Archive for Wednesday, May 20, 2009

KU’s interim provost leaving for job at Ohio State

Joseph Steinmetz takes Ohio State job; Danny Anderson to assume acting post

May 20, 2009, 12:17 p.m. Updated May 20, 2009, 8:51 a.m.


Kansas University’s interim provost and its dean of liberal arts and sciences is leaving for Ohio State University.

Joseph Steinmetz will become executive dean of arts and sciences and vice provost at Ohio State, effective July 1.

On that date, Danny Anderson, vice provost for academic affairs, will assume Steinmetz’s responsibilities as new interim provost.

Steinmetz is the third high-ranking KU academic official to announce he would leave his position this summer.

Provost Richard Lariviere will become president of the University of Oregon, and Chancellor Robert Hemenway will retire to return to teaching and writing, both effective July 1.

Anderson said turnover is common in higher education leadership, and he would seek to ensure continuity as a priority when he begins work in his new position.

“There should not be a sense that there’s any kind of interruption in our ability to move forward and be effective in our goals,” he said.

Anderson has served as the university’s vice provost for academic affairs since 2008, before which he was an associate dean in the college of liberal arts, and a professor and chairman of KU’s department of Spanish and Portuguese.

He has been on the KU faculty since 1988.

Earlier this year, Greg Simpson, chairman of the department of psychology, was named KU’s interim dean of the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences.

Steinmetz said he was attracted to the position at Ohio State for several reasons, one of which was to oversee a major realignment of that school’s liberal arts program. Five separate colleges would be combined under the reorganization, he said.

“I really have a passion for the arts and sciences,” Steinmetz said. “This was an opportunity to play a major role in reorganizing the arts and sciences at Ohio State.”

Steinmetz acknowledged the high amount of transition happening at KU, along with budget issues. But with Anderson’s experience with the Kansas Board of Regents and his relationships with other academic officials, Steinmetz said, he’d be well-positioned to handle the situation.

“If I was a faculty member here the next year and the year after, I wouldn’t worry about this,” Steinmetz said.

Donna Shank, chairwoman of the Kansas Board of Regents, said that higher education leadership transitions occurred often, and that KU had a number of talented people from which to draw.

She said the number of vacant top positions at KU would not affect the ongoing chancellor search, but could potentially make the position more attractive by allowing a new person to name his or her own supporting cast.

Hemenway said he selected Anderson for the new position because of his skill as an academic and his leadership experience.

It speaks well of the quality of people employed at KU that they were being tapped at other high-quality institutions.

“We regret losing Joe Steinmetz,” Hemenway said. “But fortunately we have somebody like Danny Anderson who can step in.”


ConcernedCynic 9 years, 1 month ago

There has got to be a way that we can blame Lew Perkins for this...

kusp8 9 years, 1 month ago

I don't see why we can't have Obama be the Chancellor. The Kansan reported he was nominated multiple times! Since he's superman he should be able to be in two places at once!

gccs14r 9 years, 1 month ago

I wouldn't want to be here, either. The State isn't fulfilling its constitutional obligation to adequately fund education, yet at the same time the AD is pulling down low seven figures to strong-arm people into giving to KUAC instead of to KU.

WilburM 9 years, 1 month ago

Joe S.'s leaving for Ohio State -- in the Big Ten and 60K or so students -- says nothing really about KU. But the idea of having no experienced administrators at the top here is truly stunning, and unprecedented at KU. Still, it was time for Hemenway to go, and both Lariviere and Steinmetz went to prestigious positions. You want your administrators (and faculty) to be attractive to other universities. But not all at the same time....

Of course the obvious choice for KU czar of all positions is Lew P.

Bob-RJ Burkhart 9 years, 1 month ago

This Knowledge Management Organizational Learning (KMOL) benchmark shows KU Board of Regents institutions are NOT well prepared to effectively challenge 21st Century Learners ...

Retirement or transfer of "status quo" keepers enables evading public sector accountability for flawed executive succession planning.

< >

Operational Continuity Assurance narrative is here: @

================================ User talk:RJBurkhart - Wikipedia (SNA-kes) Where SNA = Social Network Analysis & kes = knowledge engineering skills IF: Effective EarthSea-Keeping collaboration practices overcome prevailing (status quo) compartmented complacency and Zero-sum games to assure sustainable wellbeing ...

yourworstnightmare 9 years, 1 month ago

Lariviere = KU outsider, Anderson = KU insider

Steinmetz = KU outsider, Simpson = KU insider

KU is reverting back into itself after its brief flirtation with outside quality and ideas.

Incest is best, keep it in the family.

Now all we need is for the new chancellor to be a former KU faculty member or administrator, and we'll have an inbreeding clean sweep!

yourworstnightmare 9 years, 1 month ago

More KU insider than I originally thought. Inbreeding.

Both Anderson (Provost) and Simpson (Dean of the college) received their doctorates at KU.

Let's make it a clean sweep with a chancellor who also did a doctorate at KU.

Wooo hooo!

clyde_never_barks 9 years, 1 month ago

So why isn't KU releasing the names of the three finalists for chancellor. K-State and Pittsburg State did. Is something going on that the search committee and board of regents don't want the public to see?

average 9 years, 1 month ago

@yourworstnightmare -

Er, yeah. Anderson and Simpson are both long-timers. Notice what is in front of both of their titles? Interim. Neither is the most likely candidate to take the permanent role. Interim officeholders are, pretty much always, internal candidates.

davidsmom 9 years, 1 month ago

University search committees who release names prematurely sometimes lose their best candidates. Most candidates don't want their names released during the process.

Anderson is absolutely right that turnover is common in higher education. I also work in higher ed. and there is nothing odd at all or unique to KU in this story.

Chris Bohling 9 years, 1 month ago

I'm a KU Music School student and my main concern is that the fine arts reorganization is going to get way behind because of all this. We're already behind looking for a dean for the new School of Music and a departmental head for Art and Design because the administration can't give us the time of day. I know that's not their fault but as a member of the School it makes me worry.

morganalefay 9 years, 1 month ago

“If I was a faculty member here the next year and the year after, I wouldn’t worry about this,” Steinmetz said.

Oh, please. Translated that means "Definitely worry." I sure would. If I were a faculty member in mid tenure-track or even close to tenure review, I would be on the job market.

The rats are definitely jumping a sinking ship, smack in the middle of major administrative changes.

jayhawks71 9 years, 1 month ago

"Earlier this year, Greg Simpson, chairman of the department of philosophy, was named KU’s interim dean of the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences."

Simpson was chair of the Department of Psychology, not Philosophy. Please do some fact checking.

To the rest of you, the notion that you wouldn't put long-time KU people in the interim role is simply ridiculous.

Bob-RJ Burkhart 9 years, 1 month ago

As a registered KU Continuing Education life-long learning student and USNR Viet Nam Veteran, my academic freedom were officially curtailed by a nameless (shielded) cadre of "Status Quo Keepers" ...

After consulting with Fort Leavenworh's Advocate General staff, I chose to "make waves" with our more innovative inter-regional higher learning organizations - Haskell Indian Nations University (HINU).

See this related PBworks article:

ctrowbridge 9 years, 1 month ago

Jayhawks71: You're absolutely correct. Our mistake. Thanks for the note. It's fixed now. -Caroline Trowbridge, assignment director

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 9 years, 1 month ago

"Of course the obvious choice for KU czar of all positions is Lew P."

He never accept that big a cut in pay.

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