Thursday’s announcement of plans for a new School of Business building at Kansas University was great news.
It’s good for the School of Business in that it will provide expanded space and facilities for both students and faculty, it will result in new and expanded programs at the school, and it will be good for the state.
For far too long the school has been dormant and recently was embarrassed by its failure to maximize its MBA program, as well as other opportunities.
Neeli Bendapudi moved into the school’s deanship on Aug. 1, 2011, and since that time, has maintained an almost nonstop schedule, reinvigorating faculty members, making changes and revitalizing activities within the school, and traveling throughout the country seeking financial support for the new building.
She offers a perfect example of what a single individual, with enthusiasm, vision and a commitment to excellence can achieve — attributes that unfortunately have been lacking at the university.
Fortunately Bendapudi and members of the Dicus family of Topeka got together and Thursday’s announcement of the $20 million gift by the Dicuses and Capitol Federal is the result of this meeting.
John B. Dicus is president and chairman of Capitol Federal Financial Inc., the holding company for Capitol Federal Savings Bank, which operates branch offices in Kansas and Missouri. He and his father, John C. “Jack” Dicus and members of their family are to be thanked and congratulated for their generosity and their belief in the significance of a top-flight School of Business. It is important to the university because it will be a major help in attracting superior students, outstanding faculty and visiting lecturers, and important to the state because it stresses entrepreneurship, vision and the opportunities for business development in Kansas.
Although not present in person, there is one particular individual who would have been extremely pleased by Capitol Federal’s participation and leadership in this gift, and that is the late Henry Bubb, former chairman, president and leader of Capitol Federal. Bubb was the father of the late Betty Bubb Dicus, wife of Jack Dicus.
Bubb was a leader in every sense of the word and, in addition to his effective role in leading and building Capitol Federal into one of the nation’s finest savings and loan associations and providing the foundation for today’s bank, he also was a tough, demanding member of the Kansas Board of Regents for 16 years.
He didn’t suffer fools lightly. He asked university chancellors and presidents tough questions. He expected answers and didn’t accept excuses. He asked the questions because he made it a point to know what was going on. He would have been pleased to see a dean such as Bendapudi taking charge of the business school, not sitting still. He would hope her ability and manner would rub off on others at the university and in the state.
Thanks to Capitol Federal, John, Jack and the Dicus family, Dean Bendapudi and many other generous contributors.