Jan. 20, 2004

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Contact: Lynn Bretz, University Relations, (785) 864-8866.

Chancellor taps Kevin Boatright to coordinate KU legislative affairs

LAWRENCE -- Chancellor Robert Hemenway has assigned Kevin Boatright, associate executive vice chancellor for university relations, to coordinate state governmental affairs for the University of Kansas during the 2004 legislative session, effective immediately.

Janet Murguia, executive vice chancellor for university relations, has overseen governmental relations since coming to KU in 2001. She is leaving the university to assume the top post at the National Council of La Raza in Washington, D.C. Boatright will succeed her on an interim basis Feb. 1. A national search for her permanent successor will begin later this spring.

Before coming to KU in 2002, Boatright held senior positions in university relations with the University of Wisconsin system for 10 years. Those positions involved a mix of governmental affairs and communications duties. Previously, he worked for 10 years in public information roles at UW-Platteville and the University of Northern Iowa.

Reporting to Boatright will be Jon Josserand, assistant for governmental relations, who will represent KU in Topeka. Assisting them part time during the session will be Kathy Damron of Topeka, a legislative lobbyist and former staff member for U.S. Sen. Pat Roberts and Gov. Mike Hayden.

"This arrangement will provide KU with effective advocacy in Topeka while maintaining continuity for the university community," Hemenway said.

He said Boatright will work closely with a team of senior administrators -- including Hemenway; David Shulenburger, provost and executive vice chancellor for the Lawrence campus; and Donald Hagen, executive vice chancellor for the KU Medical Center -- to advance KU's legislative agenda.

In addition to coordinating state governmental affairs, Boatright will lead KU's integrated marketing communications planning process, working closely with Lynn Bretz, director of university relations, and others throughout the university. He also will have oversight of other university relations responsibilities, including Kansas Public Radio, the Kansas Audio-Reader Network, Trademark Licensing and the Visitor Center.

Boatright's associate executive vice chancellor position will remain open during the interim.

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