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May 24—Kansas State University President Richard Myers is retiring at the end of the calendar year, he announced Monday.
Myers, 79, is the university's 14th president, taking the job in 2016. Myers is also a KSU Foundation professor of military history and leadership.
In a statement, Myers said he and his wife, Mary Jo, "truly loved our time at K-State and working with students, faculty and staff."
"Being president of my alma mater was one of the most fulfilling jobs I've ever had," Myers said. "It was an honor to help move K-State forward on many fronts. I'm grateful for the opportunity to work with the many talented and dedicated people who comprise the K-State family."
Myers initially served as interim president before permanently taking on the role. Last year, Myers told The Mercury that the love of being on the campus where he attended college drove his decision to serve as K-State's leader.
"After 40 years in the military and 10 years of doing lots of other things, I never thought I would be back at K-State as president," he said.
Myers graduated from K-State in 1965 with a bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering. He joined the Air Force through the KSU ROTC program and later received a master's degree in business administration from Auburn University in 1977. He also graduated from Air Command and Staff College at Maxwell Air Force Base in 1977, U.S. Army War College at Carlisle Barracks in 1981, and the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard in 1991.
A native of Merriam, Kansas, Myers retired as a four-star general in the Air Force. He served as the 15th chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff from 2001 to 2005 and was the principal military adviser to the U.S. president, secretary of defense, and the National Security Council. In 2006, K-State named the military science building Gen. Richard B. Myers Hall in honor of his service.
The Kansas Board of Regents has not released any details on a search to replace Myers. The Regents, a nine-member board appointed by the governor, govern the appointment of presidents to state universities.
The university has implemented significant changes in preparation for the future during Myers' time as president, including the adoption of a new performance-based budget model and the launch of the Strategic Enrollment Management initiative to counteract declining enrollment figures.
The university completed the Morris Family Multicultural Student Center last year, following expanded efforts to lead diversity and inclusion efforts across the university. Myers also added a chief diversity and inclusion officer to the presidential cabinet.
Myers and his wife served as co-chairs of the K-State Innovation and Inspiration Campaign that raised $1.6 billion — surpassing the campaign's original goal by $600 million.