Archive for Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Another loss

January 5, 2010


Kansas University now has another key leadership vacancy. With search committees already working to find a new provost, a new dean for the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and a new dean for the School of Music, KU now is losing its law school dean.

After less than four years at KU, Law School Dean Gail Agrawal has accepted a position as dean of the University of Iowa College of Law. It was announced Monday that she will start her new job on July 1.

It’s disappointing that Agrawal is leaving KU after such short time. We hope her experience at KU was a good one and that her move to Iowa isn’t an indication of any dissatisfaction with KU but simply a decision to take advantage of a unique academic opportunity at a top-notch school.

The Kansas Legislature’s lackluster support of higher education in recent years and this year’s drastic cuts undoubtedly have been discouraging to many university leaders. Most public universities are hurting financially right now, but it would be interesting to know whether the situation at Iowa is any better than it is in Kansas.

The turnover among top KU administrators, in itself, is at least close to becoming an issue. Vacancies in so many top administrative offices certainly give new Chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little the opportunity to help pick her own team, but there is a danger that the balance of experience vs. fresh ideas could be getting a little out of whack.

Some of the search committees already have been working for several months. We hope they are being successful in finding strong candidates and will be ready to report their recommendations soon. Both now, when economic times are tough, and later, when the economic recovery begins, KU needs leaders ready to push the university forward.


davidsmom 8 years, 2 months ago

The JW should know that turnover in higher ed. admin. and faculty is very common. KU is not unique in this area. If you would read the Chronicle of Higher Education regularly, you would know this. Read the resumes of candidates and you would see how often they have moved. It is disappointing to lose a good person, but not necessarily worrisome.

Richard Heckler 8 years, 2 months ago

Reckless spending of dollars on athletic programs could be discouraging as well.

It seems to me excellent education scholars should be worth big bucks too.

anon1958 8 years, 2 months ago

I suppose that attracting a top rate dean for the law school will not be helped by the fact the state of Kansas is seriously contemplating a complete shut down of its judicial system for one or two weeks.

The KBI is probably 38,000 to 40,000 DNA samples behind by now due to lack of funding by the state legislature and quite a few other state agencies are also similarly crippled. These facts compound the already huge disadvantage of KU as a major sized but mediocre university that is sinking along with other state institutions.

At this point KU is getting pretty shaky even as a stepping stone to somewhere that matters. Hemenway and his hatchetman Schulenberg were in power for far way too long and it should be abundantly clear from how fast things unravelled that they were incredibly poor caretakers of KU during their despotic rule.

Orwell 8 years, 2 months ago


Could she hit the three-pointer?

job4mike6 8 years, 2 months ago

This editorial item is another waste of precious editorial space. Very few could disagree that "KU needs leaders ready to push the university forward." At least no mention of Octomom or any other ephemeral celebrity wannabe was included. Clinton was elected because of his focus on the economy and Bush (41) lacking economic policy credibility. We face an even darker economic landscape now! What do the editors think of the economy now after one year of Obama's policies? Wouldn't that be worthwhile reading rather than this navel-gazing tripe about KU staffing? What do the editors think about the numerous proposed changes in health policy? The process to arrive at the new health policies? The Constitutionality of the individual mandate in the Senate and House versions of health reform? I challenge the LJW editorial staff to get out of the weeds and expound on issues of significance! What job creation strategies does the LJW propose for creating better economic circumstances? Where should government do more and more significantly where must it do less? Come on editors, pick up your game to a serious level of discourse and leave KU staffing of individuals off the editorial page unless they have been tarred and feathered by Missouri ruffians or suffered some other calamity of injustice. Job changes at this level due to upward career progression are not a proper use for your editorial space.

Ann Hamil 8 years, 2 months ago

"Clinton was elected because of his focus on the economy and Bush (41) lacking economic policy credibility. We face an even darker economic landscape now! What do the editors think of the economy now after one year of Obama's policies?" -job4mike6

I'm not exactly sure what you are driving at j4m. Are you saying that Clinton wrecked the economy...."that one guy--unmentioned" did everything he could to right it, but Obama has wrecked it again in 1 year? (Oh and 9-11, the shoe bomber, various other thwarted domestic terror attacks did not happen from 01-09 either right?) Get your posterior out of your backside, turn off Faux news, try reading some economists that don't fit your house of cards frames.

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