Subscribe to breaking news alerts

Dole Institute director joins Thompson presidential campaign

August 8, 2007, 9:58 a.m. Updated August 8, 2007, 10:23 a.m.


Bill Lacy will take an unpaid, indefinite leave of absence as the director of the Dole Institute of Politics at the Kansas University to take a leading role in former Tennessee Sen. Fred Thompson's exploratory presidential campaign, the university reported this morning.

"Bill has been an extraordinary leader and visionary for the institute, so it's no wonder Fred Thompson is seeking his services again. This is a tremendous honor for Bill and for KU," Chancellor Robert Hemenway said. "We look forward to the time we can welcome Bill back to KU so he can share his experiences with our students."

An interim director to oversee the institute while Lacy is on leave will be announced next week, Hemenway said.

Lacy will lead Thompson's "testing the waters" committee and have full operational control of the Friends of Fred Thompson committee and will report directly to Thompson.

The principal political strategist and campaign manager for Thompson's 1994 Senate race in Tennessee, Lacy has a long political resume including serving as White House political director for President Ronald Reagan and political strategist for former Kansas Sen. Bob Dole. He has served in senior roles in the five previous presidential campaigns from 1980 to 1996, including as GOP national political director in 1984 and California senior consultant for then Vice President George H.W. Bush's 1988 presidential campaign. Lacy served in the White House Political Office in 1982-83 and was director during 1985-86.

Under Lacy's leadership since 2004, the institute has brought numerous noted policy makers, authors, historians, military leaders and politicians to campus to speak to public events and meet with students. The list of visitors has ranged from former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright and Gen. Richard Myers to former FEMA director Mike Brown. The institute has actively promoted youth involvement in civic activities and since 2005 has given 208 Dole Scholarships to Kansas college freshmen.

The Dole Institute, established at KU in 1997 to honor the former Kansas senator and KU alumnus, is designed to foster new thinking on major policy issues and to encourage student participation and citizen involvement in public service. The institute houses Dole's Congressional and personal papers. Among its many distinctive exhibits is a 29-by-24 foot stained glass American flag, believed to be the largest in stained glass.

Source: Kansas University

Subscribe to breaking news alerts

Follow LJWorld on Twitter


just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 10 years, 8 months ago

I hope that Lacy can convince Thompson to "test the waters" somewhere in the Bermuda Triangle.

justthefacts 10 years, 8 months ago

Just hope Bill returns to the Institute (it's offered some quality programs since his arrival) OR that if his candidate wins, he passes some of the benefits back to his friends in Kansas!

BigDog 10 years, 8 months ago

I wish Bill well on his new political endeavor. Thompson could make the whole Republican Presidential campaign a lot more interesting. There are signs that some Democrats (and Republicans) are already a little worried about him coming into the race. There are leading politicians that have already been commenting about him and he isn't even a candidate yet. Also there have been comments from leading Democrats and opposition research being conducted on him.

Why would they be doing this if he has no shot???

Steve Jacob 10 years, 8 months ago

Don't forget Thompson's has many more skelitons then just being a mole for Nixon.

BUT, if Guliani won the nom, he would have to take a hard conservative like Thompson as VP.

BigDog 10 years, 8 months ago

If Thompson has so many skeletons in his closet ....... how do all these people seem to know about them?

If you know so many then why not name some of them????

Jean1183 10 years, 8 months ago

Some of you are so funny! Believe it or not, there are more voters out there than just the liberals in Lawrence.

Commenting has been disabled for this item.