5th President of Kansas State Normal School, 1882-1901

During Albert R. Taylor’s tenure as president of Kansas State Normal School, later Emporia State University, the school saw great growth. Some programs he instituted included 10-week sessions, summer school, commercial courses, and military drills. He also upgraded the history, economics, and psychology departments. By the turn of the century, the school was thriving and enrollment and faculty had increased significantly.

Taylor went on to help found Millikin University in Decatur, Ill. Albert Taylor Hall, located in Plumb Hall, is named in his honor.

Rudolph B. Welch: 1879-1882

4th President of Kansas State Normal School, 1879-1882

Rudolph B. Welch assumed the presidency of Kansas State Normal School, later Emporia State University, in 1879. Welch oversaw the replacement of the burned-out administration building with a new facility. The new building was located on the present site of the sunken garden near the front entrance to the campus.

Charles Rhodes Pomeroy: 1873-1879

3rd President of Kansas State Normal School, 1873 to 1879

C. R. Pomeroy was the third president of Kansas State Normal School, later Emporia State University. He was an educator and later a minister before accepting the presidency in 1873. During Pomeroy’s tenure, KSN experienced extreme difficulty, including a complete loss of funding in 1876. The school was then only funded through tuition and fees. In 1878, a fire damaged the newly acquired administration building and enrollment dropped to 90 students.

Pomeroy went on to teach at Callahan College in Des Moines, Iowa, and later was Dean and Professor of Mental and Moral Philosophy at Puget Sound University in Washington state before his retirement in 1899.

George W. Hoss: 1871-1873

2nd President of Kansas State Normal School, 1871 to 1873

George Hoss had a brief tenure as president of Kansas State Normal School, later Emporia State University, from 1871-1873. Although his time at KSN was short, he was instrumental in securing a $50,000 appropriation from the legislature for the institution. This funding was an important step in the school’s growth.

Lyman Beecher Kellogg: 1865-1871

1st President of Kansas State Normal School, 1865 to 1871

Lyman Beecher Kellogg became the first president of Kansas State Normal School, now Emporia State University, in 1865. He was born in Lorain County, Ohio, September 28, 1841, but spent most of his youth in Illinois. He graduated from Illinois State Normal University in June 1864. In January 1865, he was selected to head the fledgling Kansas State Normal School. The school opened on February 15, 1865, with 18 students in a stone schoolhouse. Funding, facilities, and even teaching materials were limited in the early years, and Kellogg was the only teacher. Kellogg taught from a classic background, emphasizing Latin and English. In fall of 1865, he added Henry Brace Norton, also an Illinois Normal University graduate, to the faculty.

Kellogg left Kansas State Normal School in 1871 and went on to become a member of the state Legislature, later a probate judge, and eventually attorney general of Kansas.

Kellogg Circle is named in his honor.