Longtime interim KU provost named to permanent role at UConn
photo by: Carter Gaskins/Journal-World File Photo
Story updated at 2:49 p.m. Wednesday
Carl Lejuez, who served as the interim provost and executive vice chancellor at the University of Kansas for nearly 18 months, was named Wednesday as the permanent provost at the University of Connecticut.
Lejuez served as KU’s interim provost from spring 2018 until February of this year, when new provost Barbara Bichelmeyer began her tenure. During his time in the role, Lejuez spearheaded a $20 million budget cut and the implementation of a new budgeting model for the university. He was one of four finalists, along with Bichelmeyer, for the permanent provost position at KU.
Lejuez arrived at KU from the University of Maryland in 2016 to serve as the dean of KU’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and a leading psychology researcher.
“Carl approached his work at KU with passion, humor and enthusiasm, which inspired all of us who had the pleasure of working with him,” KU Chancellor Douglas Girod said in a release announcing Lejuez’s departure. “He is a steadfast advocate for higher education and believes strongly that we can improve the world through research and scholarship.”
In a tweet announcing his departure, Lejuez said he was proud of his tenure at the university.
“KU will maintain a special place in my heart as I move on to this amazing next step in my career — a step that would have never been possible without the opportunities afforded to me by KU,” he said.
The leadership of KU’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences had been in a bit of a holding pattern since Lejuez assumed the interim provost role in 2018. After Bichelmeyer was named KU’s permanent provost, Lejuez told the Journal-World that he intended to return to the CLAS dean position, but it had been unclear when that would happen.
In light of his departure from KU, Girod said that acting CLAS dean John Colombo will become interim dean and continue that role through the fall semester. Then KU will begin the search process for a permanent dean of the university’s biggest school.
Lejuez will begin at UConn on May 29, that university announced.
“Carl’s experience as a seasoned provost and former dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at Kansas prepares him well to lead us creatively and nimbly through the challenges of returning to a new normal after COVID-19,” UCONN president Thomas Katsouleas said. “He impressed all constituencies through the extensive interview process with his values, integrity and energy, and I am delighted to have Carl’s leadership and partnership as our next provost.”