Hammond will retire at end of school year
By JUDY SHERARD and DIANE GASPER O'BRIEN
Hays Daily News
Fort Hays State University President Edward H. Hammond announced this morning he will retire in June.
Hammond made the announcement at a news conference with several members of the Kansas Board of Regents in attendance.
"Today, I am announcing that I've already sent to the Board of Regents earlier in the week a letter indicating that I'm retiring at the end of this contract period, the end of June," he said.
"This was a guy who believed," said Fred Logan, Board of Regents chairman. "He believed in western Kansas. He believed in Hays. He believed in Kansas. This area, this state is much richer for the experience, and we are profoundly grateful for his experience."
Logan said he expects the Regents to conduct a national search for a new president and will ask Hammond to stay on as a consultant for a year.
"Change is not a bad thing," Hammond said. "There's changes all the time. Through the 27 years, we've done things differently, so this is just another change that is an opportunity to manage."
He and his wife, Mary, plan to continue living in Hays.
"I'm on top of my game," he said. "I'm not tired. I'm not sick or anything. I love what I'm doing, but my dad told me that was the time you should step down when you're on top of your game."
Hammond, in his 27th year at Fort Hays, was just 43 years old when he was inaugurated as FHSU's eighth president in 1987, and he will turn 70 in May.
His trademark since his arrival has been his "high-tech, high-touch" approach.
Numerous buildings on campus have been renovated under him, as well as an abundance of new construction, including a new Center for Networked Learning building going up across Big Creek on the west edge of campus.
Under the Hammond administration, FHSU has been able to boast of the lowest tuition rates of Regents institutions.
Even with a proposed increase of 2.96 percent for tuition and fees for the current academic year, Kansans are able to take 15 credit hours on campus for less than $2,200 a semester.