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FHSU President’s Annual Media Tour Concludes in Kansas City

Fort Hays State University (FHSU) President Mason recently completed the annual President’s Media Tour, a tradition dating back to 1987. The tour allows FHSU presidents to connect with people, businesses, and communities across the university’s vast service area. This year’s tour, Mason’s third, covered over 1,500 miles and included stops in Kansas City, Goodland, Phillipsburg, and Garden City. The tour’s purpose was to engage with more Kansans and provide updates on FHSU’s progress, including its Strategic Affiliation Initiative with North Central Kansas Technical College (NCK Tech) and Northwest Technical College (Northwest Tech).

Expanded Schedule for 2023 Tour

This year’s tour had an expanded schedule that included issue-focused events, alumni gatherings, and one-on-one meetings with Kansas legislators. Mason stated that the tour was more of a “listening tour” for him, as it allowed him to learn new things from the people he met and understand the vital role FHSU plays across the state.

Addressing Challenges in Rural Kansas

One of the primary discussion points during the tour was the severe economic and demographic threats to the future of rural Kansas communities. Between 2010 and 2020, the population of the First Congressional District declined by 1.6%, with the number of young people passing through Kansas schools experiencing a particularly acute decline. The proposed affiliation between FHSU, NCK Tech, and Northwest Tech aims to provide stronger educational programs and services to rural central and western Kansas people, businesses, and communities.

Special Events and Alumni Gatherings

The 2023 tour featured special events in Southwest Kansas, focusing on the critical shortage of nurses and the challenge of training and recruiting K-12 teachers for service in rural Kansas. Additionally, two alumni events in Wichita and Kansas City saw more than 140 FHSU graduates in attendance, and four meetings with Kansas State Legislators took place in Salina, Wichita, Goodland, and Garden City.

Overall, the FHSU President’s Annual Media Tour allowed for increased engagement and connection with Kansans, helping to address the challenges faced by rural communities and ensuring that FHSU continues to play a vital role in the state’s education and economic development.

Orginal article: Link To Article – provided by Kansas City Realtors