Kansas University on Wednesday named a new dean of the School of Social Welfare.
Mary Ellen Kondrat, who holds the same post at Louisiana State University, will replace Ann Weick, who is retiring after nearly 19 years in the job.
"To say I'm excited would be the understatement of the century," Kondrat said.
Kondrat's salary will be $150,000.
Weick said Kondrat was a good fit for the school, which serves about 500 students.
"Her interests and her background will ensure that the school continues to move along in a very progressive and strong tradition," Weick said.
Kondrat has been at LSU since 2003. Before that, she was associate dean and director of The Ohio State University's Master of Social Work Program.
Kondrat said she hoped to contribute to KU's goals to expand the university's international efforts - perhaps to India, where she already has many contacts.
She said she also would like to expand interdisciplinary work, enlarge the school's student capacity and enhance programs in the Kansas City area.
"My job as a leader is to clear the way with better resources and to get us out of the way so (others) can succeed," she said.
Kondrat has experience initiating and overseeing fundraising and minority recruitment projects.
A Wisconsin native, Kondrat received a doctorate in education, a master's in social work and a master's in sociology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and a bachelor's in psychology from Marquette University.
She has worked with many scholarly journals and is consulting editor of Social Work, managing editor of Social Development Issues and a member of the board of advisers for Journal of Comparative Social Welfare.