Emporia State University

The Kansas treasury has been raking in money

Kansas has billions of dollars in the bank. Just imagine the shopping spree ahead.

BY: - December 6, 2023

For those familiar with the persistent fiscal crisis that Kansas endured under former Gov. Sam Brownback, it may come as a shock to learn that our state now sits on billions of dollars. That’s right, friends and neighbors — by the end of fiscal year 2024, next summer, experts predict that Kansas will have a […]

Emporia State University

Emporia State University defends changes ahead of declining enrollment report

BY: - September 26, 2023

EMPORIA — Emporia State University president Ken Hush downplayed the significance of the university’s declining enrollment in an open letter Tuesday preempting the official release of fall enrollment figures across state universities. The Kansas Board of Regents plans to release enrollment figures Wednesday, and the numbers will show a decline at ESU. The extent isn’t […]

House Speaker Dan Hawkins appears April 27, 2023, on the House floor with an image of Corky — the Emporia State University mascot.

Emporia State University forges new identity with $9M earmark from Kansas Legislature

BY: - September 12, 2023

TOPEKA — Emporia State University’s new structure, underwritten by a $9 million earmark in the state budget, comes with a new marketing slogan and a new explanation for last year’s dramatic upheaval. Legislative leaders and university administrators describe the so-called “ESU model,” which involved the firing of tenured faculty members under the guise of a […]

From left, Kansas Reflector's Sherman Smith, Clay Wirestone, Rachel Mipro and Max McCoy appear at an Aug. 23, 2023, forum at the Lyon County History Center in Emporia

Audiences challenge and encourage us at town halls across Kansas. Thanks for showing up.

BY: - August 25, 2023

Kansas Reflector staffers headed back out on the road this month. We’ve made stops in Salina, Lawrence and Emporia, talking to roughly 300 of our fellow Kansans. Overall, these road trips are a warm and cheery reminder of what we’re doing and why. We care about bringing deeply reported fact and opinion to the widest […]

Dusti Howell, former Emporia State professor, explains the events leading up to his 2021 resignation and lawsuits against the university.

Former Emporia State professor’s religious discrimination claims benefit from high court ruling

BY: - July 27, 2023

EMPORIA — Two lawsuits filed by a former Emporia State University professor against the university and two faculty members have resumed after a recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling set a new precedent for unlawful discrimination cases. Dusti Howell, the former tenured professor, filed the civil lawsuits in 2021 and 2022 in Lyon County District Court […]

Enrollment in the Kansas Board of Regents system of public universities and colleges this fall grew by 2% despite the 12.5% enrollment collapse at Emporia State University. (Max McCoy/Kansas Reflector)

Emporia State University racks up $18K bill for fired professors’ appeals

BY: - July 24, 2023

TOPEKA — Emporia State University has accrued almost $18,000 in service fees to the Office of Administrative Hearings for the appeals of professors fired in September 2022. In October 2022, ESU president Ken Hush signed an interagency agreement between the university and OAH outlining financial arrangements for the services provided by the office and that […]

Emporia State University

Board of Regents proposal for Kansas universities takes wrong approach to building state

BY: - July 19, 2023

As a retired public school teacher of 36 years, I write out of concern that the Kansas Board of Regents is decimating higher education. This started with Emporia State University hiring a non-academic president. Ken Hush was appointed interim president in 2021, then president in June 2022. He worked in the business world, mainly with […]

A view of the Emporia State University campus

Fired Emporia State University professors file lawsuit, allege conspiracy against tenure

BY: - July 13, 2023

TOPEKA — Eleven former Emporia State University professors in federal court documents accuse school administrators, Kansas Board of Regents members and unknown other individuals of conspiring to fire tenured and “problematic” professors. The federal lawsuit is a response to the university’s decision last year to fire 30 tenured or tenure-track professors as part of a […]

A former interim president of Emporia State University asked the Kansas Board of Regents to rescind dismissal of 33 faculty under a new policy streamlining layoffs. ESU students responded to the firings with vigils and protests in September. (Mason Hart for Kansas Reflector)

‘I don’t think it’s innocuous’: Kansas Board of Regents’ new process scrutinizes academic programs

BY: - June 21, 2023

TOPEKA — The state Board of Regents unveiled a plan to identify and potentially chop academic programs they deem underperforming at all six of the state’s public universities, in what some warn could be a repeat of the contentious layoffs at Emporia State University.  Starting this summer, Regents staff will make a list of undergraduate […]

Emporia State University sign

‘A short-lived victory:’ Emporia State University takes reinstated professors to district court

BY: - June 8, 2023

TOPEKA — Emporia State University has asked a district court judge to review and reverse the reinstatement of five professors fired last year as part of a university-wide restructuring. The Office of Administrative Hearings ordered the reversal of the terminations of Amanda Miracle, Robert Catlett, Michael Behrens, Lynnette Sievert and Dan Colson because the university […]

A statue of Corky the hornet stares down from wall

New Philistines set their sights on academic tenure at Emporia State and elsewhere

BY: - June 6, 2023

Leota Coats was a teacher in Wellington when the administration asked her to change the failing grade of a high school football star so he could play in a big game. Coats refused and was fired for it. She fought her dismissal to the Kansas Supreme Court and was reinstated. This is the purpose of […]

A sign reads "pardon our progress" with the ESU mascot

Emporia State University, Kansas Board of Regents members ‘unfit to lead,’ investigation finds

BY: - May 1, 2023

TOPEKA — An investigation into Emporia State University’s realignment plan, which included the firing of tenured professors, faults the university for “shifting and incoherent rationales” and concludes university administrators and Kansas Board of Regents members are “unfit to lead.” The American Association of University Professors released its findings Monday following months of interviews and review […]