The Kansas Board of Regents on Wednesday appointed Andy Tompkins, the board’s former chief executive officer, as interim president at Fort Hays State University.
“There is no one in the state of Kansas who has more experience as a leader in education, or who is more qualified to assist in this capacity,” Zoe Newton, regents chairwoman, said in a statement Wednesday.
Tompkins fills the space left vacant last month by Mirta Martin, who abruptly left. A press release from the Board of Regents said only that she had resigned for “personal reasons.”
Martin had been president at Fort Hays about two years.
Tompkins, who has served at all levels of public education, became CEO of the Kansas Board of Regents in June 2010. He retired from the position last year.
Tompkins, who got a master’s degree from Emporia State, and his doctorate at University of Kansas, began his career as a high school English teacher in 1969. Twenty-five years later, he was hired by Pittsburg State University as chairman and associate professor in the Department of Special Services and Leadership Studies. From 2007 to 2010 he served as dean for the school’s College of Education.
Before taking the Pittsburg State job, Tompkins had served nearly a decade as the commissioner of education for the Kansas Department of Education. Afterward, he served as an associate professor at the University of Kansas.
Tompkins was inducted into the Kansas Teachers Hall of Fame in 2001.