LAWRENCE — Karla Leeper, executive vice president for operations at Augusta University/Augusta University Health System in Georgia — and a KU alumna — will become the University of Kansas’ vice chancellor for strategic communications and public affairs, effective Nov. 1.
In this role, Leeper will serve as a senior advisor to Chancellor Douglas A. Girod and the university’s leadership team on issues of communications and public affairs. She will oversee all messaging to advance KU’s interests at the local, state and national levels, and she will have responsibility for marketing, branding, internal and external communications and message integration across all KU campuses, affiliates and partners.
“Karla’s extensive background in communications, public affairs and higher education administration, coupled with her experience as a full-time faculty member in communication studies, make her an ideal fit for this position,” Girod said. “I have no doubt she will immediately benefit our efforts to elevate KU’s status, attract top students and scholars, and improve in every aspect of our mission.”
In her current role with Augusta University/Augusta University Health System, Leeper oversees marketing and communications, facilities and human resources. Prior to that, from 2015-2018 she served as the institution’s executive vice president for strategic communication and chief marketing officer. Before joining Augusta University, she served as a tenured faculty member in communication studies, vice president for board and executive affairs and chief of staff to the president at Baylor University. She received her doctorate and master’s degrees from KU and her bachelor’s degree from the University of Iowa.
“I am thrilled to be coming back to serve the University of Kansas,” Leeper said. “It will be an honor to come to work every day with the mission of sharing the stories of the great work being done by our faculty, staff and students.”
Leeper succeeds David Cook, who served as vice chancellor until spring 2022, when he left KU to become the president of North Dakota State University.