Archive for Monday, April 27, 2009

Chancellor Hemenway discusses many changes at KU during his 14-year tenure

KU Chancellor Robert Hemenway told the Lawrence Noon Rotary Club on Monday that KU underwent a fair amount of change during his tenure.

April 27, 2009


Kansas University Chancellor Robert Hemenway told the Lawrence Noon Rotary Club on Monday that KU has changed for the better during his 14-year tenure as chancellor.

He cited record enrollments, $297 million in research expenditures last year and academic honors like the national debate championship and School of Journalism students earning top billing in this year’s Hearst competitions.

He acknowledged, however, a challenging future ahead as the university faces dwindling state revenues.

“The economy is a primary challenge, and it’s going to challenge us in all kinds of different ways,” Hemenway said.

Even though the state accounts for only 22 percent of the university’s funds, the economic crisis will make it difficult to face the many challenges on KU’s horizon, Hemenway said.

Hemenway has announced his intention to step down from the position of chancellor after June 30.

He cautioned that he didn’t want his remarks to sound like a swan song; he will remain on Mount Oread to teach and to write a book about intercollegiate athletics.

He told the audience of more than 100 Rotarians that the university atmosphere has changed in many other ways, too.

Students are demanding more now than they did 14 years ago, he said, as dorm rooms have given way to residential suites and KU’s Student Recreation Fitness Center features attractions like a climbing wall.

When he first enrolled at the University of Nebraska, Hemenway said he didn’t recall ever asking whether there were a climbing wall.

He remembered a news story upon his arrival in 1995 detailing how he used a computer and e-mail to help him at his job.

“It would only be a story now if I didn’t use a computer,” Hemenway said.

In fact, 14 years later, e-mail itself is becoming slightly obsolete among some students, he said, saying many prefer to use social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter to communicate.

He said he had faith in the committee appointed to find his successor, saying that “good universities make good hires.”

After that person comes aboard, Hemenway said, he would look on and would be the “strongest supporter I can be.”


Kidjustice 8 years, 11 months ago

In the last 14 years Chancellor Robert Hemenway has managed to run the University of Kansas in the ground! I hope the next Chancellor is qualified for the job and it not another regents Good old-boy.All I can say is "BOB don't let the door hit you in the ass when you step down".

LJD230 8 years, 11 months ago

Note he didn't tout the advancement of KU's academic reputation!

The graduate programs, with one or two exceptions, are not even ranked in the newly released 2010 US News report.

The lack of ranking for both the school of law and school of medicine is a disgrace.

Peetro1981 8 years, 11 months ago

LJD230 - Really - see below. Also - KU's freshman class has the highest ACT average in KU history at 24.8. The national average is 22. Like him or not, get the facts blow hard.

KSChick1 8 years, 11 months ago

KU's dept of Psychology advanced 25 places to tie for # 21 in the country. Stick that in your pipe and smoke it.

Uhlrick_Hetfield_III 8 years, 11 months ago

So he'll continue to be a parasite as part of his golden parachute to get him out of the chancellor's office.

While individual departments may have done well, no thanks to Hemenway, the university as a whole repeatedly dropped in the rankings. In addition, he alienated many in the legislature and was a vast, vast step down from Gene Budig.

Good riddance to bad rubbish. Hopefully his desire to stick around will end quickly. We have enough dead wood on the hill as it is.

jayhawkato 8 years, 11 months ago

LJD230----- I agree.

The school of engineering and business aren't ranked too. Especially B-school's ranking has dropped dramatically(average GMAT score was above 600 few years ago but now is 570!). Mizzou B-school is ranked much higher. It's shame!

yourworstnightmare 8 years, 11 months ago

Hemenway did great things for Kansas University athletics. This was his focus and passion and this is what he understands.

It is hard to fault him for not focusing on academics and particularly research and graduate studies, as he does not have passion for these things nor does he understand them.

The best that could be said about Hemenway with regard to academics and research is that he did not get in the way.

Under Hemenway, KU was basically on autopilot with regard to research. There was certainly no leadership in that direction. His recent conversion to the importance of cancer research and the KU Cancer Center is merely jumping on a bandwagon started by researchers at KU Lawrence and KUMC. There was no Hemenway leadership on this issue.

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