Pittsburg State University - Pittsburg, Kansas
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News and information from Pittsburg State University, Pittsburg, Kansas.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Tompkins to head PSU College of Education

Dr. Andy Tompkins, former Kansas Commissioner of Education, has been chosen dean of the Pittsburg State University College of Education. Dr. Steve Scott, PSU vice president for Academic Affairs, announced Tompkins’ appointment.

Currently an associate professor in the University of Kansas Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies, Tompkins is well known across the state through his service as Kansas Commissioner of Education from 1996 until 2005. Tompkins is no stranger to PSU, however, having served as chairman of the PSU Department of Special Services and Leadership Studies from 1994 until 1995 and as interim dean of the PSU College of Education from 1995 until 1996.

Tompkins received a bachelor of arts degree in English from East Central State University in Ada, Okla.; a master of science degree in educational administration from Emporia State University and an Ed.D. in educational administration from the University of Kansas. He began his career in education as a high school English teacher and later served as a high school principal, and superintendent of three Kansas school districts

Tompkins is a frequent presenter on leadership and education topics and has been published in a wide variety of publications. Among his many awards and honors, Tompkins has received the Kansas Master Teacher Award, the Kansas National Education Association’s Friend of Education Award, the Kansas School Public Relations Association’s Key Communicator of the Year Award and the United School Administrators’ Kansas Administrator of the Year Award. In 1991, Tompkins was named Kansas Superintendent of the Year and in 2001, he was inducted into the Kansas Teacher’s Hall of Fame.

Scott praised Tompkins’ experience and his leadership experience.

“Through a variety of leadership roles across the state of Kansas, Dr. Tompkins has earned the respect of K-12, higher education, and the state's political leadership,” Scott said. “He is known as a tireless advocate for Kansas kids and the improvement of learning. This passion will serve us well, as our teacher preparation program focuses more and more on producing teachers who better understand how kids learn.”

Scott described Tompkins as an energetic leader with a clear understanding of how complex organizations work.

“His enthusiasm for learning and continuous improvement is contagious,” Scott said. “Our College of Education, its programs, faculty and staff, are sure to be in good and capable hands with Dr. Tompkins as our new dean.”

Scott said Tompkins’ selection sends a message beyond the campus.

“The hiring of an individual of Dr. Tompkins' stature should communicate to the region and the state that Pittsburg State University is committed to having a College of Education that is known for excellence, engagement, and leadership,” Scott said.

Gary Price, superintendent for USD 250 in Pittsburg, described Tompkins as one of the finest school leaders he has known.

“He understands education systems, has a nationwide network with some of America's best educators, and has the welfare of our children foremost in his heart,” Price said of Tompkins. “He brings exceptional skill and instant credibility to this leadership role.”

Tompkins will assume his duties at PSU on July 2.

---Pitt State---