Kansas University Chancellor Robert Hemenway has stepped down from his position as vice chairman of the KU Hospital Authority Board.
Former Kansas Senate President Dave Kerr stepped into the vice chairman’s role Tuesday as the board instituted new bylaws that prevented its ex-officio members from serving in that capacity.
With Hemenway’s upcoming departure from KU — he has announced his intention to retire this summer — KU Hospital spokesman Dennis McCulloch said that this was a good time to institute the change. The chancellor will serve as a board member until his retirement.
Hospital Authority Board Chairman Bob Honse said he appreciated Hemenway’s leadership in creating the hospital authority during his tenure as chancellor.
“Without a lot of the things that he was involved with, none of us would be sitting around this table today,” Honse told board members at the meeting.
Honse also praised Kerr’s work in passing the legislation that created the authority when he served in the Senate.
The board has five ex-officio members, which represent leadership positions at KU Medical Center and KU Hospital. They are Hemenway, KU Hospital CEO Bob Page, Executive Vice Chancellor and Dean of KU Medical Center Barbara Atkinson, KU Nursing Dean Karen Miller and KU Hospital Chief of Staff William Barkman. They serve alongside 13 members of the broader community.
The board voted to remove both Hemenway and Page from their role on the board’s nominating committee, which nominates people to fill openings on the authority board, also because they were ex-officio members.
McCulloch said the new bylaws moved the hospital authority more in line with private industry practices.
“We try to operate as a regular business board, and this is simply another step to continue to operate as a business board,” he said.
— Higher education reporter Andy Hyland can be reached at 832-6388. Visit his Heard on the Hill blog at www.LJWorld.com/weblogs/heard_hill