Former KU Chancellor Del Shankel dies at age 90

photo by: Nick Krug

In this file photo from May 2, 2011, former KU Chancellor Del Shankel receives a lifetime service award during the Jayhawk senior and scholar athlete banquet in Allen Fieldhouse.

Former KU Chancellor Del Shankel died Thursday at the age of 90, according to an announcement from the University of Kansas’ chancellor’s office.

Delbert M. “Del” Shankel was the only person to serve as KU’s chancellor twice, according to the university. He was acting chancellor for the 1980-81 academic year, and in 1994 he was interim chancellor for seven months before the Kansas Board of Regents designated him chancellor. In 1995, he left that role and was granted chancellor emeritus status.

In addition to serving as chancellor, the university noted, Shankel was also acting chair of the microbiology department, half-time assistant and later half-time associate dean for the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, acting head of the journalism school, special counselor to Chancellor Gene Budig, acting athletic director and interim president and CEO of the KU Alumni Association. He also was the university’s first executive vice chancellor.

Shankel is survived by his wife, Carol, their two children and two grandchildren.

“While we are saddened by Chancellor Shankel’s passing, we can be grateful for the opportunity to celebrate his life and contributions to KU,” said Chancellor Douglas Girod in a statement Thursday.

“On a personal note,” Girod said, “Chancellor Shankel has been a valued advisor to me since I became chancellor last year. I will miss his counsel and the pleasure of seeing him on campus.”

An on-campus memorial service is being planned for early September, although a specific date has yet to be determined.


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