Leader of CLU resigns his post

Times Staff Writer

A year after he was hired, California Lutheran University President John Sladek has resigned to return to the University of Colorado and resume his research to eliminate the debilitating effects of Down syndrome and Parkinson’s disease.

“I am honored at the opportunities afforded to me by CLU, and I am proud that I was able to have an impact on the university’s long-term goals,” Sladek, 64, said in a prepared statement announcing his resignation, which is effective immediately. “However, I am excited to funnel my passion and energy toward biomedical research, which means that I will return to my family and life in Colorado.”

Sladek’s wife, Celia, never moved to California. She remained on staff at the University of Colorado medical school, where she is known for her research on critical brain hormones.


Bill Kane, chairman of the Cal Lutheran Board of Regents, said Sladek was well thought of by officials and faculty at the Thousand Oaks campus, despite his brief tenure.

“I certainly enjoyed working with him, and this was one of those personal things he had to decide on,” Kane said.

Sladek, a neuroscientist, had been vice chancellor for research at the health sciences center of the University of Colorado at Denver before coming to Cal Lutheran in the summer 2006. He replaced President Luther S. Luedtke, who had resigned in December 2005 after 14 years at the university.

The Rev. R. Howard Wennes has been named interim president, Cal Lutheran officials said. Regents will conduct a search for a permanent replacement to lead the 3,200-student campus.