Washburn U. President Stepping Down

President Jerry Farley has announced that he will be retiring as president of Washburn University Sept. 30, 2022 after serving in the job for more than 25 years.

“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 then pick a new president.”

During his time as one of the longest-serving presidents 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 Tech to the Washburn University family in 2008.  He also led the effort to add new and expanded spaces for teaching and attracted the Kansas Bureau of Investigation Forensic Center to campus which allowed the university 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 significant role in economic development as one of the co-founders of Go Topeka, now the community development arm of the Greater Topeka Partnership.

The Washburn Board of Regents has the primary role in hiring a new president. The board will appoint a search committee representing all parts of the Washburn University community.  Details on the exact process will come from the board in the next few weeks.

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