Dec. 10, 2004

Contact: Burdett Loomis, political science, (785) 864-9033; Dan Lara, University Relations, (785) 864-8855.

Gov. Sebelius appoints KU’s Burdett Loomis to communications post

LAWRENCE -- Kansas Gov. Kathleen Sebelius announced today the appointment of Burdett Loomis, chair of political science at the University of Kansas and former interim director of the Robert J. Dole Institute of Politics, to be her director of administrative communications.

Loomis will begin working in the governor's office Jan. 1, 2005. The governor's office will provide for Loomis’ salary.
Loomis will oversee and coordinate the flow of information both within the administration and between state government and the public.

“ State government needs to be more efficient and more focused on serving the people,” Sebelius said. “Burdett Loomis has spent a career studying state government. He is uniquely qualified to help agencies within the administration work together and help them better communicate with the public.”

“ The university appreciates Professor Loomis' willingness to serve in this capacity, and the appointment demonstrates the range of services that KU faculty and staff can offer to the state,” said David Shulenburger, KU provost and executive vice chancellor.

Shulenburger noted that Loomis will be granted a leave of absence and the KU political science department will be operate KU’s internship program, which Loomis had directed. The program annually brings 20 students of all disciplines to Topeka during the legislative session.

“ This is a tremendous opportunity for me to continue serving the state,” Loomis said. “I look forward to finding ways to help the state government work more effectively, to connect it to the people of Kansas and to help it be as responsive as possible to their needs.”

Since coming to KU in 1979, Loomis has written or edited 25 books, including a study of the Kansas Legislature titled “Time Politics and Policy: A Legislative Year” (1994) and “Setting Course,” a manual for helping newly elected members of Congress learn the legislative ropes as quickly as possible. From 1985 to 1994, Loomis was a regular commentator on KANU radio and has written a bimonthly column on state politics for the Harris News Service since 2002. He was chair of the KU Department of Political Science from 1986 to 1990 and 2003 to 2004.

Loomis said that he would not take part in any deliberations over KU-related funding or policies and that he would play no political role in Sebelius’ campaign for reelection.

“ I thank the governor for making available this chance to work with the government, and I am grateful to the university for allowing me to take advantage of this unique opportunity,” Loomis said.

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