The new director of Emporia State University's Honors College is ready to build the department -- and, as he said on KVOE's 8:05 am newscast Wednesday, he's ready to dream big.
Dr. Gary Wyatt was appointed to head the college Monday, less than two weeks after Gov. Sam Brownback signed a budget freeing up $1 million to start the venture.
The Honors College should come fully online by fall 2015, and Wyatt says some additions could be in place this upcoming fall. Wyatt says a lot of planning is coming this summer.
Wyatt says the action by Gov. Brownback and the Legislature will let ESU create an honors college that "rivals any university." He also says it's a welcome change for Emporia State, which has often had to make do with less when it comes to funding in recent years.
Wyatt comes well-suited for his new role. He has served as the associate dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences since 2008. A sociology professor, Wyatt currently teaches four courses and may continue teaching to some degree with the appointment. Wyatt has served on the Faculty Senate and helped to design and implement the Hershel and Augusta Shepherd Scholars Program with the help of Roe Cross Distinguished Professors on campus. In addition, he has been working on new leadership initiatives through Emporia State's partnership with the Kansas Leadership Center.