LAWRENCE — The largest academic unit at the University of Kansas will soon have a new dean at its helm. Carl W. Lejuez, professor of psychology and associate dean of research for the College of Behavioral and Social Sciences at the University of Maryland, will join KU in February as dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.
“I am truly excited to have a scholar of Carl’s caliber and capability joining the College,” said Jeffrey S. Vitter, provost and executive vice chancellor. “His skill and insight will identify new opportunities and help lead the College to even greater prominence.”
The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences is the home of the humanities, social and behavioral sciences, natural sciences and mathematics, arts, international and interdisciplinary studies at KU. It includes the School of the Arts, the School of Languages, Literatures & Cultures and the School of Public Affairs & Administration. The College employs more than 600 faculty members and offers more than 100 majors, minors and certificates in 53 academic departments and programs, enrolling more than 13,500 undergraduate and graduate students. Faculty researchers lead or contribute to several of KU’s designated research centers, including the Biodiversity Institute, the Hall Center for the Humanities, the Life Span Institute, the Center for Environmentally Beneficial Catalysis and the National Science Foundation Center for Remote Sensing of Ice Sheets.
Lejuez will succeed Don Steeples, distinguished professor and interim dean of the College, who assumed the role in March upon the departure of CLAS Dean Danny Anderson to be the new president of Trinity University in San Antonio. Lejuez joined the University of Maryland in 2001 after he completed a one-year appointment as assistant research professor in the Department of Psychiatry at Brown University. He has been an associate dean at Maryland since 2013, leading the research mission in a college with more than 200 faculty members and an overall budget of roughly $100 million. In that role he developed a strategic plan for faculty research. This past year, the university was ranked third nationally in total federal funding for social sciences research. In addition to stimulating faculty research, he has been extremely active in encouraging undergraduate and graduate student research, including the pursuit of fellowships and other grants. These efforts have supported a tripling of NSF graduate research fellowships awarded to the college since he took the post as associate dean.
At Maryland, Lejuez is founder and director of the Center for Addictions, Personality and Emotion Research, which includes more than 50 faculty, staff and students and has a yearly operating budget of more than $2 million. He also serves as the administrative director at the Maryland Neuroimaging Center. He is director of clinical training and, from 2009 to 2015, was a director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse Pre-Doctoral Institutional Training Program, which is at the intersection of basic neuroscience and addiction treatment development. He has served as an adjunct faculty member at the Yale Child Study Center, New Haven, Connecticut, and the REAP Program of the Ralph H. Johnson VA Medical Center in Charleston, South Carolina.
“I am thrilled to have the opportunity to lead the College,” Lejuez said. “KU embodies and excels in all aspects of the mission of a flagship state institution. Most prominently, this includes the world-class education provided to its outstanding undergraduate and graduate students. The College is home to first-rate faculty members who contribute to exceptional educational and research programs that are among the best in the nation. The scholarly reputation of the College as well as the example set by the outstanding deans who previously have served in this role motivates me to identify new possibilities through which the College will shine.”
Lejuez’s research interests cover addictions, personality disorders and mood disorders, with the goal of using findings from laboratory-based studies in the development of novel assessment and treatment strategies. He has applied his treatment strategies in low-income communities in Washington, D.C., and around the world, including Iraqi Kurdistan, China and several countries in South America. He is a prolific author across multiple fields, including psychology, psychiatry and public health. Other researchers have cited his work more than 8,000 times in the past five years. He is founding editor of the publication Personality Disorders: Theory, Research and Treatment, and he serves on editorial boards for Bulletin of Menninger Clinic, Clinical Psychology Review and more. The center he directs has successfully competed for more than $25 million in federal and private funding since 2005. He has received substantial research funding from a number of agencies, including the National Institute on Drug Abuse and the National Institute of Mental Health, both of the National Institutes of Health.
Lejuez has received several early career research awards, including two from the American Psychological Association, in Division 3 for applied experimental psychology and Division 50 for addictions. Maryland’s College of Behavioral and Social Sciences honored him in 2006 with its Undergraduate and Graduate Teaching and Mentorship Award.
Lejuez earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Emory University. He earned his master’s degree and doctorate in clinical psychology from West Virginia University in 1997 and 2000, respectively, and he completed his clinical internship at the Brown University Clinical Training Consortium.
Steeples will continue in the role of interim dean until Lejuez arrives in February 2016.
“I’m extremely grateful to Don for his excellent contributions as interim dean during these past several months as well as to the search committee led by Professor of English Marta Caminero-Santangelo for their hard work,” Vitter said.