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Archive for Monday, November 8, 2010

Keith Nitcher remembered as a good steward of KU’s finances, a man of integrity

November 8, 2010

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Keith Nitcher, 89, a longtime steward of Kansas University’s finances who served under six chancellors died Saturday after a battle with Alzheimer’s Disease.

Keith Nitcher, 89, a longtime steward of Kansas University’s finances who served under six chancellors died Saturday after a battle with Alzheimer’s Disease.

Keith Nitcher

Keith Nitcher

A longtime steward of Kansas University’s finances who served under six chancellors died Saturday after a battle with Alzheimer’s Disease.

Keith Nitcher, 89, served in several roles at KU. After leaving a job as an assistant state comptroller, he worked at the university from 1957 until his retirement in 1993. He had been the university’s first comptroller, then a deputy vice chancellor for finance and finally the university director of business and fiscal affairs.

“He had an important role at the university, but he was the kind of guy who made sure that everybody had an important role at the university,” said his son, John Nitcher, a Lawrence attorney.

Another son, Ron Nitcher, said his father worked hard — often six and a half days a week. His family members and co-workers both recalled him as a man of impeccable honesty and ethics — one who was often in the position of having to tell people “no” when their numbers didn’t add up.

“He was the financial conscience of the university for many years,” said Del Shankel, KU’s 15th chancellor who worked with Nitcher in many capacities for several years. “He kept me from making several big mistakes.”

Theresa Gordzica, who currently holds Nitcher’s position, said Nitcher hired her as a student assistant while she was still working on her bachelor’s degree. He continued to serve as a mentor for her for 15 years as she continued to work in the office. She remembered his good sense of humor and the respect he earned from his peers.

“He had so much integrity and was so well thought of by everybody, not just at the university, but also at the state,” she said.

Ron Nitcher said his father was a big country music fan, likely as a result of his rural roots. Keith Nitcher and his wife, Hazel, owned a farm in Franklin County that he would occasionally tend to as a way to relieve stress, Ron Nitcher said.

A memorial service for Keith Nitcher is scheduled for 2 p.m. Wednesday at First Baptist Church, 1330 Kasold Drive.

Comments

Rick Hird 4 years, 1 month ago

Keith Nitcher contributed more to the stability and success of KU than most chancellors. He helped hold KU together in the turbulent 70's with his well reasoned leadership. He touched a lot of lives with his devotion to KU. I hope the Nitcher family will know that he was truly appreciated and won't be forgotten.

Ralph Gage 4 years, 1 month ago

When I started work at the Journal-World 42 years ago, as the reporter covering KU, Dolph Simons Sr., then the editor of the paper, advised me there were three people at KU that I could trust implicitly. One was Keith Nitcher. How true that proved to be! In addition to his integrity, Keith Nitcher was a very nice, down-to-earth guy.

rdtripn 4 years, 1 month ago

Mr. Nitcher hired me right out of high school to work for him in the Business Affairs office. He was one of the most honest, common sense person I have ever worked for. He taught me a lot about the business world. I have often thought of him and how he influenced my life -- I will miss him!

mtn 4 years, 1 month ago

Every tribute and comment about Keith Nitcher uses the word "honest". There is no better description of the man. He was true and honest in every single interaction he had. He passed that quality to his family. Keith Nitcher was a true, blue Kansan- the very best of us.

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