4th FHSU presidential candidate to be introduced

04/06/14 br/kb

HAYS, Kan. -- The fourth of five candidates selected as presidential finalists for Fort Hays State University will visit Hays and meet with campus and community groups on Monday and Tuesday, April 7-8.

The fourth finalist, Dr. Michael H. Droge, who will be accompanied by his wife, Molly Droge, M.D., currently serves as president of Park University, a non-profit, private institution in Parkville, Mo.

Dr. Droge ("o" as in "toe," "g" and "e" as in "gear": DRO-ge) has led this master's-level institution since 2009. Park University operates 40 campus centers in 21 states and serves more than 20,000 students annually with face-to-face, online and blended programs. Prior to his current appointment, he served as provost and senior vice president for academic affairs at Park (2003-2009), as dean of graduate studies and research at Texas Woman's University, Denton (2000-2002), and as founding director of the Center for Student Research Support at Texas Woman's University (1997-2000). He was tenured in 1989 at Texas Woman's University, where he served as a faculty member in the biology department (1983-2002).

Dr. Droge grew up on a farm near Leawood and graduated from Stanley Rural High School. He received his Ph.D. in physiology and biophysics from the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston; a Master of Science in zoology from Texas Tech University, Lubbock; and a Bachelor of Arts in biology and German from the University of Kansas. From 2011-2013, Dr. Droge served as co-chair of the Kansas City Area Development Council's Higher Education Task Force. In 2014, he was named an "Icon of Education" for Kansas and Missouri by Ingram's Magazine; in 2012, he received the Distinguished Alumnus Award from the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences at the University of Texas Medical Branch; and in 2011 he was named Distinguished Visiting Professor by Taipei Medical University.

The community is invited and encouraged to meet the candidate at a reception at 4:30 p.m. Monday, April 7, in the Dreiling Lobby of Sheridan Hall (601 Park St.) on the FHSU campus.

FHSU President Edward H. Hammond announced his retirement, effective June 30, 2014, in the fall after serving the university since 1987. Shortly thereafter, the Kansas Board of Regents initiated the search process by selecting Denis Miller, Phillipsburg, chair of the FHSU Foundation Board of Trustees, to chair the Presidential Search Committee. In December, the Regents selected the members of the search committee, comprising 19 individuals representing FHSU constituencies, such as faculty, students, administration, staff, alumni, the Hays community and the Board of Regents.

"We are pleased with the number of outstanding candidates that have applied for the presidency at Fort Hays State University," said Miller, "and we look forward to continuing the process that will lead to selection of a new president."

The dates for the last presidential finalist visit are April 10-11. Details will be forthcoming.

For more information about the FHSU Presidential Search process, visit:

The Search Committee will submit to the Board of Regents its candidate recommendations at the conclusion of the campus interviews. The Board anticipates naming the next Fort Hays State University president in late April.

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