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Archive for Saturday, August 17, 1996

GRADUATE STUDY DEAN HOPES TO EXPAND SCOPE

August 17, 1996

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Changes have touched a veteran Kansas University professor and administrator.

Andrew Debicki plans to hit the ground running.

Debicki, who's been at Kansas University since 1968, previously was vice chancellor for research, graduate studies and public service. He reported to the executive vice chancellor.

Now, after KU's reorganization of its top administration, Debicki is the new dean of the KU graduate school and international programs, and he'll report to Provost David Shulenburger.

"I suspect that combination was created because of me as an individual," said Debicki, who also is a distinguished professor of Spanish and Portuguese.

Both the graduate school and international programs cut across the many academic schools and departments at KU. So while the mission of the two fields may be different, the framework they work within are much the same.

The graduate school at KU does not handle student records. Each school takes care of its own graduate students. The graduate school does, however, concentrate on faculty and programs.

"Basically, we have little to do with individual students and a lot to do with the mission of the university," said Debicki, 62, who earned both a bachelor's and doctoral degree from Yale University.

A recent review of graduate programs at KU addressed individual programs and the quality of the faculty, as well as plans each program has for improvement.

"I think we can do some very significant things to improve graduate education at the university," Debicki said.

The response to the review has been, generally, "very positive," Debicki said, although there has been some criticism that it was too quick, too superficial and that some of the people on the review committees didn't have enough knowledge about the disciplines they were reviewing.

Debicki will continue to work closely with deans of schools to improve graduate studies at KU.

"I enjoy that -- working with others," he said.

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