Archive for Wednesday, February 15, 2017

KU chancellor search process now officially open

Regents OK formal ‘leadership statement’ outlining desired characteristics of university’s next CEO

Kansas Board of Regents

Kansas Board of Regents

February 15, 2017


TOPEKA — “Impeccable integrity, strategic vision, a high energy level, excellent interpersonal and communication skills, and everyday common sense.”

That’s what the University of Kansas is requiring in its next chancellor, according to a “leadership statement” approved Wednesday by the Kansas Board of Regents.

With the approval of the statement, akin to a formal job description, the application process is now officially open.

To ensure optimal consideration, according to a Board of Regents news release, applications should be received by March 30. Following interviews with the chancellor search committee, the board will interview finalists and choose the new chancellor.

Search committee chairman David Dillon told the board Wednesday that his group hopes to report back to the board by early May.

The board’s stated goal is to have a new chancellor hired and announced in time to begin by July 1, but until that happens no names or candidate information will be shared publicly, as the board opted for a closed search. The current KU chancellor, Bernadette Gray-Little, announced in September that she would step down after this school year.

The consulting firm R. William Funk & Associates is assisting with recruiting candidates for the search.

The full leadership statement and application information is available online at

“The best candidates will be individuals of stature who have a keen understanding of higher education, a passion for educating students, and a proven respect and appreciation for a world-class faculty,” the leadership statement reads.

That’s followed by 15 bullet points of desired characteristics and qualifications.

Dillon said two characteristics worth highlighting were an ability to reach out to the entire state and being passionate about leading a major research institution — particularly one with an affiliated hospital and medical center campus that aims to serve all Kansans.

“This isn’t about Northeast Kansas, and it isn’t about just the university proper,” Dillon said. “It’s about the entire state.”

Dillon said his meetings with various KU constituents and input from the 25-person search committee helped form the leadership statement.

Other stated characteristics include:

• Ability to generate money for the university, including public, private and new revenue streams.

• Commitment to and appreciation of research and scholarly activity.

• In-depth understanding and commitment to a strong Division I athletic program.

• A “collegial, approachable and adaptable style.”

• “Deep commitment” to increasing access to higher education in Kansas, with emphasis on underrepresented and first-generation students.

• Respect for the importance of academic freedom, peer review and shared governance.

In addition to characteristics and qualifications, the 11-page leadership statement document includes highlighted accomplishments of Gray-Little, KU history and campus information and an organizational chart reflecting the chancellor’s responsibilities.

Contact KU and higher ed reporter Sara Shepherd
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