Chancellor Douglas A. Girod

Messages to faculty, staff

Tue, 01/18/2022

With the academic semester now underway, I would like to preview a few highlights for the spring and update you on key initiatives across the university.

Fri, 01/14/2022

Earlier this week, the Kansas Legislature convened its 2022 session. As lawmakers conclude their first full week of work, I’d like to provide you a brief update on the latest happenings in the Statehouse and share our legislative priorities for the session.

Fri, 01/07/2022

Earlier this week, Douglas County implemented an emergency mask mandate for all indoor public spaces in the county. I am writing today to explain the implications of this mandate, specifically for basketball games in Allen Fieldhouse.

Fri, 12/17/2021

As final exams come to a close and we pause for the holidays, I hope you will join me in reflecting on our achievements from the past semester. As always, there is much to celebrate, thanks to our talented faculty, staff and students.

Tue, 12/07/2021

The University of Kansas will pause its employee vaccine mandate process, effective immediately. Employees do not need to take any further action related to this mandate at this time.

Mon, 12/06/2021

Yesterday we learned of the passing of Senator Robert J. Dole, a towering figure in American politics who leaves behind a legacy of leadership and public service. On behalf of the entire university, I offer my condolences to Senator Dole’s family, friends and colleagues.

Fri, 10/22/2021

Last month, President Joe Biden issued an executive order requiring employees of institutions that contract with the federal government to be fully vaccinated for COVID-19 by Dec. 8. Per this order, the University of Kansas will now require all KU employees to submit proof they are fully vaccinated by Dec. 8.

Thu, 10/14/2021

We want to provide an update on our compliance and risk management functions that will help us identify and respond to risks that can affect our ability to achieve our university’s objectives.

Wed, 10/13/2021

I am excited to announce that Audrey Coleman, a nine-year veteran of the Dole Institute leadership team who has led some of the institute’s most important initiatives, will become the institute’s new director. Audrey will begin her new role November 29.

Mon, 09/27/2021

This weekend we were saddened to learn of the passing of Burdett Loomis, a beloved professor emeritus of political science, a devoted mentor and a pillar in our community for more than 40 years.

Tue, 09/14/2021

Last night, many of you gathered in response to a reported instance of sexual assault within our community.

Fri, 09/10/2021

This weekend marks the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 terror attacks on our country, and I would like to take a moment to reflect on this occasion with you.

Thu, 09/09/2021

I am writing you regarding a recent Twitter post by our student body president that many Jayhawks – myself included – found to be disappointing and concerning. I would like to share a few thoughts on this.

Mon, 08/23/2021

The start of the academic year always provides unmatched energy and a sense of renewal for our community. This is especially true this year as we see our campuses coming back to life in a way they haven’t since the pandemic began.

Fri, 08/13/2021

Students at the University of Kansas Lawrence and Edwards campuses will be eligible to receive a range of prizes after uploading their COVID-19 vaccine records to the Watkins Health Services student portal.

Fri, 08/06/2021

The University of Kansas will reinstate a mandate that everyone on the Lawrence and Edwards campuses – regardless of vaccination status – wear masks indoors. Additionally, masks are strongly recommended in outdoor crowded spaces on those campuses.

Wed, 07/28/2021

Given new guidance and keeping with our practice of aligning with Lawrence Douglas-County Public Health recommendations, our university is recommending all people — including those who are fully vaccinated — wear masks in indoor public spaces on our Lawrence and Edwards campuses where more than one person is gathering, effective immediately.

Thu, 05/27/2021

The University of Kansas is rescinding its mask policy and will now make masks optional – not required – for all individuals on the Lawrence and Edwards campuses, effective immediately. Exceptions include public transportation and campus healthcare facilities, which will still require masks.

Mon, 05/24/2021

With yesterday’s Commencement capping off our semester, it’s worth looking back on an academic year that’s been like no other in history and celebrating your contributions to our success.

Mon, 05/24/2021

Today I am writing to voice my support for each of the Task Force on Community-Responsive Public Safety recommendations and to let you know that the university will be implementing all of them.

