In something of a switcheroo, former City Manager George Kolb is now teaching a class that used to be taught by the man who replaced Kolb — Ed Flentje. Here’s why: When Flentje stepped down as director of Wichita State University’s Hugo Wall School of Urban and Public Affairs, that left a void at the school. John Wong, a WSU professor and specialist in state and local government finance, took over at Hugo Wall just weeks before the semester started. But Public Administration 825: State and Local Government Administration still needed a teacher. “Literally, there’s not a whole lot of people around that you could get to do that, especially with the short notice we had,” Wong said Thursday. So he called Kolb. “He’s basically switched places with Ed Flentje,” Wong said. It was an easy choice, Wong said. “That’s what he (Kolb) has been doing, that’s his career,” he said.
Kolb said he hasn’t taught in years — since he got out of college, in fact. He said he digs teaching again, but wants to get back into municipal management. He’s just not sure where that may be yet. “Teaching is like standing on the sidelines,” Kolb said in a brief chat with Wichitopekington. “It’s sort of like a spectator sport. You observe what’s going on, you analyze and you make judgments. If you’re in the game yourself, you have to react.”