WICHITA — It seems Lou Heldman is Wichita State University’s go-to guy for help on an interim basis.
Former center director Tim Pett, who also is a professor and the W. Frank Barton Distinguished Chair, was placed on administrative leave for undisclosed reasons several weeks ago.
WSU spokesman Joe Kleinsasser says Pett remains on leave.
There were indications the school was going to be starting a search for a permanent replacement for Pett, but Keith Pickus, WSU’s interim provost and a history professor, says that’s not the case.
“The center has been without a director now for a number of weeks,” he says.
“Until that situation is resolved, we aren’t making any other steps than putting somebody in charge of the center,” Pickus says. “I guarantee you there has been no decision on whether to do a search.”
He says any indications otherwise were a miscommunication.
Pickus says he can’t discuss Pett’s situation because it’s a personnel matter.
Heldman was president and publisher of The Wichita Eagle from 2002 to 2007. He then became WSU’s Distinguished Senior Fellow in Media Management and Journalism.
Cindy Claycomb, who is interim dean of the W. Frank Barton School of Business, says she’s pleased Heldman was selected as acting director.
“We’re thrilled that he’s going to join us,” Claycomb says. “Lou will do a great job.”