Mon, 05/17/2021

Today I am happy to report that we are inviting the Class of 2021 graduates and guests to join our previously scheduled Commencement ceremony for the Class of 2020 next Sunday, May 23, at 10:30 a.m.

Sun, 05/16/2021

I am pleased to let you know that we are planning a rescheduled Commencement ceremony for the Class of 2021 next Sunday, May 23, in Memorial Stadium. We will share additional details as soon as possible on the Commencement website and via social media.

Mon, 04/05/2021

I am excited to announce that Travis Goff is joining the University of Kansas as our new director of athletics.

Wed, 03/10/2021

Earlier today, Director of Athletics Jeff Long announced he is stepping down from his position. Jeff and I spoke at length last night, and while I know he would have loved to stay here many more years, I respect his selfless decision to step down so that we can move Kansas Athletics in a different direction.

Tue, 02/23/2021

We have good news to share related to COVID-19 vaccines and how higher education is prioritized in the state’s vaccine plans. Local public health authorities may now determine that it is appropriate to include university faculty and staff in the current phase of vaccine distribution if those workers are providing critical services in close contact with a large number of individuals and are not able to work remotely.

Wed, 02/17/2021

I am writing to announce the newest member of our senior leadership team. Jeff DeWitt, a seasoned financial administrator with more than 30 years of experience in complex public sector roles, will join KU as our new chief financial officer & executive vice chancellor for finance.

Tue, 02/16/2021

This week, on Thursday, February 18, we’re again bringing together supporters of our university for our fourth annual 24-hour giving campaign, One Day. One KU.

Tue, 02/09/2021

While there are still many unknowns about how the pandemic will play out in the months ahead, we are tentatively planning to host in-person Commencement events in May, both for this year’s graduates and the Class of 2020.

Mon, 02/01/2021

I hope you had a happy and healthy winter break and that you’re ready for another productive year as a member of our community. With classes beginning today, I would like to remind you of a few key points for the spring semester.

Thu, 01/21/2021

Earlier this week, the Kansas Board of Regents approved a temporary policy that gives universities flexibility in suspending, dismissing or terminating employees in light of the historic financial challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic. The policy requires that any university intending to enact suspensions, dismissals or terminations must first present to the Board for approval a decision-making framework. That framework must be submitted to the Board within the next 45 days.

Tue, 01/19/2021

Last Wednesday, Governor Kelly released her budget recommendations for the upcoming fiscal year. The Governor recommends a $13.6 million cut to KU’s base appropriation, which comprises a $7.6 million cut for Lawrence and a $6 million cut for KU Medical Center.

Fri, 01/15/2021

After months of hard work, we are pleased to share that The University of Kansas Health System and LMH Health will assume responsibility for medical management and oversight of Watkins Health Services beginning this month.

Wed, 01/13/2021

Given how entry testing helped us identify people who may have been unaware of their COVID-19 status and take action to mitigate the spread of COVID-19, we will again be mandating COVID-19 tests for students, faculty, and staff who plan to be on campus any time before Feb. 12.

Fri, 01/08/2021

Jim Modig, our university architect, will be leaving KU after a remarkable 41-year career with the university. This is his final week with the university.

Thu, 01/07/2021

This morning we join our colleagues across higher education in condemning the shocking violence that unfolded yesterday at the United States Capitol. We should all be horrified and humiliated by what happened in the very seat of our American democracy.

Thu, 12/03/2020

Kansas Athletics will begin hosting fans Monday, December 7 through Monday, December 14. This time period comprises three men’s basketball games, two women’s basketball games and our final home football game.

Wed, 11/25/2020

As the semester winds down and we approach the Thanksgiving holiday, I want to take a moment to say how thankful I am for your efforts. This has been a semester of great challenges — but also great successes, thanks to you.

Mon, 11/23/2020

I write today to inform you that we will continue to not host fans during the first week of December, which includes all events through and including Saturday, Dec. 5. For contests after that week, we will make decisions about attendance on a week-by-week basis so we can be responsive to the most current circumstances and medical guidance.

Tue, 11/17/2020

In light of the ongoing surge in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations across the region, we have determined we will not host fans at any Kansas Athletics home competitions for the rest of November. This includes volleyball matches this Thursday and Friday, our football game this Saturday, women’s basketball games Nov. 25 and Nov. 29, and our football game Nov. 28.

