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Music dean to leave role at close of fall semester

Fri, 09/02/2022

LAWRENCE — Robert Walzel, dean of the University of Kansas School of Music, has announced plans to step away from his leadership position at the end of the fall 2022 semester. This change will allow him to focus on family matters that have become a priority.

Barbara A. Bichelmeyer, provost and executive vice chancellor, shared gratitude for the work Walzel has undertaken over the past 12 years.

“Bob has made numerous contributions to the University of Kansas as well as to the students, faculty and staff within the School of Music,” Bichelmeyer said. “I wish him and his family all the best.”

Walzel will remain with KU and will conduct research during the spring 2023 semester.

Walzel was selected as dean of the school in 2010. Since that time, the school has increased the amount of student scholarship awards, which now exceed $1 million. Student musicians have performed at world-renowned venues including Carnegie Hall, the Kennedy Center and Jazz at Lincoln Center. The KU Orchestra, Opera, Jazz Ensemble and Chamber Choir have all performed internationally, with the KU Wind Ensemble scheduled to perform later this semester in Italy. Membership in the Marching Jayhawks has risen to 330 students this fall. Walzel also oversaw the $2.1 million renovation of Swarthout Recital Hall in 2015.

“I appreciate the timing of this decision as it also provides continuity as we work to determine the path forward for the School of Music,” Bichelmeyer said. An announcement later this semester will provide details on interim leadership for the School of Music during the spring semester and plans to fill the dean position.



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