Dr. Edward H. Hammond, president of Fort Hays State University, introduced Michael W. "Mike" Barnett as the university's new vice president for administration and finance during a news conference today in Sheridan Hall.
The announcement represents a homecoming of sorts for Barnett, who grew up in northwest Kansas at Atwood and earned a bachelor's degree from FHSU in 1979.
"This is one of the top three administrative posts at FHSU, along with the provost and the vice president for student affairs," President Hammond said, "so we are very pleased to welcome someone of Mike's experience and abilities."
Barnett, who currently serves as vice president for administration and finance at Metropolitan State College of Denver, will start his new job on the FHSU campus on Monday, April 5.
The position opened last July when Bruce Shubert left to become associate vice president for administration and finance at Kansas State University, and Hammond has filled the post until a replacement could be found for Shubert.
"I admit that I'm especially excited to know that a highly capable individual will soon be relieving me of these additional responsibilities," the president said. "It was a valuable experience for me to spend some time working closely with the administration and finance staff on an almost daily basis, but now I will be able to devote more time to some of the university's other projects and opportunities."
Hammond said he was confident that Barnett would be fully up to speed quickly, given his accomplishments and rapid rise through the administrative ranks at Metro State. "In addition to his 13 years of experience in higher education, Mike also has nearly 12 years of banking experience, managing multi-million-dollar loan and investment portfolios," the president said.
"I am really looking forward to using my experience in higher education and other places to help Fort Hays State move forward and accomplish its goals," Barnett said. "My family and I are really excited about the opportunity to move back to western Kansas and enjoy the lifestyle it offers." Barnett and his wife, Debbie, have three children, Matt, 21, Amanda, 16, and Molly, 7.
Barnett has more than 13 years of higher education experience, including seven years in the areas of administration and finance. He has served as the vice president for administration and finance at Metro State since April 2002. Previously at Metro State, he served as associate vice president for enrollment management systems, assistant vice president for business affairs and director of student account/cashiering/student loans. Previous to joining the administration at Metro State, Barnett spent 11 years in the banking business in Kansas and Colorado, rising to the level of vice president at Ken-Caryl National Bank in Littleton, CO.
Barnett received a bachelor of science degree in business administration from FHSU in 1979 and master of science degree in finance from the University of Colorado-Denver in 1993.