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KDOT employee sets record

Arland Hicks to retire after 55 years; longest-serving state employee

Dec. 5, 2001 (Release 01-159)

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

News Contact: Stan Whitley, (785) 296-3585

KDOT employee sets record

Arland Hicks to retire after 55 years; longest-serving state employee

The year was 1946. World War II had recently ended, new homes were selling for $12,000, future President George W. Bush was five months old, and Arland Hicks was beginning his state transportation career. Fifty-five years later, Hicks' career is coming to an end. After serving his entire state tenure with the Kansas Department of Transportation, Hicks will retire during a special ceremony that will recognize him as the longest-serving employee ever to serve the State of Kansas Kansas Gov. Bill Graves and KDOT Secretary of Transportation E. Dean Carlson will officially honor Hicks during a ceremony on Friday, Dec. 7, at 10 a.m. at the Dillon House, 404 W. 9th Street (just north of the Docking State Office Building). The media is invited to attend this event. Hicks was 18 when he began working for the former State Highway Commission on Dec. 3, 1946, as an Engineering Aide at Hugoton. He retires as KDOT's Senior Engineering Advisor, a position he has held in Topeka since 1985. "I thought about retiring after 40 years and then again after 50, but staying here just became habit forming," said Hicks. "I've truly enjoyed my experience and the opportunity to work with many fine people that I consider my KDOT family." Hicks has served in four of KDOT's six geographical districts during his career working up the ladder from an Engineering Aide to the top of the agency serving as Secretary of Transportation for a brief period in 1991. He has also served as an Engineering Technician, Civil Engineer, Resident Engineer, District Maintenance Engineer, Assistant Engineer of Maintenance, Transportation Safety Administrator, Principal Investigator for KDOT's Highway Costs Allocation Study and Senior Engineering Advisor handling tort liability and technical training. Hicks graduated from Kansas State University in 1954 with a bachelor of science degree in Civil Engineering. He received his Master of Science in Civil Engineering from the University of Missouri in 1968 and Doctor of Engineering from the University of Kansas in 1977. He also earned a Master of Public Administration from KU in 1982. Besides being a loyal public servant, Hicks has shared his engineering expertise as a teacher. His teaching over the years has included an engineering review course and metrics training for KDOT employees, plus he has been a visiting lecturer at the University of Kansas teaching a wide range of engineering classes since 1979. Teaching reached an international level for Hicks in 1996 when he received a United Nations training assignment in Kunming, Yunnan Province, People's Republic of China. During a two-week period he taught classes on quality management and highway department organization. Hicks' wife, Gene, is retired from KDOT, having served in Transportation Planning and Management and Budget. The Hicks' have three sons, Patrick, Calvin, and James, and one daughter, Suzanne.