Editorial: Lied leadership

The announcement by Tim Van Leer that he will retire at the end of the year as executive director of the Lied Center of Kansas calls attention to the fine job he has done over the past 12 years of overseeing the operation of the center.

He joined the Lied in 2001 and has helped develop the excellence and reputation of this valuable cultural venue for Kansas University as well as for Lawrence and a wide geographic area.

A facility such as the Lied is a great asset, but the manner in which the building is run, its programming, the variety of events, the attention to the interests of patrons and supporters, as well as the interests of potential attendees of all ages and how leaders meet the challenge of maintaining a sound fiscal foundation all combine to set some concert halls apart from others.

Van Leer and his predecessors, Jackie Davis and Fred Pawlicki have done an excellent job in making sure the Lied grows in excellence in every respect.

In addition to calling attention to those who have served as the center’s executive director, Van Leer’s upcoming retirement also serves to call attention to the significance and importance of the gift of Christina Hixson, the trustee of the Lied Foundation, who made the concert hall possible.

Her generous support and continued interest in the Lied, as well as her funding of other programs at the university, have had a tremendous and positive impact on KU, its students and faculty and the hundreds of thousands of patrons who have enjoyed performances at the Lied Center.

Thanks to Van Leer, Pawlicki, Davis, Hixson and all those who have served on volunteer boards for the Lied for their time, generosity and commitment to helping make the Lied Center a truly outstanding concert and performance facility.