The Kansas Board of Regents has appointed Dr. Richard Muma as the 15th president of Wichita State University, effective immediately. Muma has been serving as interim president of Wichita State since September 2020.
Community leaders and members of the Shocker Nation joined virtually and in person on Thursday, May 6, for the announcement by the Kansas Board of Regents.
Muma has been a cornerstone of the campus community for over 25 years as a professor, department chair, executive vice president and provost, acting president and — most recently — interim president.
During his interim presidency, Muma has worked with campus constituency groups to align Wichita State’s priorities with KBOR’s Building a Future plan. Earlier this year, he introduced the university’s priorities as the following:
- Provide opportunity for affordable, accessible and impactful education. Wichita State is committed to trying to keep tuition affordable by keeping down costs as much as possible and raising private funds for need-based scholarships. “We know the most important step we can take to support our community and Kansas is to provide educational opportunities for the citizens in our own backyard so they can go on to live productive lives for themselves and their families,” Muma wrote in an April newsletter.
- Support businesses by providing a talent pipeline that meets their needs. Through the university’s Shocker Cities initiative, it’s focused on recruiting out-of-state students along the I-35 corridor at in-state tuition rates and inviting them to come to Wichita State to learn and, hopefully, stay and use their education and talents in Kansas. “All of this is meant to help address local workforce and community issues and also helps to grow the Kansas economy.”
- Grow and diversify our state’s economy. “Through our concerted efforts in digital transformation, artificial intelligence, and smart manufacturing, Wichita State is at the forefront of growing and supporting innovative industries, career opportunities, and economic prosperity in Kansas,” Muma wrote.
Personal and family
Muma lives in Wichita with his spouse, Rick Case. Case is the district director for the Farm Service Agency of the U.S. Department of Agriculture. They have two adult sons Drew and Collin and a daughter-in-law, Abi.
Muma and Case are members of the WSU Foundation’s Society of 1895. In 2011, they established Richard D. Muma and Rick A. Case Equality Scholarship in 2011 for student members of Spectrum: LGBTQ & Allies, a WSU student organization.
Richard Muma background
Muma, who goes by Rick, was born in Wichita but raised in Houston. He earned a Bachelor of Science in Physician Assistant Studies from the University of Texas Medical Branch-Galveston, a Master of Public Health in Community Health from the University of Texas Health Science Center-Houston, and a Ph.D. in higher education administration from the University of Missouri-St. Louis.
He has more than 30 years of experience as a professor, administrator and physician assistant in internal medicine and infectious diseases.
Before assuming the executive vice president and provost position in 2018, Muma served as the senior associate vice president for Academic Affairs and Strategic Enrollment Management.
While at Wichita State, he has also served as chair and professor in the departments of Public Health Sciences and Physician Assistant. Muma has also served as chair for Saint Louis University's Department of Physician Assistant Education and an assistant professor at the University of Texas Medical Branch-Galveston’s Department of PA Studies.
As the executive vice president and provost, Muma served as the university's chief academic officer and provided academic leadership for the university's priorities — including enrollment, applied learning, funded research, and regional economic development.
Prior to assuming administrative roles at Wichita State, Muma was active in reshaping health profession education at Wichita State. Most notably, he was responsible for developing undergraduate degrees for paramedics and health science majors, a master’s degree in physician assistant studies, and reorganizing the Department of Public Health Sciences to include undergraduate degrees in health management and health science and a graduate degree in aging studies.
Muma has published his research in notable journals and has edited four books, two on HIV infection and two others on patient education.