Chancellor Douglas A. Girod

Message: Search process for a new director of the Dole Institute of Politics

Wednesday, October 21, 2020


As many of you know, Bill Lacy, the director of the Robert J. Dole Institute for Politics, will be retiring at the end of 2021 after 17 years with the university.

I am writing today to let you know that, in consultation with Senator Bob Dole, we have established the search committee that will lead the process of finding the next Dole Institute director. The committee will be chaired by Fred Logan, a long-time and trusted advisor to KU and charter member of the Dole Institute advisory board.

The members of the search committee are as follows:

  • Peter Fenn – Dole Institute advisory board member; Frank Church Institute at Boise State board of directors member; adjunct professor at George Washington University
  • Joe Gaylord – Dole Institute advisory board member; adjunct professor, University of Iowa, department of political science
  • Adrian Lewis – professor of military history, KU, department of history
  • Fred Logan – Dole Institute advisory board member; former Kansas Board of Regents member and chair; former Johnson County Community College board of trustees member and chair
  • Shannon Portillo – associate professor, KU School of Public Affairs and Administration; assistant vice chancellor of academic affairs, KU Edwards Campus
  • Doug Smith – Dole Institute advisory board member; co-founder and corporate officer, Pinegar, Smith & Associates Inc.
  • Karen Steward – Dole Institute advisory board member; director of investor relations, Stand Together; former Dole Institute student outreach coordinator and founding member of the Dole Institute student advisory board.

I have asked the search committee to identify two or three finalists for my consideration. Our goal is to have a new director named by next summer.

Under Bill’s leadership, the Dole Institute has hosted numerous national and international political leaders, practitioners and journalists; benefitted students and community members through the institute’s ongoing lecture series and nationally recognized programming; fostered a student-oriented culture that provides opportunities for the Dole Institute student advisory board; and pursued many civic engagement initiatives. One of Bill’s proudest accomplishments was obtaining the Senator Elizabeth Dole collection, establishing the Elizabeth Dole Lecture on Women in Leadership, and overseeing the reimagining of the Elizabeth Dole Gallery and Reading Room.

In addition to the abovementioned achievements, Bill has been a gracious host and respected ambassador for KU across the state and nation. And perhaps most importantly, he has been our connection to one of Kansas’ proudest sons, Senator Bob Dole, and ensured the senator’s legacy of public service lives on at KU.

Please join me in thanking Bill for his service on behalf of our university.



Douglas A. Girod

One of 34 U.S. public institutions in the prestigious Association of American Universities
44 nationally ranked graduate programs.
—U.S. News & World Report
Top 50 nationwide for size of library collection.
5th nationwide for service to veterans —"Best for Vets: Colleges," Military Times
Chancellor's Vision

The mission of the University of Kansas is to lift students and society by educating leaders, building healthy communities, and making discoveries that change the world.

We will do that by raising the expectations we have for ourselves, the aspirations we have for our state, and the hopes we have for our world.