Paul Adams named as permanent dean for FHSU College of Education and Technology

Few have filled as many and varied roles at Fort Hays State University as Paul Adams, and his educational footprint just grew considerably larger.

Graham Glynn, FHSU’s new provost, announced today that Adams had been selected as dean of the College of Education and Technology. Adams had been serving as interim dean since Robert F. Scott Jr. left in May last year to become a vice president at Kansas Wesleyan University in Salina. Adams will assume his new duties on June 7.

“It gives me great pleasure to announce Paul’s appointment as the next dean of the College of Education and Technology at Fort Hays State,” Glynn said. “Dr. Adams was selected for this position after an extensive national search. He brings great strengths to the leadership of the College, including a collaborative leadership style, an interest in mentoring faculty, and an extensive record of procuring multidisciplinary national grants that have benefited many of our colleges and faculty.”

Glynn also noted that Adams has an extensive understanding of the Kansas education system and the needs of the state. “I greatly look forward to working with Paul in the years to come and ask you to join me in congratulating him on this achievement,” he said.

Adams is a professor of physics. In May 2003, he was named to a new endowed chair when Philip Frederick Anschutz, Sue Anschutz-Rodgers and the Anschutz Family Foundation created the Marian Pfister Anschutz Endowed Professorship in Education in memory of their mother, an FHSU alumna.

Adams heads the Science and Mathematics Education Institute at Fort Hays State, and in that role he played a key part in developing the Kansas Academy of Mathematics and Science, which was established by the Kansas Legislature in 2006 as the state’s premier academic program for the best and brightest high school students. He also was instrumental in developing MakerSpace, an area in Forsyth Library for FHSU students and members of the Hays community to build, tinker and explore projects and ideas within the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

In addition to his duties at Fort Hays State, Adams is involved in the local community and most recently was elected to the Hays USD 489 Board of Education as the top vote getter.

Mirta Martin, FHSU president, joined Glynn in welcoming Adams to his new position. “After a rigorous search process, Dr. Adams emerged as the obvious choice as dean because of his passion for education, his qualifications and his expertise,” she said. “He is the perfect leader for the College of Education and Technology. I have all the confidence that together with the gifted faculty and talented staff, he will inspire students to make Fort Hays State their destination of choice.”

The dean provides leadership to more than 32 full-time faculty and nearly 2,000 students who represent 11 countries, 41 states and most counties in Kansas. The College has three departments — Teacher Education, Advanced Education Programs and the Institute of Applied Technology — and supports the Science and Mathematics Education Institute and the Kansas Center for Innovative Education. The College offers both undergraduate and graduate courses of study yielding more than 32,000 credit hours of instruction after years of double-digit growth.

The student pass rate on the state licensure examination for teachers is 92 percent. Of particular note is that 32 percent of school superintendents and 16 percent of principals throughout Kansas have studied in the College, far surpassing the five other Kansas Regent institutions and private colleges or universities in the state.

“I’m honored by the opportunity to have been selected dean for the College of Education and Technology,” Adams said. “The faculty of COET are dedicated individuals who do their best to serve Fort Hays State, Kansas and the world. I welcome the opportunity to be a leader of this College as we move forward, providing highly qualified teachers, administrators, counselors and technologists for the state of Kansas and beyond.”

Adams received a bachelor’s degree in physics and math from Heidelberg College, Tiffin, Ohio, in 1983; a master’s degree in physics, with certification as a physics and math teacher, from Washington State University, Pullman, in 1986; and a Ph.D. in curriculum and instruction with an emphasis in science education (physics and earth systems) from Purdue University, West Lafayette, Ind., in 1996. He came to Fort Hays State in 1986 as an instructor of physics, left in 1989 and then returned to the FHSU Department of Physics in 1996.

Jeff Briggs, dean of the College of Life and Health Sciences, served as chair of the search committee.

“As a search committee, we are pleased to have such a qualified candidate emerge from an excellent pool of applicants,” Briggs said. “Dr. Adams possesses a deep understanding of accreditation issues, is steeped in the various delivery modalities that define Fort Hays State, and has a teaching, scholarship and service profile that is exceptional. His expertise in science and mathematics education is a significant plus as the state faces teacher shortages and an increasing need for high-functioning students in those areas.”

In addition to Briggs, members included Jim Barrett, associate professor of advanced education programs; Kim Stewart, executive director of the Institute of Applied Technology; Cindy Elliott, assistant provost for strategic partnerships and dean of distance learning; Lorie Cook-Benjamin, assistant professor of teacher education; Regi Wieland, associate professor of advanced education programs; and Roger Schieferecke, director of the Kansas Academy of Mathematics and Science.

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