LAWRENCE – Thomas Heilke, professor of political science and director of the Center for Global and International Studies at the University of Kansas, has been named dean of graduate studies. He will report to Steve Warren, vice chancellor for research and graduate studies. The appointment is effective Jan. 8, 2012.
Heilke succeeds Sara Rosen, who became senior vice provost for academic affairs at KU in July. The dean provides leadership and administrative direction in graduate education on the Lawrence campus, which supports research doctoral and master’s degree programs in 80 fields. KU conferred more than 1,900 such degrees last year, and graduate students make up approximately one-fourth of KU’s enrollment.
“Graduate education is vitally important for KU and the state,” said Warren. “Strengthening our programs and supporting our students are high priorities for this university. Thomas brings considerable administrative and academic experience to the position of dean. He is well-equipped to help advance the scope, quality and national reputation of KU graduate education, and I look forward to working with him.”
Heilke was associate dean of international programs from 2003 to 2007 in KU’s former Graduate School and Office of International Programs, including six months as acting dean. When the Office of Research and Graduate Studies was formed in 2007, he remained with International Programs until the creation of the Center for Global and International Studies in 2009. He became director in 2010.
Heilke joined the KU faculty in 1990 as an assistant professor. He advanced to associate professor in 1997 and full professor in 2004. A native of Canada, his background includes B.A. and M.A. degrees from the University of Calgary and a doctoral degree from Duke University. He was director of graduate studies in the KU Department of Political Science for four years and holds a courtesy appointment in the Humanities and Western Civilization Program. He is author or-co-author of more than 40 publications and a recipient of three campuswide teaching awards at KU.
“I’m honored to have been chosen for this position,” said Heilke. “Graduate education is central to the research and teaching missions of the university. Recruiting and retaining high-quality students is my goal and the goal for every department. Success begins with providing scholarship funding that is competitive with what other universities are offering. KU’s Bold Aspirations strategic plan talks about preparing `doctoral students as innovators and leaders who are ready to meet the demands of the academy and our global society.’ That’s exactly what I hope to help KU accomplish as dean.”