Tue, 11/10/2020

We write you today with an update on our salary reduction plan and news regarding paid leave during winter break for Lawrence and Edwards campus employees.

Tue, 11/10/2020

As we approach the end of the fall semester, we want to update you on our COVID-19 testing plans through the end of this year and into next semester.

Fri, 10/30/2020

Earlier this year, we announced the Lawrence and Edwards campuses face an estimated revenue shortfall of $120 million for the current fiscal year. Today we are able to report an updated shortfall of $47.6 million.

Wed, 10/21/2020

I am writing today to let you know that, in consultation with Senator Bob Dole, we have established the search committee that will lead the process of finding the next Dole Institute director.

Thu, 10/01/2020

I write to share a few thoughts about our annual 20th day enrollment numbers, which were released today in coordination with the Kansas Board of Regents, and to describe how recent enrollment trends will impact KU.

Fri, 09/25/2020

I am writing to let you know we will begin allowing fans to attend Kansas Athletics competitions, starting with the October 3 football game against Oklahoma State, with attendance limits and robust health and safety protocols in place.

Sun, 09/20/2020

It is with a heavy heart that I write you regarding Reggie Robinson, one of our most accomplished and beloved Jayhawks, who passed away this weekend at the age of 63.

Fri, 09/18/2020

Last Friday, we launched a new COVID-19 dashboard to share metrics such as positive cases, positivity rates, and Student Housing quarantine and isolation data. Today I am writing to present another new tool: a short-term forecast that projects total positive cases and new positive cases within the KU community two weeks into the future.

Fri, 09/11/2020

Last Wednesday, I wrote you regarding our latest COVID-19 testing results and explained how we are pivoting from mass entry testing to a new testing strategy for the rest of the semester. In that message, I also explained that we would launch a new approach to share testing results and related data. I am pleased to share that approach with you today.

Tue, 09/08/2020

I am sad to report that former Chancellor Gene Budig has passed away at the age of 81. He leaves behind his wife, Gretchen, their three children and five grandchildren, and countless Jayhawks whose lives he touched.

Fri, 09/04/2020

Last spring, we announced that Diane Goddard, our chief financial officer and vice provost for finance, will be retiring at the end of this semester after 36 years with KU. I am writing today to let you know we have established the search committee that will lead the process of finding our next CFO.

Wed, 09/02/2020

Today, we have more results from our COVID-19 testing, which includes results from entry testing and follow-up testing with targeted populations. Overall, our entry testing identified 546 positive cases out of 22,563 total test results, for a 2.42% overall positivity rate.

Mon, 08/31/2020

At the advice of the Pandemic Medical Advisory Team, we will begin our fall athletics season without fans in attendance. This includes our first home football game Sept. 12 against Coastal Carolina and all Kansas Athletics competitions at Horejsi Family Volleyball Arena, Rock Chalk Park and Rim Rock Farm through September.

Fri, 08/28/2020

We’ve updated our latest data from our COVID-19 entry testing results for faculty, staff, and students returning to campus.

Thu, 08/27/2020

Last night, I wrote to inform you that Lawrence-Douglas County Public Health had issued 14-day quarantine orders for residents of nine of our sorority and fraternity houses, and was in the process of issuing an order for a tenth house. Today I am writing to let you know that the health department has removed two chapter houses from last night’s list and added a new one.

Wed, 08/26/2020

Today I am writing to inform you that Lawrence-Douglas County Public Health has issued 14-day quarantine orders for residents of nine of our sorority and fraternity houses, and is in the process of issuing an order for a tenth house.

Tue, 08/25/2020

We have posted the latest results from our community COVID-19 saliva testing. As of Monday evening, 222 people have tested positive out of 19,452 entry test results received, for a positivity rate of 1.14%.

Sun, 08/23/2020

As we embark on a fall semester unlike any in history, I write to reiterate a straightforward reality: We cannot do this without you.

