KU interim provost to return to role as college dean

photo by: Carter Gaskins

University of Kansas interim Provost Carl Lejuez speaks during a town hall forum about budget cuts on Monday, Aug. 27, 2018, in Eaton Hall on campus.

Updated at 1:30 p.m. Monday

The interim provost at the University of Kansas has confirmed he will return to his former role as dean of the College of Arts and Sciences but said he did not know when that change would take place.

Interim Provost Carl Lejuez said Monday in a text that he had no further details regarding the transition.

KU’s incoming provost, Barbara Bichelmeyer, will start on Feb. 24.

If Lejuez’s transition were to take place after Feb. 24, he said he did not know what his role would be in the interim period.

Lejuez did not respond to a follow-up question asking whether he was currently applying for positions at other institutions.

In December, the Journal-World reported that Lejuez was a finalist for the provost position at the University at Buffalo. The next day, KU announced Bichelmeyer as its next provost.

Lejuez ultimately did not get the job at Buffalo, according to the university’s website, which announced the university’s new provost on Jan. 9.

KU did not immediately respond Monday when asked whether Lejuez would return to the previous annual salary he had as liberal arts dean, which was $320,000. As interim provost, his annual salary was $90,000 more, or $410,000.

In his interim provost role, Lejuez has spearheaded budget discussions at KU as the university has cut $20 million from its budget and shed dozens of positions. He was at the center of controversy earlier this year when he sought to directly appoint professor Clarence Lang dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences without going through the university’s formal search process.

KU Chancellor Douglas Girod noted his appreciation for the work Lejuez had done “amid challenging circumstances” at the end of his December public message announcing Bichelmeyer as the incoming provost.

“KU is in a better place today as a result of his efforts during the past 19 months,” he wrote.

The current interim dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, John Colombo, said that when Lejuez returns to the role of dean, he expects to shift back to the other two positions he currently holds: psychology professor and director of the Schiefelbusch Institute for Life Span Studies.

Editor’s note: A previous version of this story misstated when Lejuez would return to his role as dean.

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