Regents pick next president of Pittsburg State University 

A quote that hung by the kitchen table in his childhood has been the guiding force for Pittsburg State University’s newly named president, Daniel Shipp, who was approved by the Kansas Board of Regents in a public meeting on Friday morning at the Bicknell Family Center for the Arts. 

“Do all the good you can, by all the means you can, in all the ways you can, in all the places you can, at all the times you can, to all the people you can, as long as ever you can,” Shipp said of that childhood quote during his remarks. 

He noted that were his parents present to ask how he’s doing that today, he would respond by telling them "by serving a community of scholars, educators, artists, performers, researchers, thinkers, doers.” 

“Our family plans to do a lot of good for a lot of good people,” he said. 

That family includes his wife, Vanessa, and their three children, Samuel, 7, Finnegan, 10, and Oliver, 12. 

Shipp family

Shipp is currently the vice chancellor for strategic initiatives and associate to the chancellor at University of Nebraska Medical Center, a public medical school in Omaha that is at the forefront of 21st Century health sciences education, innovative research, and patient care.  

He was chosen as Pittsburg State’s next president as the result of a five-month process led by a search committee, which made recommendations to the Regents, who ultimately chose Shipp from among the finalists. 

“One of the Regent’s priorities was student success, and the background that Dr. Shipp had with student success, his accomplishments with that area, really resonated with the Regents and we thought it was a great fit for Pittsburg State,” said Regents Chair Cheryl Harrison-Lee. 

Daniel Shipp

Shipp is considered a nationally recognized leader and innovator in higher education who has designed educational and support programs, services, facilities, and who has provided planning and project leadership at multiple universities. He has led initiatives to grow enrollment and remove barriers for underserved students. 

He holds a doctorate in educational leadership and administration from the University of the Pacific in California, where he served as associate vice president for student life from 2006-12; a master of arts in education from the University of Nebraska Omaha, where he has been a vice chancellor since 2012; and a bachelor of arts in education from the University of Nebraska Lincoln.  

He also has served as a senior staff member at the University of Missouri, where he helped lead the development of the $50 million Mizzou Student Recreation and Athletic Complex. 

In a press conference following his public remarks, Shipp said he was drawn to Pittsburg State by its “learning through action” approach to education and is motivated when connections are made between what students are learning in the classroom and ways they can apply that in the larger community. 

“I think some campuses will say it’s a priority, but it lives in the DNA here,” he said.  

In looking for a place in his career that most aligned with his background, skills, and experiences, he was seeking a place that valued applied experiential learning, and “being connected to the community was really a priority for us,” he said. 

He also was attracted by the community’s pride for Pittsburg State, and by the achievements of students and faculty. 

“Community engagement, the high academic standards of Pittsburg — I think it stands out to you, when you read the news feed of all the things that students are doing and faculty are doing here. It wasn’t a hard tough sell at was ‘Oh my gosh, how quick could we get here?’,” he said. 

Shipp with Rich

He praised President Steve Scott for his leadership since 2009. Scott will retire at the end of the academic year. 

“I’m serious, there’s some big shoes to step into,” Shipp said. 

His immediate priorities, he said, are to get to understand the community, including what’s working well and where he can help, and to attempt to see the university through his constituents’ eyes. 

Beyond that, he wants to focus on student success and removing barriers to graduating with a college degree. 

“In higher education, collectively we have work to do there,” he said. 

Watch an archived livestream of the announcement and introduction at and