A final word from Dr. Stites

January 31, 2013

Steven Stites
Steven Stites Acting Executive Vice Chancellor, Acting Dean, KU School of Medicine

This will be my last newsletter as Acting Executive Vice Chancellor. So before Dr. Girod becomes Executive Vice Chancellor tomorrow, I would like to take one last opportunity to ask all of you, once again, to always remember and abide by my famous five rules.

However, because I know that you all have them memorized by now, I want to say something else: Thank you.

I would particularly like to thank everyone in the Department of Internal Medicine. Special thanks to Gary Doolittle and Amy O'Brien-Ladner for serving as acting chairs in my absence, but everyone in the department picked up extra work, which allowed me the extraordinary experience of serving as Interim Executive Vice Chancellor. I'll return to my job as chair of the department with an even deeper appreciation for the leadership exhibited throughout the department.

I'd like to thank Chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little for the opportunity to serve in this capacity. It has been a humbling and richly rewarding experience. I have come to know hundreds of new people across our campuses and I've been deeply moved and impressed by the phenomenal dedication of our faculty, staff and students. My gratitude to all of you for the work that you do, each and every day, to educate future leaders, build healthy communities and make discoveries that change the world.

In recent months we have begun to make some significant changes, many of which haven't been easy. I want to thank everyone who has met those challenges with grace, enthusiasm and hard work. Nine months ago I told all of you that we had achieved great things but our best greatness was still ahead of us. I continue to believe that - but in the short time I spent in the EVC's office I saw many examples of that next best greatness.

And I'm confident we will see even more of that in the years ahead. As I've said before, I look forward to achieving that greatness under the leadership of Doug Girod. He has promised that he has more work for me to do, so I am prepared to do whatever it takes to meet the challenges ahead. How will I do that? By following five simple rules:

1. Save the patient.
2. Do the right thing.
3. Ask questions, seek answers.
4. Be the bridge.
5. He who laughs, lasts.

Thank you, everyone.

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We echo the sentiments of Dale Seuferling, President of KU Endowment, who sent this message to the KU donor community this week regarding the death of Adele Hall:

Like so many others, the entire University of Kansas community was deeply saddened to hear of the death of Adele Hall. We would like to take a moment to recognize the extraordinary influence she had on our university and on all who knew her.

She was instrumental in the creation of KU’s prestigious Hall Center for the Humanities, which has become a national model in higher education. Moreover, she was a generous supporter of The University of Kansas Cancer Center's quest for NCI designation.  We will continue to honor her through programs on the Lawrence and Medical Center campuses, as well as in so many areas where we have been inspired by her steadfast and gentle leadership.

Adele Hall set the standard as an exemplary volunteer, community champion and philanthropist. We are forever grateful to her for including the University of Kansas among the many wonderful Kansas City organizations she supported.

Last modified: Jan 31, 2013
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