Stuart R. Bell

12th Dean of the KU School of Engineering
2012 DESA Recipient
Primary office:


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.

One of 34 U.S. public institutions in the prestigious Association of American Universities
44 nationally ranked graduate programs.
—U.S. News & World Report
Top 50 nationwide for size of library collection.
5th nationwide for service to veterans —"Best for Vets: Colleges," Military Times