KU chooses new leader for highly ranked School of Public Affairs & Administration

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Maja Husar Holmes

A West Virginia professor has been chosen as the new leader of the University of Kansas’ highly ranked School of Public Affairs & Administration.

Maja Husar Holmes has been chosen as the new director of KU’s School of Public Affairs & Administration, which has been U.S. News & World Report’s top-ranked school for local government managers since 1998. Holmes will begin at KU on Jan. 1.

Holmes currently is an associate professor of public administration at West Virginia University. During her 15 years at WVU, she has directed the university’s public administration department, led public service graduate programs and has been a leader in university initiatives related to advancing public service education and fostering inclusivity, according to a KU press release.

Holmes’ research has focused on public leadership and diversity in the ranks of public management and higher education. She also has been awarded National Science Foundation research grants to advance social justice and inclusivity in higher education, according to KU.

Holmes received an undergraduate degree from Washington University in St. Louis and a master’s and doctorate in public administration from Syracuse University.

Holmes will fill a director position that became open when former director Stacey Swearingen White left KU in mid-2022 for a dean position at the University of Illinois, Chicago. Marilu Goodyear, a former director for the KU school, has been serving as interim director while KU has worked to fill the position.


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