Topeka In recognition of 30 years of service to Kansas University, the school is seeking approval to grant Gene Budig the title of chancellor emeritus.
The request was made public Tuesday during a meeting of the Kansas Board of Regents Academic Affairs Standing Committee, which approved putting the proposal on the full regents’ agenda for Sept. 15-16.
Budig was chancellor of Kansas University from 1980 to 1994. He served as president of baseball’s American League from 1994 to 1999. He is now part-owner of a minor league baseball team in South Carolina. And recently, he released a book about baseball greats, “Clearing the Bases.”
In a letter to the regents, KU Chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little praised Budig for his meritorious service as chancellor and continued support of KU.
Gray-Little recounted when — in June 1991 — a lightning strike caused a fire and ultimate destruction of Hoch Auditorium.
“Through Chancellor Budig’s tireless lobbying efforts, KU received an $18 million appropriation from the state to rebuild the structure. In recognition of his dedication, the new building was named Budig Hall when it was officially dedicated in October 1997,” she said.
She said Budig and his wife, Gretchen, have been generous donors to KU, establishing professorships in several departments and a scholarship fund.
On Monday, KU announced the Budigs established a new professorship in Social and Behavioral Sciences. Including that gift of $100,000, the Budigs have given more than $1 million to KU.
Regent Ed McKechnie, who serves on the Academic Affairs Committee, called the honor for Budig “long overdue.”
Last year, the regents designated Robert Hemenway chancellor emeritus. Hemenway had been chancellor for 14 years prior to stepping down in 2009.