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Former KU Chancellor Gene Budig Dies

Image: University of Kansas

Gene Budig, KU’s Chancellor from 1981 to 1994, has passed away.

No cause of death was given.

He had been in hospice in South Carolina.

He was 81.

Budig, adopted shortly after birth, grew up in Nebraska.

He earned bachelors, masters, and doctorate degrees from the University of Nebraska.

Budig was a reporter and editorial writer for The Lincoln Star and Lincoln Journal while attending school, then worked as an administrative assistant to Nebraska’s governor.

Budig served as President of Illinois State, West Virginia University, and Chancellor of KU.

At KU, he visited all 105 counties in Kansas during his first year, and presided over a campus expansion.

He also made the controversial – at the time – choice to hire a basketball coach with no head coaching experience – Roy Williams.

He was the last President of baseball’s American League, serving in the position from 1994 to 2000, when the position was abolished.

Budig later taught at Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs.

He rose to the rank of Major General in the Nebraska Air National Guard.


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