Wichita State University President Jay Golden has resigned, according to a statement by the Kansas Board of Regents released Friday.
“We are appreciative of his hard work and dedication to the university and are grateful for his commitment to serving students,” Regents Chair Bill Feuerborn said in the statement. “We wish him well in all his future endeavors.”
WSU Provost Rick Muma will be the university’s acting president until the Regents appoint an interim president.
Golden became president last January, following the death of President John Bardo. Before that, Golden served as the vice chancellor of research, economic development and engagement at East Carolina University in Greenville, North Carolina.
He also spent time as a police officer and started an engineering services company in Arizona.
In June, Golden angered some WSU donors and alumni after deciding to remove Ivanka Trump as the keynote speaker at WSU Tech’s virtual graduation. While Trump’s remarks were made available for students and family to view, rumors spread that the Regents were considering asking Golden for his resignation.
WSU students stood behind Golden and rallied on campus for him to keep his job.
After a more than four-hour, closed door Regents meeting -— with Golden present for at least some of it — no action was taken against Golden. At the time, the Regents released a statement that gave few clues as to what happened during the executive session and never mentioned Golden.
“The Kansas Board of Regents is committed to working with all our universities and colleges to support and promote freedom of speech and diversity and inclusion,” the Regents statement said. “We look forward to strengthening relationships with students, alumni and friends. It is vital that all stakeholders join us in this effort."
After Golden’s resignation on Friday, WSU student leaders said Golden made an effort to listen to students.
“Jay Golden was the student’s president,” said Student Body Treasurer Zach James. “The next president is going to have high standards ... placed on them already.”
Stephan Bisaha reports on education and young adult life for the Kansas News Service. You can follow him on Twitter @SteveBisaha. The Kansas News Service is a collaboration of Kansas Public Radio, KCUR, KMUW and High Plains Public Radio focused on the health and well-being of Kansans, their communities and civic life. Kansas News Service stories and photos may be republished by news media at no cost with proper attribution and a link to ksnewsservice.org