Much expected of new dean of engineering at WSU
Economic development in Wichita will get a new actor with a southern accent starting in 2014.
Royce Bowden, an engineer and university leader from Mississippi State University, in January will become the new dean of the College of Engineering at Wichita State University.
Given the intense and longtime relationship between WSU engineering and local industry, it's a crucial job. The dean is pivotal in job creation and economic development in Wichita, in spite of budget cuts, recessions and legislators' criticisms. His boss at WSU, Tony Vizzini, joked about telling Bowden, "I want him to walk on water."
Vizzini, who is vice president for academic affairs and holds a doctorate in engineering, said the aerospace companies that Wichita depends on are polite but blunt about what they want from WSU engineers. Vizzini said the companies have told him WSU does well in producing graduates with the kind of hands-on training Wichita companies prefer.
"But they also tell me they want even better graduates with even more hands-on training," he said.