I am writing to let you know that one of our leaders will be departing the University of Kansas for a new opportunity.
Earlier today, Carl Lejuez was named provost and executive vice president for academic affairs at the University of Connecticut. Carl will begin his new role at UConn later this spring.
While this is a loss for KU, I am delighted for Carl, who has passionately and skillfully served our university as both College dean and interim provost and executive vice chancellor. As friends and colleagues, we should be happy for Carl. As a university, we should be proud that Carl’s time at KU positioned him to move on to a leadership role at another outstanding academic institution.
With Carl leaving, Acting College Dean John Colombo will become interim dean and continue that role through the fall semester, at which point we will begin the search process for a permanent dean.
Carl joined KU in 2016 as dean of the College. In that role, he launched the College’s first strategic plan in 10 years; created KU’s first associate dean position for diversity, equity and inclusion; enhanced College advising with a focus on retention; appointed the College’s first two associate deans for research; and established the Cofrin Logan Center for Addiction Research and Treatment.
Carl stepped up to serve as interim provost and executive vice chancellor from spring 2018 through winter 2020. As interim provost, he guided the Lawrence campus through a budget cut, launched a new budget model, and laid the groundwork for our ongoing Strategic Planning 2020 process — and did all of this during a truly challenging and important transitional period for KU. I am personally grateful for his counsel and service as interim provost, and the university is better for his efforts.
In addition to his administrative roles, Carl has been one of our most accomplished researchers. As such, he has been a role model for his colleagues as we continue our work to enhance the culture of research productivity at KU.
Beyond these accomplishments – and perhaps more importantly – Carl approached his work at KU with passion, humor and enthusiasm, which inspired all of us who had the pleasure of working with him. He is a steadfast advocate for higher education and believes strongly that we can improve the world through research and scholarship. He genuinely cares about people and is unwavering in his belief that a university must support its most vulnerable populations. These are admirable instincts that will continue to serve him well in his new role.
Please join me in congratulating Carl and thanking him for his service to KU.
Douglas A. Girod