KU News Release

March 31, 2010
Contact: Jill Jess, University Relations, (785) 864-8858

Danny Anderson named dean of College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

Danny Anderson

LAWRENCE — Danny J. Anderson, interim provost at the University of Kansas, an award-winning teacher and scholar in Latin American culture literature, will be the next dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences effective July 1.

Anderson was chosen after a national search to succeed Joseph Steinmetz, who resigned to become executive dean and vice provost of arts and sciences at Ohio State University. Greg Simpson, professor and chair of psychology, is serving as interim dean.

The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences is the largest academic unit at the university and is home to more than 50 departments and programs and the School of the Arts. More than 17,000 students are enrolled in the College and nearly half of all undergraduate students at KU earn their bachelor’s degrees in the College.

“As interim provost, Danny Anderson has been a highly effective leader for the university during a time of budgetary challenge,” said Chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little. “With his broad experience and deep commitment to scholarship and teaching, he will be an outstanding dean.”

As interim provost and executive vice chancellor, Anderson has led during a time of change. He collaborated with former Chancellor Robert Hemenway, Interim Chancellor Barbara Atkinson and Chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little to ensure continuity. He has also provided leadership during a challenging fiscal environment through strategic oversight for the Lawrence campus budgetary decisions.

During his interim period, the School of Music was established and Robert Walzel has been appointed as the first dean following a national search, campus task forces were convened to address Gray-Little’s priorities and collaborative planning activities were initiated with vice provosts and deans. The recent decision to re-establish Information Technology and KU Libraries as independent units will further strengthen KU’s advancement as a research university.

“I am honored to be appointed dean in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences,” Anderson said. “I am excited to lead during this important moment of change at KU under the leadership of Chancellor Gray-Little and with our incoming provost Jeff Vitter. The remarkable strengths in the College are fundamental to KU’s identity as an international research university. As dean, I value these strengths and look forward to advancing them even further through collaboration with faculty, staff and students.”

Before his interim appointment, Anderson was vice provost for academic affairs. During that time, he was instrumental in development of the Jayhawk Generations Scholarship, which provides partial tuition waivers to out-of-state students who meet certain academic requirements and who have a parent or grandparent who graduated from KU. He also played a key role in establishing the Latino Vision Council, which has led to initiatives including the first Hispanic chapter of the KU Alumni Association and KU’s Spanish-language Web site, ku.edu/espanol.

“Danny’s experience and accomplishments at both the departmental and university levels give him valuable perspectives for this important college leadership role,” said Vitter. “I very much look forward to working with Danny to continue and build upon the College’s many successes."

Gray-Little thanked Simpson for his leadership as interim dean. She also thanked the search committee, led by Kathleen McCluskey-Fawcett, director of the University Honors Program.

“KU and the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences are very fortunate to have an individual who is an internationally recognized scholar, an award-winning teacher and a talented administrator leading the College,” said McCluskey-Fawcett. “Danny is a person of great integrity with a deep commitment to KU who will provide outstanding leadership for the College.”

Anderson is a prize-winning teacher whose integration of service learning into the classroom frequently serves as a model for KU’s Center for Teaching Excellence. He has received a number of awards and fellowships, including a National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowship for University Teachers in 1995; a W.T. Kemper Fellowship for Teaching Excellence in 2004; and the ING Award for Teaching Excellence in 2008. He is the editor of two books and has published more than 20 articles, essays and chapters in books. He is a specialist in Latin American literary and cultural studies; his research examines the history of literary publishing houses and the social history of literary reading in Mexico.

Anderson began his academic career in 1985 at the University of Texas-Austin, after earning his doctorate in Spanish from KU. He joined KU in 1988 as an assistant professor in Spanish and was named a full professor in 2003. He has held successively responsible administrative positions, including chair of the Department of Spanish and Portuguese in 2000, associate dean in the College for interdisciplinary programs and area studies centers in 2005 and vice provost for academic affairs in 2008.

The University of Kansas is a major comprehensive research and teaching university. University Relations is the central public relations office for KU's Lawrence campus.

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