In this week's issue of TIME magazine, which names President George Bush as its "Person of the Year," the magazine's editors asked six eminent American presidential scholars to assess Bush's first term in office.
The magazine states, "Grading the President. A 21st century visionary? A failed adventurer abroad? Six scholars suggest how history will judge George W. Bush's first term in office ... and compare him with his predecessors."
The six scholars? Robert Dallek, Richard Norton Smith, Michael Beschloss, Doris Kearns Goodwin, David Kennedy and Joseph Ellis.
Smith served as director of the Dole Institute of Politics at Kansas University and played a significant role in the early development of the facility. For various reasons, he decided to accept an invitation to serve as director of the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum in Springfield, Ill., and leave his KU/Dole Institute post.
It is a shame this nationally and internationally recognized presidential and American political history scholar is not still identified in some capacity at KU. Academic gems like Richard Norton Smith do not come along that often and when they do, every effort should be made to hold onto them.