Wasserstein to leave Washburn

Travis Perry

After 23 years of service, Ron Wasserstein, vice president of academic affairs, is leaving Washburn University.

Having accepted a position with the American Statistical Association on Dec. 29, Wasserstein is excited for the new opportunities he will be given while with the nation’s most credible source for statistical data. Taking the position of executive director for the ASA means Wasserstein will be given a change of scenery, but he will have to leave a place that has given him so much, and said he will greatly miss the university.

Wasserstein’s first ties with Washburn began in fall of 1974 after he graduated from Washburn Rural High School and decided to attend Washburn after being offered several scholarships. He said that what Washburn gave him was what made it feasible for him to attend college.

“Almost from the first day of class, I loved it here,” said Wasserstein.

After earning his degree from the university, he progressed to graduate school and spent the next six years studying to earn his masters degree at Kansas State University. His goal, however, was always to return to Washburn.

“When I left Washburn to go to graduate school, that’s what I hoped I’d do,” said Wasserstein. “I had no idea how fortunate a person has to be just to be able to go and get a job where they want.”

Wasserstein said Washburn has become much more that just a workplace for him. The people are like family, and many of his memories revolve around the great, kind people he worked with. Most of all, he said he’d miss the students, as he tried to forge the kind of relationship with them that his professors did while he was an undergraduate.

“I am grateful for the kind and decent treatment that I’ve always been given by the Washburn community,” said Wasserstein.

While with the ASA, Wasserstein said he hopes that the university continues to thrive along with the Transformational Experience. He said he has already seen a change in the campus with more interest in the International House and study abroad programs, as well as an increased interest in community service. He expects things to continue growing as they always have.

This move for Wasserstein is not a permanent one, though. Wasserstein is one of the biggest supporters of Jerry Farley, university president, and thinks very highly of him. However, he also realizes that at some point in time Farley will eventually step down from the presidency of Washburn, and Wasserstein hopes to gain the necessary leadership skills required of a university president to be considered for the position.

“I feel like Washburn has not only the best president in its history, but the best president in the U.S.,” said Wasserstein. “I hope that Farley continues to serve as president of Washburn for quite a long time.”

In his absence, Wasserstein hopes he has left Washburn prepared for the future, and that it will continue to produce an environment conducive to academic excellence.

“I hope that I have made some kind of contribution towards making Washburn a great place for other people to come and enjoy for years to come,” said Wasserstein.