Today marks the last day of Danny Anderson's term as interim provost and executive vice chancellor, but the legacy of his service in that position will extend far into the future.
During a period of transition, when the university was also dealing with serious budget challenges, Danny's knowledge and leadership have been invaluable not only to me, but to the entire institution.
As KU faced more than $40 million in state budget cuts and unfunded mandates, Danny and his team in the provost's office worked closely with deans, faculty and staff to protect the core missions of the university. We still had to make painful cuts, but through careful management the effects of those cuts on our students have been mitigated to the extent possible.
And as I learned about a new university, a new community and a new state, Danny provided me with tremendous insights into KU's people, practices, and policies. He has done an amazing job in a difficult role, and I sincerely thank him for his service to KU.
Fortunately, we will retain Danny's talents, since tomorrow he begins his service as dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. His commitment to learning and scholarship and his thoughtful approach to leadership will continue to serve this university well and I am pleased he agreed to take on this new challenge.
I also want to thank Greg Simpson for the outstanding service he has provided to our students and our university as interim dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. From overseeing faculty recruitment in the fall, to closing the year with Mini College and a report to the faculty and staff on the progress made on the College's strategic plan, his guidance has been invaluable. I truly appreciate the leadership he has provided during a time of transition for our university.
Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor Jeff Vitter officially joins us at KU tomorrow, though he has already spent extensive time here since being named to the position. His academic and administrative experience will be vital as we seek new levels of excellence in academics, scholarly work, and service to society.
Additionally, earlier this month we welcomed Dean of Music Robert Walzel to campus. He took over the baton (conductor's, not runner's) from Interim Dean Alicia Clair, who provided talented leadership during the School of Music's first year. We all look forward to seeing – and hearing – what the school can do under Dean Walzel's direction.
With these new leaders, and with the continued dedication of the faculty, staff and administrators of KU, the future of our university is bright. I hope you are having a wonderful summer and I look forward to seeing everyone back on campus in August.