KU vice chancellor to step down after 15 years, focus on STEM connections for K-12.

KUEC News Release

LAWRENCE, Kan. – University of Kansas Provost Jeff Vitter and Edwards Campus Vice Chancellor Bob Clark announced today that Clark will leave his vice chancellor position effective Dec. 31 after 15 years of loyal service.

Clark was appointed dean of the Edwards Campus in 1997 and promoted to vice chancellor in 2000.

Clark will continue to support KU’s presence in Greater Kansas City as KU’s community liaison for the Center for Science Education, which provides leadership, development and learning in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) for K-12. He will also become a professor of practice in the areas of leadership and organizational behavior.

“Bob Clark has led the Edwards Campus through tremendous growth, both in the campus itself and in the degree programs that are offered. Thanks to his leadership and the support of local residents, we are better able to serve Kansas City than at any point before. Delivering the benefits of a flagship research university to the metro area will continue to be our focus for the campus,” said Chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little.

During Clark’s tenure as vice chancellor, 15 academic programs were added, including the first undergraduate programs in 2001. The campus landscape grew from a single classroom building to a campus with three classroom buildings, a conference center and a student union.

The campus under Clark’s leadership has contributed more than $500 million in economic impact to Johnson County through its undergraduate and graduate programs. Nearly 8,400 students have graduated with KU bachelor’s and master’s degrees.

Among Clark’s accomplishments, the most notable was his leadership in the development and passing of the Johnson County Education Research Triangle initiative, a historic milestone for KU and Johnson County. The Triangle provides the campus with annual $5 million of local funding in perpetuity to offer 10 new degrees in business, engineering, science and technology (BEST) as well as the construction of the new state-of-the art BEST Building, which opened in spring 2012. Two degrees have already launched — a bachelor of business administration and a bachelor of science in information technology.

“As Kansas City’s nearest national research university, KU has always made it a priority to serve residents of the metro area. The next leader of the Edwards Campus will help us continue to grow the campus so that people throughout the Kansas City area have access to University of Kansas degree programs right in their back yards,” said Vitter.

Clark has strengthened relationships with Greater Kansas City businesses, agencies and organizations through the Edwards Campus’ Board of Advisors and Workforce Development Advisory Board as well as outreach and partnerships with local community colleges.

“I have been blessed over the past 15 years to have been a part of a staff that truly served our mission in every way,” said Clark. “I have also been fortunate to be part of the growth of a campus that will continue to grow as an asset critically important to the economic health of Johnson County and the greater Kansas City region. I look forward to the opportunities that will present themselves through my new role for KU and the impact it will have promoting the STEM initiative.”

A graduate of Harvard University’s Institute for Educational Management, Clark also holds a doctorate from Syracuse University with an emphasis in strategic planning, a master’s degree from Colorado State University and a bachelor of science from Arizona State University.

KU will launch a search this fall to select Clark’s successor.

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