Fri, 08/21/2020

Earlier this summer, we created the Pandemic Medical Advisory Team – comprising nine of the region’s top medical doctors and public health officials – to help inform our decisions related to the COVID-19 pandemic. One of the primary tasks of this team is to develop a data-driven decision-making framework to shape decisions regarding campus operations in a way that prioritizes health and safety. I write you today to share this decision-making framework.

Thu, 08/20/2020

I want to share some information and updates with you now that we’ve reviewed some initial results from our testing efforts as our community returns to campus.We have posted initial results from our community COVID-19 saliva testing. The results show the total tests administered and positive results for both students and faculty/staff, along with positivity rates for each group.

Fri, 08/14/2020

We are creating the Task Force on Community-Responsive Public Safety. This new task force will be charged with reviewing KU Public Safety policies, practices and procedures; examining best practices and proposals for change; and making recommendations regarding potential improvements to ensure respectful, transparent and community-responsive public safety services.

Wed, 08/05/2020

An important part of a successful fall semester is helping to keep our KU and Lawrence community safe by minimizing exposures to the COVID-19 virus.  One way to do this is to identify those among us who have the infection, even without symptoms, as we all return to campus. We will accomplish this by using a simple, non-invasive, saliva-based test for students, faculty and staff on re-entry to campus.

Wed, 07/29/2020

I am writing to let you know we have ruled out the possibility of hosting a Commencement ceremony during the fall semester. Instead, we will target spring 2021 to celebrate the 2020 graduates with a Commencement ceremony on Mount Oread.

Wed, 07/08/2020

Yesterday, Provost Bichelmeyer shared with you a new federal policy regarding fall enrollment for F-1 students in the Student and Visitor Exchange Program. I write today to assure you that the University of Kansas joins peer institutions nationwide in strongly condemning this new federal policy. Moreover, I want you to know we are coordinating with our peers in both the Association of American Universities and the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities to encourage federal lawmakers to reconsider this truly mean-spirited and unworkable policy.

Mon, 06/29/2020

Today I write to share two new components of our reopening plan. First, we have published the first iteration of what we are calling the Protect KU plan, which will serve as our roadmap for a thoughtful, science-based return to campus. Additionally, we are creating two new planning teams – which will include faculty, staff and students – to help inform decision-making in the weeks ahead.

Fri, 06/19/2020

Today we are announcing our latest steps to address this unprecedented budget challenge. Our decisions continue to prioritize equity and reflect our commitment to protecting KU’s most vulnerable populations. As a result, we believe these are the appropriate next steps to ensure KU’s health, limit drastic impacts to employees, and allow KU to continue its mission well into the future.

Mon, 06/15/2020

Last month, we shared with you a document titled Guidance on Reopening Campus, which detailed our guiding principles for reopening campus in a measured, stepwise fashion. Today we write to share the newest components of our plans for the fall semester on the Lawrence and Edwards campuses.

Wed, 06/10/2020

For the rest of the summer I will host weekly Zoom updates during which I will share the latest news regarding our work to reopen campus for the fall semester. These weekly discussions will be pre-recorded and shared with campus each Wednesday via email and posted on our Chancellor’s Weekly COVID-19 Update page.

Tue, 06/02/2020

We, the Chancellor and Provost of the University of Kansas, are emerging, as many of you are, from a week of heart wrenching conversations about the toxic impact that racism has on all of our communities.

Fri, 05/29/2020

We join many across the country today as we recognize and reflect on many issues in our society that result in challenging and difficult times for our underserved and marginalized populations.

Tue, 05/26/2020

Diane Goddard, our chief financial officer and vice provost for finance, will be leaving KU after a 36-year career in various roles across the institution.

Thu, 05/21/2020

In recent weeks, Provost Bichelmeyer and I have communicated with you regularly, and we have appreciated your feedback. With your help, we continue to plan for various scenarios that position KU to resume on-campus operations in some capacity this fall. Today, I write to share additional updates regarding KU’s situation and the challenges we face.

Wed, 05/20/2020

We have created a new document titled "Reopening of KU campuses in the era of COVID-19." This document summarizes steps we’ve taken so far and explains guiding principles and next steps for reopening campus for the fall semester.

Mon, 04/27/2020

Today I write to share updates about KU’s situation and the financial challenges we face.

