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Mosier touts FHSU's success, role in education

4/2/2014

By DIANE GASPER-O'BRIEN

dobrien@dailynews.net

Everything about Fort Hays State University seemed to intrigue Greg Mosier the past two days.

That might be because FHSU's philosophy is similar to the one Mosier employs as dean of the School of Business at the University of Nevada-Reno.

The 57-year-old -- seeking to be the next FHSU president ­-- is the third of five finalists to visit the campus for a two-day tour that includes meetings with numerous community and campus groups.

He addressed an audience at a Wednesday morning press conference in Sheridan Hall and, at times, sounded a bit like the man he is hoping to replace -- longtime FHSU President Edward Hammond.

Hammond, who will turn 70 in May, announced in the fall his retirement from the presidency, effective this summer.

"Fort Hays State University has adopted a culture and a tradition of student success, which is a central part of everything that takes place here," Mosier said.

"The question is, how are you going to make it better? How do you continually strive to make it better?"

That, he thinks, is accomplished by continually moving forward, a trademark of Hammond's in his 27 years at the helm.

"What excites me about Fort Hays State University is that it defines the role of higher education in the 21st century," Mosier said. "A lot of things that are happening here are the role model for many, many, many other places around."

And Mosier should know.

After all, a lot of his innovative measures are similar to those at Fort Hays.

Mosier developed a corporate partners program for his school of business to give students "the opportunity to explore" and also started a business student council. And he actively is involved in the university's outreach program in other countries.

He called faculty "the heart of any university."

"Retention rates are directly affected by engaged faculty and engaged students," he said. "The engaged student is the one most likely to succeed."

Mosier said he thinks it's the job of the entire university "team" to accomplish the age-old goal of "making (students') lives better."

Mosier talked of his visits with business faculty at Nevada-Reno at the beginning of each school year.

"I would tell them there are 3,000 students going to start in the College of Business tomorrow because they think we can make their lives better," he said. "If you boil it down, that's why people come to a university, isn't it? They show up here because we have told them and they believe and they are convinced that we in some way can make their life better.

"So I would say my vision is 'better.' It's almost a calling in a way, rather than a career or a profession. People here actually share that vision."

The name of the fourth finalist will be announced at noon Sunday. There will be a 4:30 p.m. reception on campus Monday and a press conference Tuesday. The site of Monday's reception will be announced with the release of the fourth candidate's name.

FHSU will submit its candidate recommendations to the Kansas Board of Regents at the conclusion of the campus visits, and the board anticipates naming the ninth president of FHSU by late April -- with the new president taking office July 1.

The final candidate is scheduled to come to Hays April 10 and 11.