Education association bestows high honor on FHSU's President Hammond

The Council for the Advancement and Support of Education will present its Chief Executive Leader Award in January to Dr. Edward H. Hammond, president of Fort Hays State University.

President Hammond was nominated by members of the FHSU administration. In addition, his nomination received letters of support from U.S. Rep. Jerry Moran, R-Hays; Shawn Chen, chairman of the board of Sias International University, which was FHSU's first partner university in China; and David D. Kerr, secretary of the Kansas Department of Commerce.

The annual award recognizes the chief executive of an academic institution who has demonstrated the ability to:
Create a vision and inspire others;
Establish a positive image for the institution;
Increase the institution's stature in the community;
Encourage innovation and risk-taking among employees; and
Actively support advancement.

"Advancement" is the umbrella term that describes the work of endowment associations, alumni associations and public relations offices at universities. CASE is the international professional organization for university employees who work in those areas.

President Hammond received the award from CASE District VI, which includes the states of Colorado, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wyoming. In an unusual departure from its normal practice, CASE District VI also presented the award this year to Dr. Dean L. Hubbard, president of Northwest Missouri State University. Judy L. Wright, assistant vice president and director of the Chancellor's Club at the University of Kansas and chair of the selection committee, said permission was asked and received from the international headquarters of CASE to recognize two presidents this year because of their outstanding qualifications.

 "I'm honored to get the award and honored to be in the company of President Hubbard," said President Hammond. "CASE is an exceptionally effective professional organization in terms of its support for its members and its impact on universities here and abroad, so the award is all the more appreciated considering the quality of the organization that recognized me."

"The award appears to have been custom designed for President Hammond because the criteria sound as though they were taken directly from his list of accomplishments," Kent Steward, director of University Relations, wrote in the nomination letter. "He demonstrated his vision when he arrived at FHSU in 1987, moving immediately to computerize the campus. … The enrollment in our Virtual College climbed to 5,804 on the 20th day of this semester -- which includes more than 2,000 FHSU students in China -- and our total enrollment is 10,107 students so far this semester. … As for establishing a positive image for the institution, I can testify as the person chiefly charged with that responsibility that our efforts to establish integrated marketing succeeded in large measure thanks to the support of our chief executive officer. … Since his arrival here, he has forged partnerships between the university and private businesses that enhance the missions of both. … By his actions and his programs, President Hammond demonstrates to faculty, administrators and students that goals can be achieved through vision, dedication, hard work and risk-taking. … President Hammond sets high expectations, provides vision and resources, and allows subordinates to exercise their own set of skills to achieve mutual goals. Finally, there is probably no area where President Hammond excels better than in supporting and participating in advancement efforts."

The letters of support echo those thoughts.

"Through growing the university's population both on campus and virtually, Dr. Hammond has continually found creative ways to address the pressures of escalating costs," Congressman Moran wrote. "The FHSU Virtual College is a great example of Dr. Hammond's ingenuity and quick adoption and use of technology. Most importantly, Dr. Hammond is an advocate for students. His passion and goals have always aligned with providing opportunities for Kansans to grow and do bigger and better things."

Shawn Chen wrote about the president's efforts in China: "In the year 2000, I was seeking an accredited four-year university with a president who had a vision for Sino-American collaborations who would be willing to offer courses leading to a bachelor’s degree in mainland China at my newly created university … not until I was introduced to Dr. Edward Hammond did I realize that I had found a person with the vision as well as the experience and energy that would help to bring about the first American degree program in mainland China … My vision was to create a university in my home country with American teaching practices and American business practices. A mentor, a leader and an entrepreneur with multicultural sensitivities was needed. I couldn’t have been more fortunate to find those characteristics with Dr. Hammond. Dr. Hammond is as comfortable when meeting with high-level Chinese governmental officials as he is when meeting with parents of our Chinese students from rural China. I have often been his translator for these top-level governmental meetings and can attest to his style, charisma and emotion in conveying a sense of sincerity about higher education. He has been a teacher to me and to the Chinese government about how to deliver the highest quality higher education in China … There isn’t an award great enough to express my gratitude to Edward Hammond for everything he has done to expand access to education, to develop cultural understanding and to creatively assist with growing Sias International University."

Secretary Kerr wrote of President Hammond's contributions to the state's business community: "These initiatives include the creation of the information assurance program that provided much-needed talent for the financial industry, health care, military uses, etc. He facilitated the development of a Petroleum Geology degree emphasis through partnerships with companies in the Kansas oil and gas industry and the Kansas Department of Commerce Workforce grant to provide skilled and knowledgeable workers with such new technology skills as 3d Seismic exploration. Efforts were expanded to increase the number of accountants in western Kansas. Fort Hays State University also expanded the Docking Institute, which provides significant consulting and research services campus-wide to facilitate effective decision making among policy makers in Kansas and beyond."

The other two FHSU officials who represent CASE departments at FHSU -- Tim Chapman, president and CEO of the FHSU Foundation, and Debra Prideaux, director of the Alumni Association and governmental relations, said today that President Hammond was very deserving of the award.

"Without question, the leadership of Dr. Hammond over the past 22 years has provided a base that all of us at the FHSU Foundation stand on," Chapman said. "His guidance and the relationships he has throughout the country not only opens doors for us to tell the story of Fort Hays State University but paints a picture of optimism and growth everyone in these tough economic times need to hear. Dr. Hammond is truly a visionary, a dreamer and one who isn't afraid to raise the torch of education to new levels of service and success."

"Dr. Hammond is a dynamic and innovative leader," Prideaux said. "His efforts as president of the university have helped create an institution recognized for regional, national and international excellence. He remains a driving force in advancing the mission of FHSU and its Alumni Association, which speaks volumes to the success the university experiences today. Throughout his tenure he has continually worked to foster greater alumni relationships, encourage participation and increase financial support within the Tiger community."

President Hammond will receive his award during a luncheon on Tuesday, Jan. 27, 2009, at the annual CASE District VI conference in Kansas City, Mo.

About CASE
Headquartered in Washington, D.C., with offices in London and Singapore, the Council for Advancement and Support of Education is the professional organization for advancement professionals at all levels who work in alumni relations, communications, fundraising, marketing and other areas. CASE helps its members build stronger relationships with their alumni and donors, raise funds for campus projects, produce recruitment materials, market their institutions to prospective students, diversify the profession, and foster public support of education.

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Office of University Relations   |  600 Park Street   |  Hays, KS  67601-4099
(785) 628-4206   |   Fax (785) 628-4152
Kent Steward, Director   |  |  Kurt Beyers, Assistant Director   |