Mary Ryan Named Inaugural Director of Campus Compact for the Great Plains

August 17, 2017

Campus Compact has selected Mary Ryan as the inaugural Director of Campus Compact for the Great Plains. Ryan, who has spent the last 26 years as an administrator at the University of Kansas, will lead the new coalition of colleges and universities to advance the public purposes of higher education across Kansas, Nebraska, and South Dakota.

As Director, Ryan will spearhead coordinated civic and community engagement efforts among the region’s colleges and universities. She will work with students, faculty, staff, and community organizations to support greater integration of activities in civic and service learning, community based research, national service, and other areas in which institutions of higher education can contribute to the wellbeing of communities across the Great Plains.

Campus Compact for the Great Plains is part of the national Campus Compact network, which includes more than 1000 colleges and universities. “Mary Ryan has proven herself to be a high-impact leader whose work has benefited students and communities,” said Andrew Seligsohn, President of Campus Compact. “Campus Compact for the Great Plains is about helping colleges and universities strengthen communities and our democracy, and Mary is the right person to make that happen.”

“Mary Ryan is an accomplished higher education leader who has made a positive impact in the lives of KU students and the communities they serve,” said John Augusto, Assistant Vice Provost for Experiential Learning at the University of Kansas and a member of the search committee that identified Ryan. “As a native Nebraskan who has worked in Kansas for years, Mary knows our region well and is perfectly positioned to build Campus Compact for the Great Plains into an effective force for our states.”

Campus Compact for the Great Plains will be hosted by the University of Nebraska Omaha. “The University of Nebraska Omaha is thrilled that the Barbara Weitz Community Engagement Center will be the home for Campus Compact for the Great Plains,” said Julie Dierberger, Paul Sather Distinguished Director of UNO’s Service Learning Academy. “We are excited to work with an accomplished leader in Mary Ryan and confident that UNO will provide a great home for Campus Compact for the Great Plains to make an impact across our region.”

Ryan, a native of Omaha, holds a master’s degree in guidance and counseling from the University of Nebraska Omaha and a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Kansas. After serving 10 years at KU Lawrence in Admissions and New Student Orientation, Ryan joined the KU Edwards campus in Overland Park in 2001, serving on the leadership team for the Vice Chancellor. Most recently, she has held positions in both Academic Affairs and Student Affairs at KU Lawrence. She has also worked at the University of Nebraska Omaha, Creighton University, and the University of Nebraska Medical Center.

Ryan was honored in 2012-13 as a KU Women of Distinction for her outstanding leadership in the area of student advancement.

Campus Compact is a national network of colleges and universities dedicated to advancing the public purpose of higher education by deepening institutions’ ability to improve community life and to educate students for civic and social responsibility. Campus Compact comprises a national office based in Boston, MA, and 33 state and regional affiliates.


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