KU names interim director to permanent role in research institute

photo by: Provided/University of Kansas

Donna Ginther was named the permanent director of KU's Institute for Policy and Social Research on Thursday, Feb. 27, 2020.

The University of Kansas on Thursday announced economics professor Donna Ginther as the permanent director of the Institute for Policy & Social Research — a role which she’d held on an interim basis since May 2019.

Ginther will be only the second director IPSR has had since it opened in its current form in 2000. Longtime and founding director Steven Maynard-Moody, who remains a professor in the School of Public Affairs & Administration, stepped down from the role to resume a greater role as a faculty member.

Ginther said in a KU news release that she was pleased to be named to the role permanently.

“I look forward to working with the staff, research center directors, and affiliated faculty and students to increase IPSR’s portfolio of funded research projects and contribute to the policy debate in Kansas and across the nation,” she said.

IPSR, which opened under Maynard-Moody’s leadership as the Policy Research Institute, is faculty-driven and tasked with overseeing sponsored research related to public policy and social sciences. The institute tackles topics related to economics, education, environmental studies, geography, political science and social welfare, among others, according to the release.

Simon Atkinson, vice chancellor for research, said in the news release that he was excited to see Ginther carry out her vision for the institute as a catalyst for research and collaboration on important policy and social issues.

“She embraces that mission in her own research, and she has built strong relationships across the campus, state and nation that will help amplify the institute’s impact,” he said.

Ginther, who was selected from an internal search, will assume the role immediately, the release said.


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