Dr. Andy Tompkins
A native of Oklahoma, Tompkins graduated from East Central University in 1969 where
he majored in English. After completing his undergraduate degree, Tompkins attended
Emporia State University where he completed his master's degree in education administration
in 1973, and completed his doctorate in education from the University of Kansas (KU)
After graduating from ECU, Tompkins began his 46-year career as an educator as a secondary
teacher in Oklahoma, quickly moving to Hugoton, Kansas the following year. Following a year at Hugoton, Tompkins went to serve as West Franklin High School's
principal in Pomona, Kansas before serving as the superintendent at three different school districts from 1977 until 1994. From 1994
to 1996, Tompkins served at Pittsburg State University as the interim dean of the School of Education and the school's Special
Services and Administrative Studies department.
• In 1996, Tompkins was hired as the Education Commissioner for Kansas. Tompkins served
at a time when the State School Board was at odds on how to fund public schools and
deleted any mention of the word "evolution" from the state's science studies. Tompkins
also helped the state implement the No Child Left Behind Act, passed in 2001 by the United States Congress. Tompkins, who retired in 2005 after serving as the longest education commissioner
in Kansas, served under Governors Bill Graves and Kathleen Sebelius.
• In 2005, returned to teaching as he accepted a position within the School of Education
at KU. Two years later in 2007, Tompkins made a return to Pittsburg State as the College of Education dean. He served that position until June 2010 when he became the President/CEO
of the Kansas Board of Regents, the governing board of the seven state universities and 25 community and technical colleges.
• During his tenure, which began June 1, 2010, Tompkins faced budget issues when Sam
Brownback took office as Governor, leading to university budget cuts. Aside from the
budget cuts, Tompkins helped search and hire four Regent university presidents: Michael
Shonrock, John Bardo, Mirta Martin and Allison Garrett. Tompkins retired on June 30,
• Tompkins also served as Fort Hays State University's interim president from December
19, 2016 to December 15, 2017. He became interim president of Wichita State in April
2019 after the death of John Bardo.
Kansas Superintendent of the Year, 1992
Inducted into the Kansas Teachers Hall of Fame, 2001
KSHSAA Governor's Award, 2002
KU College of Education Distinguished Service Award, 2004
ESU Distinguished Alumni Award, 2005