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President Steve Scott praised Tompkins for the leadership he has provided at PSU.
"Dr. Tompkins is a passionate advocate for education and a gifted leader," Scott said. "The Regents have made an excellent choice. He will serve Kansas higher education well and I look forward to working with him in this new role."
Dr. Lynette Olson, interim provost and vice president for academic affairs, said Tompkins was a highly respected leader in the education community in Kansas and beyond.
"We will certainly miss Dr. Tompkins," Olson said, "but this is a wonderful opportunity for him to extend his service to the entire state of Kansas and all of the students served by the institutions governed by the Board of Regents."
In the coming weeks, Olson said, a plan will be developed to provide leadership for the College of Education following Tompkins' move.
Tompkins earned a bachelor's degree from East Central State University in Oklahoma, a master's degree from Emporia State University and a doctorate from the University of Kansas. He began his career in education as a teacher and principal from 1969-1976. Tompkins was the superintendent for three different school districts from 1977 until 1994, when he joined the PSU faculty as interim dean of the College of Education. Tompkins was named the commissioner of education for the Kansas State Department of Education in 1996 and served in that role until 2005, when he took a position as an associate professor at the University of Kansas. He returned to PSU in 2007 as dean of the College of Education.
Tompkins will begin his new duties with the Kansas Board of Regents on June 1.
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