Pillars of Strength: Life Sciences and JCERT

By Dr. Ralph Richardson, dean and CEO, Kansas State University’s Olathe campus

As many of you know, it was with mixed emotions when I announced earlier this year that I would retire as dean and CEO of Kansas State University's Olathe campus. My 49-year career has revolved around veterinary medicine and the life sciences. In that time, I've seen the fields blossom and become pillars of strength for Greater Kansas City. 

The formation of the Kansas City Area Life Sciences Institute in 1999, now BioNexus KC, demonstrated a realization and consolidation of all the life science potential that existed in the region. It created opportunities for industry, academe and commerce to intentionally work together on impactful efforts.

I also would describe Johnson County's passage of a one-eighth cent sales tax in 2008 as transformative. It led to the creation of the Johnson County Education Research Triangle (JCERT), which helped bring in the KU Edwards Campus BEST Building, the University of Kansas Clinical Research Center and K-State's Olathe campus to the region. Moreover, JCERT helped facilitate strong collaboration between two great universities and encouraged partnerships with countless other organizations, companies, community colleges and K-12 school districts.

It's been exciting to see and be a part of so much progress that has advanced business, collaboration, education, research and the Greater Kansas City region. Many thanks to all those involved! I look forward to our even brighter future together!

Dr. Ralph Richardson

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