After 14 years as Chancellor at the University of Kansas, Robert Hemenway is stepping down. The announcement became official Monday during a news conference.
Many KU students were stunned by the news. "I was just really shocked," said Rebecca Tolman. "I figured the Chancellor would be here for a really long time."
Chancellor Hemenway announced his intentions to the students and faculty of KU via e-mail this morning.
"I came to the conclusion fairly recently and I talked with the Regents and they seemed comfortable with the timetable," said Chancellor Hemenway.
His final day will be June 30, 2009.
"My goal is to do everything I can to prepare the way for the next Chancellor," Hemenway said.
Hemenway said he plans to take a year sabbatical to work on a book about intercollegiate athletics and American values before returning to KU as a scholar and teacher.
"My field is American Literature, specifically African American Literature so I'll probably be doing that," said Hemenway.
Then he laughed and said at the heart he is just a standard English Professor.
LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) _ After 14 years as chancellor at the
University of Kansas, Robert E. Hemenway is retiring next year to
teach and write.
Hemenway this morning announced his decision to leave the
chancellor's position next June 30.
Hemenway said there is no ``good'' time to step down. But he
said the university's many recent achievements mean he'll ``return
to the classroom knowing the University of Kansas is in excellent
shape'' and ready for future challenges.
He said he'll take a sabbatical during the next academic year to
work on a book about intercollegiate athletics and American values,
and will then return to teaching and scholarly research at Kansas.
Kansas Board of Regents Chair Donna Shank said the regents would
appoint a committee to begin a national search for Hemenway's
Hemenway said he would stay committed to the university for the
next seven months as it works through difficult economic times
caused by the state's budget shortfall.
Among other accomplishments cited by the university since
Hemenway was named chancellor in 1995 was record enrollment, higher ACT scores and diversity of faculty, students and staff.
BOARD PRAISES CHANCELLOR HEMENWAY FOR HIS LEADERSHIP
KU Chancellor to Retire After 14 Years of Service
(TOPEKA) - Today Regent Donna Shank of Liberal, Chair of the Kansas
Board of Regents, issued the following statement regarding the announcement that Robert Hemenway, the 16th Chancellor of the University of Kansas (KU), will retire in June 30, 2009, after what will be 14 years of service as Chancellor: “The people of Kansas and KU alumni worldwide have benefited tremendously from Bob Hemenway’s service. The accomplishments of the University during his firm and progressive leadership speak for themselves. KU has grown in size, strength, and reputation.”
“Under Bob’s leadership, KU’s academic programs have received increased national recognition; the University has embarked upon
ambitious plans to achieve Comprehensive Cancer Center designation; it
has made huge strides in the amount of federal research activity taking
place on campus; all while maintaining the commitment to providing world class education opportunities for students. These and many other achievements have secured KU’s position as a national academic and research leader which will have a lasting impact on the residents of
“KU is a stronger institution today as a result of Bob’s leadership
and unwavering dedication to higher education, and we look forward to
celebrating his many achievements in the upcoming months. He has
enriched the University and the state of Kansas during his years of
service and for that we are truly grateful.”
“We are thankful that Bob will continue to serve as the Chancellor
through the end of the academic year and will remain at KU in a
scholarly capacity following his retirement. In the coming weeks, the Board will formalize the process to conduct a national search for a new
“I wish Bob and his family the very best as they enter a new chapter
of their lives. Bob has given unselfishly of his time and talent to the
University for the last 13 years and his tenure has been nothing short
of remarkable. He will be missed.”
About the Kansas Board of Regents:
The nine-member Kansas Board of Regents is the governing board of the state’s six universities and the statewide coordinating board for the
state’s 32 public higher education institutions (six state
universities, a municipal university, nineteen community colleges, and
six technical colleges). In addition, the Board administers the
state’s student financial aid, adult education, GED, and career and
technical education programs. The Board also authorizes private
proprietary schools and out-of-state institutions to operate in Kansas,
and administers the Kan-ed network, a statewide network that provides
broadband Internet access and distance learning capabilities for schools, hospitals, and libraries.
Visit the Kansas Board of Regents online at www.kansasregents.org.