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Ending an Era

With April announcement, Farley begins transition into retirement

Jerry Farley delivering a speech

Jerry Farley. Photo by Bruce Matthews

From The Ichabod - Spring 2022
From Washburn University Public Relations

Jerry Farley announced on April 18, 2022, that he will be retiring as president of Washburn University on Sept. 30, 2022, after serving in the job for more than 25 years. The Washburn board of regents has the primary role in hiring a new president and will appoint a search committee representing all parts of the Washburn University community.

“I began discussing my retirement with the board more than two years ago to ensure an orderly and effective transfer of executive authority when the time came for me to step back from the day-to-day duties of the presidency,” Farley said. “My wife, Susan, and I have been carefully considering the timing of our retirement for several months now and we have decided that this is the correct time for us.”

Farley said he will be taking on the role of president emeritus with a focus on fundraising and international student recruitment.

“I expect to have a small office somewhere on campus where I can continue to serve a university and community that I love,” he said. “In the meantime, I will work with the board to make the transition of executive authority as smooth and effective as possible when they pick a new president.”

During his time as the longest-serving president in Washburn University’s 158-year history, Farley had a significant impact on the nature of the campus. He returned the campus to a more traditional college experience by adding multiple residence halls. In addition, he championed the addition of Washburn University Institute of Technology to the Washburn family in 2008. He also led the effort to add new and expanded spaces for teaching and attracted the Kansas Bureau of Investigation Forensic Science Center to campus, which allowed Washburn to add multiple world-class forensic programs to the academic portfolio.

Farley also had a significant role in the community including serving on multiple local boards and taking a role in economic development as one of the co-founders of Go Topeka, now the community development arm of the Greater Topeka Partnership.

“It has been my great honor to serve Washburn as president,” Farley said. “Susan has served right alongside me and we have been blessed with great colleagues and a highly supportive community.

The Ichabod Magazine Winter 2022 cover - Memorial Union with snow, pine needles in the foreground

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