Chancellor Douglas A. Girod

Message: Erica Terry named director of Robert J. Dole Institute of Politics

Thursday, August 26, 2021

(Editor's Note: Shortly after this message was published, the announced candidate rescinded her candidacy and decided to pursue other career options. As a result, on October 13, 2021, the university announced Audrey Coleman as the new director of the institute.)


I am excited to announce the new director of our Robert J. Dole Institute of Politics.

Erica Terry, a seasoned executive leader who has guided some of the region’s most respected organizations, will join KU as director of the Dole Institute, beginning October 4.

Erica comes to us from Susan G. Komen Kansas and Western Missouri, where she served as CEO and executive director. Prior to that, she served as senior director for membership and corporate partnerships at The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art; as development director for Saint Luke’s East Hospital; and as director for LIVESTRONG experience with the Sporting Kansas City soccer team.

Erica’s background also includes leadership positions with KU. From 2010-11, she worked for KU Endowment as assistant development director for our Institute for Advancing Medical Innovation. Prior to that, she directed cancer communications for the KU Cancer Center. Erica earned her bachelor’s degree in political science from KU and participated in our Washington D.C. internship program.

Our search for this position presented tremendously talented candidates, which speaks well of the Dole Institute. Erica stood out because of her diverse experience in civic leadership, philanthropy, advocacy and organizational leadership. Additionally, she believes, now more than ever, the Dole Institute can serve as a pillar for KU to foster discussions around contemporary issues and ignite passion around the importance of public service as exemplified by Senators Bob and Elizabeth Dole.

I want to thank the search committee, chaired by Fred Logan, for leading the search process for our new director. And of course, I want to thank outgoing director Bill Lacy for his leadership of the Dole Institute for the past 17 years.

It is always exciting to bring new leaders like Erica to our university, and I am confident the Dole Institute is in good hands under her leadership. Please join me in welcoming Erica back to KU. I know she can count on your support in the days ahead.



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.