Kevin Boatright
Office of Research

Steve Warren to step down as vice chancellor for research

Mon, 03/31/2014

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. 

Matt Menzenski, a graduate student in Slavic languages & literatures, took this photo during President Obama’s speech at KU Thursday. Menzenski says he was struck by how relaxed the president was in his delivery. He missed a chance to hear former President Bill Clinton speak in his hometown in 2004, but finally got to see a sitting president this week at KU. “The opportunity to hear the president speak is just one of many great opportunities I've had at KU. So many interesting talks and events happen here all the time. I try to attend at least one a week-- it's never hard to find something interesting to go to.” Tags: University of Kansas College of Liberal Arts and Sciences KU School of Languages, Literatures & Cultures KU Dept of Slavic Languages - Friends & Alumni Barack Obama The White House #exploreKU #POTUSatKU

RT @KU _Football: Kansas leads @Big12Conference & is 1-of-7 schools in the NCAA to have 3 or more players tabbed for the 2015 Pro Bowl http:…
Explore KU: The Bells of Mount Oread KU’s Campanile, a 120-foot-tall timepiece that tolls automatically on the hour and quarter-hour, not only sounded in the 2015 New Year at midnight with 12 mighty gongs, but also regularly rings up memories for many Jayhawks – the 277 faculty and students who gave their lives during World War II, the graduates who walk through its doors at commencement, and aspiring students who have strolled through the Lawrence campus. (See For nearly 60 years, KU’s 53-bell carillon has been tolling the sounds of peace and serenity across Mount Oread since it was installed in June 1955 inside the landmark World War II Memorial Campanile, which was dedicated in 1951. (See The carillon is also a four-octave musical instrument, which is played with a giant keyboard and foot pedals. University Carillonneur Elizabeth Egber-Berghout (, associate professor of carillon and organ, climbs 77 steps up a spiral staircase in the bell tower to perform recitals several times a month.

One of 34 U.S. public institutions in the prestigious Association of American Universities
26 prestigious Rhodes Scholars — more than all other Kansas colleges combined
Nearly $290 million in financial aid annually
46 nationally ranked graduate programs.
—U.S. News & World Report
Top 50 nationwide for size of library collection.
23rd nationwide for service to veterans —"Best for Vets," Military Times