Dear Staff and Faculty,
The selection in April of Dave Cook as KU’s Vice Chancellor for Public Affairs and Economic Development offered the chance to review KU Edwards Campus structure and assess its strengths and particular quality in strategic engagement. I believe we have a great team in place and Dave’s transition to the Office of Public Affairs and the expansion of his role provides KU with an opportunity to elevate some of our best leaders and further develop our successes. In his new role, which began May 1, Dave will continue to work closely with leaders in the Greater Kansas City Metropolitan Area and the State of Kansas to ensure Edwards Campus programs, as well as those on other KU campuses, continue to meet and address the workforce and economic development needs of the region and the state. This allows KU and the Edwards Campus to continue drawing upon his gifts while we more fully utilize some of the exceptional talent we know is already in our midst.
Three individuals – Stuart Day, Sharon Graham, and Chris Gregory – will take on expanded roles to help guide the Edwards Campus moving forward.
Stuart, currently the Associate Vice Chancellor for the Edwards Campus, will expand his current responsibilities under the title of Dean of Edwards Campus and the School of Professional Studies. He has extensive KU experience as both a faculty member and administrator. His tenure includes service as a Department Chair and as Senior Vice Provost for Academic Affairs before taking on responsibilities on the Edwards Campus. Stuart has been instrumental in the creation of the new School of Professional Studies, which was approved by the Kansas Board of Regents at the end of 2019. Dave Cook’s previous position as Edwards Campus Vice Chancellor and Stuart’s previous position as Associate Vice Chancellor will remain unfilled, resulting in the merger of three lines and a savings of two salaries.
Sharon, currently the Assistant Vice Chancellor for Professional and Continuing Education, will become the Vice Provost for Lifelong and Professional Education. The Office of Professional and Continuing Education will become the Office of Lifelong and Professional Education, and it will undertake plans to provide more non-credit programming across the university. Sharon will report to the Provost and liaise to Dean Stuart Day. Sharon, who has led KU’s continuing education programs since 2014, previously worked several years as an administrator in the Madison and Lila Self Graduate Fellowship Program.
Chris, who has been Director of Marketing and Public Relations for the Edwards Campus since 2016, will be the Senior Director of Strategic Alignment and Marketing. The move signals a greater alignment of academic programs between the Edwards Campus and the Lawrence campus. He will also be instrumental in efforts to align all academic programs more closely to the metrics of the new strategic plan, and to encourage greater collaboration in strategic enrollment management across campuses. Chris will report to the Provost and work closely with Edwards Campus leadership.
This moment also presents us with an opportunity to create stronger alignment and integration between the academic portfolio of the Lawrence and Edwards campuses. To this end, leadership will review and evaluate the Edwards Campus financial model – both the revenue sharing model and the costing model – and will work to create a model that incentivizes synergy and collaboration between the campuses.
I’m very excited and very confident these changes will improve our ability to work together across campuses to meet the educational and workforce development needs of the State of Kansas and the Greater Kansas City Region, to grow our enrollments, to offer innovative programs, to achieve our strategic goals, to ensure consistency of brand and messaging, and to use our resources as effectively and efficiently as possible to the benefit of all our faculty and staff and the university.
Barbara A. Bichelmeyer
Provost & Executive Vice Chancellor