SBD/January 4, 2011/Colleges

Kansas Ushers In New Era, Introduces Sheahon Zenger As New AD

Zenger Discussed Transparency, Personal Relationships During KU Intro Yesterday
The Univ. of Kansas yesterday formally introduced Sheahon Zenger as the school's 16th AD after the former Illinois State AD signed a contract through June '15 that will "pay him $450,000 per year," according to a front-page piece by Matt Tait of the LAWRENCE JOURNAL-WORLD. Zenger will start at KU on Feb. 1, and while he "showed emotion for what he was leaving behind, the joy for what he was inheriting far surpassed it." His contract "includes language that seems to be a reaction to the controversial circumstances that led" to former KU AD Lew Perkins’ "earlier-than-expected resignation last September." But "none of that fazed Zenger, who preaches transparency, personal relationships and doing things 'the old-fashioned way.'" Throughout the search for a new AD, KU Chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little "ensured that she and the committee would find 'the right fit' for Kansas," and yesterday it was "clear that Gray-Little believes that to be Zenger," who is a native Kansan (LAWRENCE JOURNAL-WORLD, 1/4). In K.C., J. Brady McCollough wrote for a KU fan base "looking for a breath of fresh air after an embarrassing year, Zenger said all the right things." He talked about "living from 2 to 4 years of age" just south of Allen Fieldhouse, and also about "growing up wearing No. 10 in youth sports because that’s the number former KU quarterback Bobby Douglass wore." Zenger will meet "face-to-face with as many KU donors and fans as possible in an effort to repair hard feelings in the wake of the ticket scandal and questions about Perkins’ ethics" (K.C. STAR, 1/4). In Topeka, Tully Corcoran reports Zenger during his first 90 days plans to "set about repairing those relationships." Zenger: "One by one, in person, I need to look them in the eye and they need to look me in the eye and we need to get to know each other. We need to find out what the issues are" (TOPEKA CAPITAL-JOURNAL, 1/4).
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