The education dean at Kansas University is resigning to take a job at the University of Southern California.
Karen Gallagher, dean of KU's School of Education since 1994, said Tuesday that she accepted the dean's position at USC's Rossier School of Education. In September, she will replace Guilbert Hentschke at the private university in Los Angeles.
Gallagher said six years as a university administrator in Kansas prepared her for the new job awaiting her in California.
"Really," she said, "the problems are the same in California. You just have to multiply them by 50."
An interim education dean will be appointed by KU, Provost David Shulenburger said. A national search will be launched for Gallagher's replacement when fall classes begin in August. The goal is to hire a new dean by July 2001.
Gallagher said her husband, R.J. Pat Gallagher, would work at USC and Cal State Northridge. He's been a special education researcher at KU.
The timing of their move coincides with their son's graduation in May from Free State High School. Gallagher, raised in the Seattle area, also said she wanted to return to the West Coast.
Gallagher said KU had offered her another five-year term as dean of education.
"I came here to do a job," she said. "I didn't set a time limit on it. But it's about the right time."
The dean devoted two years to coordinating the $14 million renovation and addition to Joseph R. Pearson Hall for use as the education school's new home. The former residence hall opens in August with offices, classrooms, laboratories and clinics.
It will replace the school's current location in Bailey Hall, which was considered state-of-the-art in 1956.
"We've planned (Pearson Hall) around the kinds of programs and priorities we have as a faculty," Gallagher said. "It has much better classrooms that are state-of-the-art in terms of instructional technology."
Other accomplishments by the dean include creation of the Institute for Educational Research and Public Service to help faculty obtain external research grants. She also reorganized and consolidated departments within the education school.
Gallagher said she was attracted to USC because of its stature as a high-quality private institution. She said the university's capacity to generate endowment donations was impressive.
"You're encouraged to be entrepreneurial," she said.
Gallagher will be the second to hold the USC education dean's chair -- endowed with $2.5 million. USC's education school is named for Barbara and Roger Rossier, who committed $20 million in 1998. It's the largest gift to an education school at a U.S. college or university.