M. Duane Nellis Returns to Kansas State as Provost


From: Cheryl May of Kansas State University 785-532-6415 or may@k-state.edu

MANHATTAN, Kan., Feb. 20 -- An individual who has spent his entire career at land-grant universities has been tapped to be the next provost at Kansas State University, one of the nation's first land-grant institutions.

M. Duane Nellis will be the university's chief academic officer, succeeding James R. Coffman who will step down as provost this July. Coffman has served as K-State's provost since 1987.

"I look forward to working with Duane Nellis in his new position as Kansas State University's provost," said K-State president Jon Wefald. "He has an excellent track record both here and at West Virginia University, where he has been dean since 1997. He is known for his student-centered leadership, and he also works very effectively with faculty, administrators, university supporters and legislators."

"I am thrilled that Duane Nellis has accepted our offer to return to K-State as provost," said Charles Reagan, chair of the provost search committee. "The search committee reviewed a large pool of highly qualified and experienced candidates for the provost's position. We brought the three most outstanding candidates to campus to interview for the position. Duane Nellis emerged as the best of the best."

Nellis has been dean of the Eberly College of Arts and Sciences at West Virginia University since June 1997. Before accepting that position, he spent 17 years at K-State, progressing from assistant professor of geography to professor and head of the department, and then to senior associate dean of K-State's College of Arts and Sciences. He was the first director of K- State's Institute for Social and Behavioral Research.

"The provost position at Kansas State University offers me a unique and exciting opportunity at an institution and system which I feel I know well and where I feel I can make a significant difference," Nellis said.

As dean of Arts and Sciences, Nellis led West Virginia University's largest and most diverse academic unit, with 16 departments and divisions, 16 centers and institutes, and more than 50 academic programs from certificates to doctoral degrees. During his tenure, the university and state experienced several budget problems, yet his college experienced dramatic growth in both total enrollments by major and in student credit hours and in competitive extramural research funding.

Nellis' research interests have been in the areas of natural resource systems and geo-spatial analysis technologies such as satellite remote sensing applications and Geographic Information Systems. He has published more than 100 research articles and numerous books and book chapters.

He is a member and immediate past president of the Association of American Geographers, the nation's largest professional geography organization, which presented him the John Fraser Hart Award for Research Excellence as well as national honors. He is a fellow of the Royal Geographical Society and former president of the National Council for Geographic Education. He received a Presidential Citation Award from the American Society of Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing. He also is a member of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and Soil Conservation Society of America. At K-State, He won the University Distinguished Teaching Award in 1986, adviser of the Year Award in 1985, and the K-State Phi Kappa Phi Faculty Research Scholar Award in 1995. He was selected as a distinguished lecturer for 1993-94 by the Kansas Academy of Science.

Nellis earned his Ph.D. in 1980 and his master's degree in 1977. Both degrees are in geography from Oregon State University. He earned a bachelor's degree in geography from Montana State University in 1976.

At K-State, the provost provides leadership in the development and review of policies and goals regarding instruction, research and extension programs. The provost works closely with the president to develop university priorities and administer program budget and faculty personnel policies.

The deans of the nine academic colleges, the libraries, Graduate School and the Division of Continuing Education report to the provost. University offices also reporting to the provost include: the vice provost for research, the vice provost for academic services and technology, planning and analysis, assessment and program review, diversity and dual career development, international programs, the Center for the Advancement of Teaching and Learning, the Kansas Center for Rural Initiatives, and Academic Services and Honor Council.


Source: Charles Reagan, 785-532-6221

Photo of Nellis is available. Contact media@k-state.edu

Pronouncer: Nellis rhymes with trellis

Online media guide, news releases and more at: http://www.mediarelations.ksu.edu

This article comes from Science Blog. Copyright 2004