Archive for Thursday, April 13, 1995


April 13, 1995


KU professor Del Shankel on the verge of adding the title "chancellor" to his resume, takes a look back at his year in charge of the university.

The Kansas Board of Regents will likely add Del Shankel to the roster of Kansas University chancellors next week during a meeting in Lawrence.

He's been interim chancellor since Gene Budig became president of professional baseball's American League in 1994.

Regents haven't disclosed plans to honor Shankel, but KU officials are preparing for an announcement Wednesday or Thursday.

"If it happens, I will certainly consider it a great honor to be included on the list with (former chancellors) Malott, Murphy, Wescoe and Budig and the other great people who served as chancellor of the university," Shankel said.

"I would be extremely pleased to be included along with Ray Nichols, who is the other acting chancellor who had this done for him."

In 1972, regents made Acting Chancellor Nichols the university's 12th chancellor. He was on the job for a year, filling the void between chancellors Laurence Chalmers and Archie Dykes.

Shankel would be designated the 15th chancellor for bridging the gap between Budig and Chancellor-elect Bob Hemenway. Shankel also served as interim chancellor in 1980-81, in between the tenure of Dykes and Budig.

In an interview, Shankel assessed his year at the helm and pondered his future.

"It's never exactly what you expect," he said.

Shankel anticipated more from the Legislature, which passed a 1995-96 budget for KU that appropriates $1.6 million less than proposed by Gov. Bill Graves.

"The major disappointment has been the fact that the Legislature is cutting funding for regents' institutions," Shankel said.

He said another concern of KU officials was the 1,000-student enrollment decline on the Lawrence campus.

Alumni are generally pleased with the direction of the university, he said. The KU Medical Center remains a source of strength, and KU athletic programs are doing well, he said.

Shankel said several large endowment gifts were in the works, including a $15 million donation.

"Overall, I'm very pleased with the year we've had," Shankel said.

Shankel, professor of microbiology, will leave office by June 1. He plans to teach two undergraduate courses in 1995-96 before retiring in the summer of 1996.

Shankel and his wife, Carol, intend to split time between homes in Lawrence and Seattle.

"We can't tear ourselves away from Lawrence," he said.

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