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March 15, 2019 at 8:53 am

Alumni News | Bardo, Wichita State President, Passes Away

John Bardo, portrait, with dates 1948-2019

Dr. John Bardo

Ohio University alum Dr. John William Bardo, president of Wichita State University, died March 12, 2019, at the age of 70, reports the KSAL.

Bardo earned an M.A. in Sociology from the College of Arts & Sciences in 1971.

Dr. Bardo was an innovator, nationally recognized scholar and deep believer in the value of public research universities….

Dr. Bardo became president in July 2012. He transformed the vision of the university, leading it through a period of rapid growth focused on applied learning for students and the economic growth of the region.

Dr. Bardo began his career at Wichita State as an assistant professor of sociology and also taught and conducted research in the Hugo Wall Center for Urban Studies. During his time at WSU, he obtained a Fulbright Scholarship to Australia where he and his wife, Deborah, studied Americans as migrants and had a sabbatical appointment at the University of Wales at Swansea in social policy.

Read more at KSAL.

Richard Muma, Wichita State Provost and Acting President, released the following message:

President Bardo had a profound positive impact on Wichita State and the community. Future generations of students will benefit from his foresight and leadership. He will be greatly missed. In coming days, the university will schedule a memorial event to honor him.

Even during his illness these last few months, Dr. Bardo remained keenly interested in the work of the university. The strategy, vision, mission and goals developed under his leadership will continue to guide us as we move forward, together.

Our thoughts are with John’s wife, Deborah, and their son Christopher.

The university is collecting tributes to Dr. Bardo. If you have thoughts or recollections to share, please send them to

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