LAWRENCE — For the past seven years, Steve Warren has encouraged and inspired University of Kansas faculty to do more research. Starting this summer, KU’s longtime vice chancellor for research will follow his own advice.
Warren, a professor in the Department of Applied Behavioral Science at KU, will step down as vice chancellor at the end of the academic year. He will begin a one-year research leave and return to full-time research and teaching in the fall of 2015.
“Research is my passion,” said Warren, “both as an administrator and an investigator. This is a good time for me to shift gears professionally and devote more attention to scholarship. KU is a powerhouse research university. I want to contribute to that continued success.”
Warren's principal research interests include early communication and language development intervention strategies as well as the prevention of intellectual disabilities. He is highly regarded in his field internationally and was the 2013 recipient of the Edgar Doll Award from the American Psychological Association. In 2008 he received the Lifetime Achievement Research Award from the American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities. He is also a fellow and past president of the American Association on Mental Retardation.
“Steve Warren is devoted to KU and has served the university well in this important leadership role,” said Chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little. “During his tenure, research across campus has flourished, KU’s economic development mission has also grown substantially, and he provided important leadership in the development and implementation of Bold Aspirations, our strategic plan. Making discoveries that change the world is key to our mission, and Steve leaves this role having generated significant momentum toward our goals.”
Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor Jeffrey S. Vitter has appointed Mary Lee Hummert, vice provost for faculty development, as interim vice chancellor for research, effective May 19. Hummert is a professor of communication studies and was an associate vice provost for research from 2004 to 2006. A national search for a permanent successor to Warren will begin soon.
Warren is KU’s seventh chief research officer since the position was established in 1972. Only Frances Horowitz served longer, from 1978 to 1991. Warren succeeded Jim Roberts as vice provost for research and graduate studies on an interim basis in 2007. He was named to the position permanently in 2008 and became vice chancellor in 2010. In January, the Office of Graduate Studies was shifted to the Office of the Provost.
Warren received three degrees from KU, including a doctorate in child and developmental psychology in 1977. After five years as a research associate at KU, he served from 1982 to 2000 at Vanderbilt University. He rose to become a professor of special education and psychology and human development in its Peabody College, as well as deputy director of the John F. Kennedy Center for Research on Human Development. He returned to KU in 2000 and served until 2008 as director of the Life Span Institute and the Kansas Intellectual and Development Disabilities Research Center.
As vice chancellor, Warren oversees 12 research centers, two state surveys, two affiliated centers and a number of core research laboratories. He also serves as president of the KU Center for Research Inc., the nonprofit research foundation responsible for the administration of research grants and other external awards. He shares overall responsibility for KU Innovation and Collaboration, KU’s bicampus technology commercialization office.