Stuart R. Bell led a decade of unprecedented expansion in facilities and research, increased student recruitment and brought renewed focus on retention – while bolstering ethnic diversity, raising student success, and boosting fundraising to new levels.
Of special note is Bell’s successful leadership spearheading a response to a legislative request to significantly grow engineering programs across the state. In May 2011, the State of Kansas announced a commitment to invest $105 million dollars in Kansas engineering education at KU and two other state institutions.
He helped cultivate major gifts including an unrestricted estate gift of $32 million from Charles and Mary Jane Spahr, as well as $20 million from Madison “Al” and Lila Self to establish and later expand the Self Engineering Leadership Fellows Program.
He worked to advance efforts to establish major research centers such as the NSF Center for Remote Sensing of Ice Sheets, the Center for Environmentally Beneficial Catalysis, the Bioengineering Research Center and the KU Transportation Research Institute.