LAWRENCE — Danny Anderson has spent a career at the University of Kansas developing his leadership skills as a faculty member, administrator and, since 2010, as dean of the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences. Beginning May 2015, the leadership abilities honed at KU will guide him as president of Trinity University in San Antonio.
Anderson has been named the 19th president of Trinity University. He is departing KU after a 26-year career in which he also has served as a department chair, associate dean, vice provost for academic affairs and interim provost in 2009-10.
“These types of announcements are always bittersweet,” Chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little said. “On one hand, we are sad to lose someone as talented and passionate about KU as Danny. On the other hand, we are proud that Trinity University — one of the premier liberal arts schools in the nation — recognized Danny and the tremendous leadership he has displayed and developed at KU. We congratulate Danny, and we know he will flourish in his new role.”
Jeffrey S. Vitter, provost and executive vice chancellor, will gather feedback from the College on candidates for interim dean and name an interim before the start of the spring semester. A nationwide search for a new dean will be launched next year.
“We are thrilled for Danny, and we wish him the best in his new role as president,” Vitter said. “Danny has been a tremendous contributor at KU for a long time, both as a teacher and researcher, and as an administrator and leader. Most recently, as dean of the College, he has been a driving force behind our strategic plan, Bold Aspirations. His legacy at KU includes implementation of the new KU Core and spearheading the campaign for the new Earth, Energy and Environment Center and Innovation Way, which will fundamentally change the way we educate students and do research at KU for years to come.”
Anderson is a KU alumnus who earned his doctorate in Spanish in 1985. He began his academic career at the University of Texas-Austin and joined the KU faculty in 1988 as an assistant professor of Spanish. Anderson is a prize-winning teacher who received 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.
“I will deeply miss the University of Kansas, the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences and my relationships with so many members of the KU community,” Anderson said. “Since 1988, KU has been the home for my professional growth as a teacher, scholar and leader. I am deeply grateful for the opportunities KU has provided me, and in my remaining weeks as dean I will do my utmost to ensure the continued success of our goals.
“I am grateful to have colleagues like I have had at KU, and as a KU alumnus I look forward to watching and contributing to the continued success of the university.”
As dean, Anderson led the College during a period of transformation aligned with KU’s strategic plan, Bold Aspirations, and its partner initiatives Far Above, the university capital campaign, and Changing for Excellence, the university’s administrative efficiency initiative.
He led the quick adoption of the new universitywide curriculum, the KU Core, and redesign of bachelor’s degrees to allow maximum flexibility, created two new schools at the university (the School of Public Affairs & Administration and the School of Languages, Literatures & Cultures), and has led searches for a new director of College Student Academic Services, new director of College Office of Graduate Affairs, five new associate deans, and reconfigured the College Budget Office to create the first College director of finance and planning. The College also hired KU’s first Foundation Distinguished Professor.
In addition, he oversaw the creation of KU’s first shared service center with an emphasis on responsive and thoughtful process and ongoing review to ensure success at each stage of the venture, and he has led a record fundraising effort. He has set the stage for redevelopment in the Central District and Innovation Way and the summer 2015 groundbreaking for the Earth, Energy and Environment Center.