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KU announces two interim deans

Monday, June 06, 2016

LAWRENCE — University of Kansas leadership named interim deans for two of its internationally renowned schools.

Incoming Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor Neeli Bendapudi announced that Stephen Kapp, acting dean for the School of Social Welfare, and James Guthrie, associate dean of academic affairs for the School of Business, will assume roles as interim deans of their respective units. Their appointments will continue until national searches for deans conclude.

“I’m truly excited about the leadership, drive, and expertise these two faculty members bring to their programs,” Bendapudi said. “Both have extensive scholarly careers at KU and have earned great respect not only in Kansas, but also around the world. These schools are in great hands.” 

Bendapudi will review and update position descriptions for the dean openings during the summer months. National searches for permanent replacements may begin this fall.

About the interim deans:

Interim Dean of the KU School of Business James Guthrie / Photo by Steve PuppeJames Guthrie
Guthrie joined KU as an assistant professor in the School of Business in 1988. He was promoted to full professor in 2002 and was named the William and Judy Docking Professor of Business in 2005. In 2014 he was appointed associate dean of academic affairs for the school. He has been a visiting professor at the University of Limerick and Dublin City University in Ireland and the University of Waikato and the University of Auckland in New Zealand. Prior to joining KU he was a research assistant and an instructor at the University of Maryland.                  

His research specialties are human resource policies and practices and firm performance, employment instability and reward systems. Guthrie is a prolific scholar and author of more than 100 journal articles, proceedings and presentations that have received thousands of citations and been featured in many media outlets, such as the Wall Street Journal and CNBC.com. He has received the Guy O. and Rosa Lee Mabry Research Award for the best annual published article within the School of Business on multiple occasions. He has been recognized for his work with doctoral students as the recipient of Outstanding Mentor Awards from the Association of Business Doctoral Students in 2016, 2013, 2008, 2005 and 2001 and with an Outstanding Teacher Award from the KU Center for Teaching Excellence in 1999-2000. In 2010 he received the Gordon Fitch Award for Distinguished Service to the School of Business. In 2016, Guthrie was named an “Icon of Education” by Ingram’s Magazine.

In addition to serving on many university and school committees, Guthrie is an active member of the Human Resources Division of the Academy of Management, having served in multiple roles, including its executive committee. He is or has been associate editor, guest editor or editorial board member of many of the top journals in his field, including the Academy of Management Journal, Academy of Management Review, Journal of International Business Studies, Human Resource Management and Human Resource Management Journal.  

He earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology and an MBA from the State University of New York at Buffalo and a doctorate in human resource management from the University of Maryland. 

Guthrie is filling the position made vacant when Chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little appointed Bendapudi to be the new provost at KU.  

Interim Dean of the School of Social Welfare Stephen KappStephen Kapp
Kapp joined KU as an assistant professor in 1997 and has been full professor in the School of Social Welfare and associate dean of academic programs since 2011. His research focus is juvenile justice and agency-based program evaluation. He has written dozens of peer-reviewed journal articles, book chapters and research reports. In 2010 he co-wrote the book “Agency-based Program Evaluation: Lessons from Practice.” He is an associate editor for the journal Social Work. Kapp is an active member of the school, serving on search committees and providing input to curriculum development and program innovation.  He is program director of the school’s Ireland study abroad program. Prior to his academic career, he served as a social work practitioner in leadership positions. 

At KU he has received several honors and awards, including the school’s Alice and Harry Statland Award for Excellence in Scholarship, KU’s Gene and Gretchen Budig Teaching Award and the Summer Leadership Program at Harvard Institutes of Higher Education Management Development Program. He has been a consultant for the Johnson County Juvenile Court System since 2001. Kapp is a member of the Academy of Certified Social Workers, the Council on Social Work Education, the National Association of Social Workers and the Society for Social Work Research.

He earned a bachelor’s degree in social welfare from the University of Wisconsin, a master’s degree in social work from the University of Michigan and an interdisciplinary doctorate in social science and social work from Michigan State University. Kapp was appointed acting dean of the school in March when Professor Paul Smokowski stepped down from his leadership role.

Photos by KU Marketing Communications and Steve Puppe.
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