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University Relations

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Jan. 30, 2006
Contact: Lynn Bretz, University Relations, (785) 864-8866.

KU names Colorado official as second of five finalists for provost to visit campus

LAWRENCE — The University of Kansas today announced the second of five finalists to be provost and executive vice chancellor succeeding David Shulenburger, who is stepping down from the post after 13 years as KU’s chief academic officer.

For the past four years, Jack O. Burns has served as vice president for academic affairs and research for the University of Colorado system. He is a professor of astrophysical and planetary sciences at CU-Boulder.

During his three-day visit to campus, Burns will give a public presentation from 4 to 5 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 2, at the Dole Institute of Politics, which will be followed by a public reception. Additional finalists will visit campus before Feb. 14. More information about the search and finalists as they are announced will be posted online at

A Massachusetts native, Burns, 53, earned his bachelor’s degree at the University of Massachusetts and his master’s and doctoral degrees at Indiana University. He joined the faculty of the University of New Mexico in 1980. He moved in 1989 to New Mexico State University, serving seven years as department chair and then associate dean of the College of Arts and Sciences. From 1997 to 2001, Burns was vice provost for research at the University of Missouri-Columbia. He has also served in national and state leadership roles as chair of the National Forum for System Chief Academic Officers, a National Association of State Universities and Land-Grant Colleges Council on Academic Affairs executive committee member, chair of the American Astronomical Society’s Committee on Astronomy and Public Policy and a founding member of the Board of Directors of the Colorado Science Forum.

A fellow of the American Physical Society, Burns conducts research that focuses on extragalactic astronomy and cosmology, supercomputer numerical simulations and the design of observatories in space and on the moon. He has published more than 200 articles and obtained more than $4 million in grants, principally from the National Science Foundation and NASA.


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