June 21, 2004

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Contact: Todd Cohen, University Relations, (785) 864-8858.

Dole Institute appoints Barbara Ballard to oversee outreach efforts

LAWRENCE -- A veteran educator and legislator will join the staff of the Robert J. Dole Institute of Politics at the University of Kansas to involve the institute in public service in Kansas and the nation, and to oversee its efforts to promote bipartisan civic involvement.

Barbara W. Ballard, senior administrator for external relations and special projects for the Office of the Vice Provost for Student Success at KU and a Democratic state representative from Lawrence's 44th District, will become the institute's first associate director for civic programming and public outreach starting July 4, interim director Stephen McAllister announced today.

"Barbara is highly talented and eminently qualified, and we are fortunate to gain her services," McAllister said. "Obviously, there is no political litmus test to work at the Dole Institute, and Barbara's willingness to join the institute simply reinforces the ideals Sen. Dole set forth for this institute, to encourage civility in politics and bipartisan solutions to America's problems. At the institute, we practice what Bob Dole preaches."

Ballard said she was excited about the enormous potential the Dole Institute has for inspiring today's youth to get involved in civic matters and take politics seriously.

"You cannot deny the inspiration Bob Dole's life story gives to people," Ballard said. "He is a man of remarkable character and resiliency, and these are qualities that will inspire others, young and old, to get involved and hopefully seek solutions to today's problems in a civil, decent manner."

Ballard chairs the KU Civic Literacy Council and organized last week's Youth Participation in Politics and Civic Engagement Summit at the Dole Institute. The summit, part of the National Campaign for Political and Civic Engagement led by Harvard University's Institute of Politics, was designed to encourage participation in politics by college students. Ballard also attended the national campaign's initial strategy and planning meeting last fall in Cambridge, Mass.

Ballard has worked in KU's student service division, now called Student Success, for 24 years, starting as director of the Emily Taylor Women's Resource Center. She has served as interim dean of student life, associate vice chancellor for student affairs and associate vice provost for student success. Prior to being elected to the state House of Representatives in 1992, she was a member and president of the Lawrence School Board. She also has served as a member of the boards for the Lawrence Children's Choir, Lawrence Arts Center, Cottonwood Inc., Independence Inc. and the Chamber of Commerce. She was selected for Leadership Lawrence and Leadership Kansas.

Ballard earned master's and doctoral degrees in counseling from Kansas State University in Manhattan. She earned a bachelor's degree from Webster College in St. Louis.

"Barbara has enormous appeal and the ability to bring people together," said KU Chancellor Robert Hemenway. "The Dole Institute, and indeed the state, will be well served. I look forward to seeing the Dole Institute become an increasingly active player in this state's civil and educational affairs."

The institute staff now includes Jonathan Earle, KU assistant professor of history, who serves as a part-time associate director for academic programming. Richard Konzem serves full time as the institute's interim associate director for administration.

With limestone walls, soaring stained-glass windows and a large reflecting pool reminiscent of Washington's Tidal Basin, the Dole Institute is a KU landmark. The $11 million, 28,000-square-foot facility houses state-of-the-art exhibits as well as meeting spaces. A 14-foot replica of the Kansas state seal is one of several distinctive architectural features. Others include two columns from the World Trade Center, a 19-foot stone map of Kansas and a 12-foot replica of the Capitol dome in Washington, D.C., accompanied by a multi-screen video "tour" of the legislative process, narrated by Dole. The institute is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday and noon-5 p.m. Sundays. Admission is free. For more information, call (785) 864-4900 or visit http://www.doleinstitute.org.

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