LAWRENCE – University of Kansas Chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little and Thomas McDonald, interim dean of the School of Social Welfare, released the following statements regarding the death of Ann Weick, former dean of the School of Social Welfare.
Gray-Little: “Ann Weick was instrumental in building the School of Social Welfare into the internationally respected school it is today. In addition to her exceptional academic leadership, she was a talented scholar and possessed a great passion for human rights and social justice. I offer my sincere condolences to her family, friends and former colleagues.”
McDonald: “We are all deeply saddened by the death of our former dean, Ann Weick. At the school, in our local community and in our professional community, both nationally and internationally, Dean Weick commanded the respect and admiration of everyone. Her kindness and grace masked a determination that our school stand for diversity, inclusion, social justice and a recognition of the strengths in every one of us. We are both stronger and better for having had her as our dean, and poorer for the loss of a great friend.”
Weick died May 31. She was 73.
Weick led the School of Social Welfare from 1987 to 2006. During her tenure, the school developed a strong reputation and was recognized for its innovation in social work theory development. Research and policies developed in the school in the areas of child welfare, aging, mental health and community development guided local, state and national leaders. External research funding and philanthropy grew substantially.
Weick joined the faculty at KU in 1976. She was named acting dean of the School of Social Welfare in 1987 and became permanent dean in 1988. She was inducted into the KU Women’s Hall of Fame in 1992.
Weick earned a bachelor’s degree in sociology from the University of Oregon, a master’s degree in social work from the University of California at Berkeley and a doctorate in social policy and planning from Brandeis University. Her research interests included holistic approaches to social work and medical practice, health and social issues of women, alcohol and drug abuse, and developments in social work practice and education. She co-edited one of the earliest and most influential social work books on women.
The former Peace Corps volunteer made service a priority throughout her life. She chaired the City of Lawrence’s Task Force on Racism, Discrimination and Human Diversity, which recommended the formation of the Lawrence Alliance Against Racism and Discrimination. She founded Just Food, a Lawrence food bank.