Wichita State University President John Bardo dies at age 70

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Courtesy WSU Courtesy WSU

Wichita State University President John Bardo has died, school officials said Tuesday. He was 70 years old. 

Dr. Bardo, the school's president since 2012, had been in and out of the hospital since November due to a chronic lung condition. He is survived by Deborah Bardo, his wife of 44 years, and their son, Christopher.

He 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. The university says that during his time at WSU, Bardo obtained a Fulbright Scholarship to Australia where he and his wife studied Americans as migrants and had a sabbatical appointment at the University of Wales at Swansea in social policy.

After leaving WSU, Bardo held appointments of growing leadership responsibility at Southwest Texas State University, the University of North Florida, Bridgewater State College and Western Carolina University, where he served as chancellor from 1995 to 2011 before returning to Wichita State.

He was born in Cincinnati, Ohio in 1948. He grew up in that area and graduated from Oak Hills High School. After high school, Bardo attended the University of Cincinnati, where he received a bachelor’s degree in economics in 1970. He also studied economics and social policy at the University of Southampton, England, during his junior year.

After graduating from Cincinnati, Dr. Bardo received a master’s degree in sociology from Ohio University (1971) and a Ph.D. in sociology (1973) from Ohio State University. He also attended the Institute for Educational Management at Harvard.

Funeral services will be private, but a Celebration of Life event for the entire WSU and Wichita community will be held later this spring on campus.

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