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Robert M. Klein, PhD

Robert Klein portrait
Professor, Cell Biology and Physiology

Vice Chancellor, University of Kansas Medical Center, Academic and Student Affairs

Professor, Anatomy and Cell Biology

Vice Chancellor, University of Kansas Medical Center, Academic and Student Affairs

Professor, Pathology and Laboratory Medicine

Professional Background

I am currently the Vice Chancellor for Academic and Student Affairs, overseeing eleven departments serving KUMC in academic administration and student support. My responsibilities include being the administrative liaison to the KUMC Faculty Assembly Steering Committee and the Kansas Board of Regents, where I represent the medical center at the Council of Chief Academic Officers.

In 1975, I became a faculty member in the School of Medicine (SOM), earned the rank of professor in 1987, and continue to teach today. My philosophy of teaching is to focus on the learner and on retention and critical thinking skills, rather than rote memorization of facts. Throughout my career, I worked tirelessly to convert the classroom into an active learning environment and rebelled against passive learning. My rationale for this approach is summarized in the often-quoted saying that is attributed to many different sources (Confucius, Lakota Sioux, and others):

“Tell me and I will forget, show me and I will remember, involve me and I will understand.”

Prior to becoming Vice Chancellor, I was Associate Dean for Professional Development and Faculty Affairs in the School of Medicine for 11 years. In that role I led a successful mentoring program for faculty across the SOM, established the Campus-wide Leadership Program, and was selected as a Charter Member of the Academy of Medical Educators. My mentoring and teaching activities have been recognized with numerous KUMC awards as well as national and international recognition from the AOA, IAMSE, and the American Association for Anatomy.

After more than 30 years of continuous extramural biomedical research funding, my research and scholarly activities moved from the laboratory to the classroom with an emphasis on the use of technology to teach anatomical sciences in our electronic curriculum. I worked with the late Dr. Jim (“FISH”) Fishback to develop integrated histopathology labs highlighting active learning and interactive case-based approaches. I have worked closely with physicians to develop interactive learning experiences for medical students such as the abdominal exam theater, the progressive dissection, and other transdisciplinary learning activities. The success of these projects has allowed me to present to audiences at national and international meetings and be recognized as an innovator in virtual microscopy in both undergraduate and graduate medical education. I have co-authored two books and published manuscripts and book chapters in medical education.

I am proud of my over 4-decade career and legacy in education and mentoring at KUMC, knowing that I have positively impacted the careers of future scientists, medical professionals, and many faculty members.