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Kirk became the 11th president of WSU and a tenured professor in the Gene and Linda Voiland School of Chemical Engineering and Bioengineering on June 13, 2016. He previously has served as president of Kansas State University, vice president for research and economic development at Mississippi State University, and in a variety of administrative and faculty positions at MSU, Michigan Technological University, and the University of North Dakota.

Kirk is leading a major institutional initiative focused on making WSU one of the nation’s top 25 public research universities by 2030. The Drive to 25 is focused on creating a transformative educational experience for students and accelerating development of a preeminent research portfolio. The goals of the Drive to 25 will serve as the vision of crafting the 2020-2025 WSU system strategic plan.

Away from the office, Kirk enjoys camping, sampling Pacific Northwest cuisine, and reading (especially science fiction).