May 28, 2004

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Contact: Jennifer Jackson Sanner, Kansas Alumni Association, (785) 864-4760 or (785) 841-8367.

Kansas Alumni Association names Del Shankel interim president, CEO

LAWRENCE -- University of Kansas Chancellor Emeritus Del Shankel will lead the Kansas Alumni Association as interim president and chief executive officer, national alumni chair Dr. Linda Duston Warren announced today. Shankel succeeds Fred B. Williams, former president and CEO, effective immediately.

"Del Shankel is among the university's most trusted and talented leaders," she said. "The association is fortunate that he once again is willing to guide a KU entity through a pivotal transition. He understands our mission, he knows the KU family, and he will be a valuable resource for our staff, our university colleagues and our 45,000 members."

The association will conduct a national search for a permanent president and CEO. The members of the search committee and a timetable for the process will be announced later, Warren said.

Shankel, professor emeritus of biology, served as chancellor twice, from 1980 to 1981 and from 1994 to 1995, and has served in numerous interim roles during his 45 years at KU. Throughout his career, he has continued to teach undergraduate and graduate courses in biology and microbiology, regardless of the administrative burdens he shouldered. He has served in the following interim roles for KU:

 • department chair
 • dean of liberal arts and sciences
 • vice chancellor for academic affairs
 • executive vice chancellor for the Lawrence campus
 • chancellor from 1994 to 1995, between the administrations of Chancellor Gene A. Budig and Chancellor Robert E. Hemenway
 • chancellor from 1980 to 1981, succeeding Chancellor Archie R. Dykes until Budig's arrival on campus in fall 1981
 • acting athletics director

David Wescoe, who on July 1 will become the board's executive vice chair, personally visited Shankel to ask him to serve as the association's interim president and CEO.

"Del Shankel has served KU so well in so many capacities that the executive committee agreed he was the first and natural choice to lead the association at this time," Wescoe said.

"When I met with Del, I simply said, 'The university needs you one more time.' Understanding the personal sacrifice this service would mean for him, I was thrilled when he immediately said 'yes.'"

In accepting the appointment, Shankel said, "I have long known that the KU Alumni Association is one of the very best alumni groups in the country. Its eminence is due to the leadership tradition established by Fred Ellsworth and to the excellent work of the dedicated and committed staff members over the years.

"I am honored to be asked to lead the current fine staff through a period of transition, and I look forward to working with them and the superb alumni board to continue the association's tradition of excellence and service to the university."

The Kansas Alumni Association, founded in 1883, is an independent nonprofit organization dedicated to strengthening communication and loyalty among KU graduates, former students, current students, parents and other friends of the university.

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