Kansas University’s interim provost said Wednesday that the imagination and creativity that the liberal arts provide students can spark innovation in many different areas of research and the university’s mission.
Danny Anderson, who has been at KU since 1988, is applying to become the school’s next liberal arts dean.
He has also served as a department chairman, an associate liberal arts dean and as vice provost for academic affairs at KU — as well as a faculty member in the department of Spanish and Portuguese at KU and the University of Texas-Austin.
Anderson said he thought the current budget crisis instilled a sense of urgency among staff and faculty that wasn’t necessarily bad to carry over into good times.
“We can’t ever afford, even if there’s funding for it, to have a five-year-old curriculum and just rest on it,” Anderson said.
After he became a candidate for the position, Anderson said, he removed himself from the search process, with the final decision for the position now resting with Chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little.
Anderson becomes one of four finalists for the position — joining Matthew C. Moen, liberal arts dean at the University of South Dakota; Joseph C. Shields, chairman of the department of physics and astronomy at the University of Ohio; and Greg Simpson, KU’s interim liberal arts dean.
One of the announced finalists, Susan Carlson, associate provost for faculty advancement and diversity at Iowa State University, withdrew her name from the search.