Thu, 04/23/2020

The University of Kansas will distribute $7,594,823 in federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act funding directly to students who have significant need and are facing financial challenges due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Tue, 04/14/2020

I write today to invite you to join me and other KU leaders for our next virtual University Update on Thursday, April 16 at 4:30 p.m. This discussion will focus on healthcare in our region, including the work our KU Medical Center and The University of Kansas Hospital are doing as part of the regional response.

Tue, 04/07/2020

I am pleased to announce Dave Cook, vice chancellor of the Edwards campus and dean of the School of Professional Studies, will become our new vice chancellor for public affairs and economic development. 

Wed, 04/01/2020

In the spirit of continuing to stay connected and informed, I invite you to join me, Provost Bichelmeyer and other university leaders for a virtual University Update on Thursday, April 2 at 4:30 p.m.

Wed, 03/25/2020

I am writing to let you know that one of our leaders will be departing the University of Kansas for a new opportunity. Earlier today, Carl Lejuez was named provost and executive vice president for academic affairs at the University of Connecticut. Carl will begin his new role at UConn later this spring.

Tue, 03/24/2020

Chancellor Girod and Jeff Long provide an update on a matter related to student health and well-being.

Wed, 03/11/2020

KU leaders have been closely monitoring the spread of COVID-19. We know that some members of the Jayhawk community have been in areas with reported cases, and we don’t expect to be immune from this virus.

Thu, 03/05/2020

The safety and wellbeing of students, faculty and staff is our paramount responsibility as university leaders. With this in mind, we write you today to share troubling developments involving a contracted massage therapist and some of our student-athletes.

Mon, 03/02/2020

As the circumstances surrounding the 2019 novel coronavirus (COVID-19) continue to evolve, I would like to update you on how the university is working to keep our community healthy. For updates, visit the university's dedicated Coronavirus webpage.

Mon, 02/17/2020

This week, on Thursday, February 20, we’re again bringing together supporters of our university for our third 24-hour giving campaign, One Day. One KU. In addition to being an important event for our university, this occasion also provides an opportunity to thank each of you.

Thu, 02/06/2020

Few of us need reminding of the grand challenges facing our society today. As one of our nation’s leading public research universities, KU has a special role in fostering a culture of research that addresses these challenges.  As part of this effort, we’re hosting a new event this year that will celebrate the recipients of our university’s top research awards.

Fri, 01/31/2020

Following actions from U.S. government agencies concerned about coronavirus, the University of Kansas has issued a travel restriction to China for all university faculty, staff, and students, effective immediately. No institution-related travel to China will be authorized or approved by the university.

Tue, 01/21/2020

I hope you had a joyful holiday season and that you’re ready to start another productive year as a member of our university community. With classes beginning today, I would like to use this message to preview highlights for the spring semester and update you on key initiatives.

Fri, 01/10/2020

I am pleased to share the Sorority and Fraternity Life Task Force's initial recommendations and applaud the task force for its outstanding work to develop these strategies during the past year.

Wed, 12/18/2019

Today is a special day for our university as we have the occasion to celebrate a former chancellor’s many contributions to the University of Kansas and to our society.

Mon, 12/09/2019

I am pleased to announce that Julie Murray, my chief of staff, will serve as interim vice chancellor for public affairs, effective today, while we work to identify a new permanent vice chancellor. Julie will continue to serve as chief of staff while serving as interim vice chancellor.

Fri, 12/06/2019

It is my pleasure to announce Barbara Bichelmeyer as the next provost and executive vice chancellor of the Lawrence campus. She will begin her new role in late February.

Fri, 11/15/2019

Thank you for participating in Visioning Day, the kickoff to our strategic planning process, last week in the Kansas Union Ballroom.

Fri, 10/18/2019

We are already looking ahead to recruiting our next class of Jayhawks — and today, we have a special opportunity to welcome prospective students and families to Lawrence for our annual Crimson & Blue Day.

Fri, 10/11/2019

I am excited to launch the next strategic planning process for the University of Kansas and to solicit your assistance in this important effort to shape the future of our university. The strategic planning process begins with the Visioning Day kickoff event on Friday, November 8, from 3-5 p.m. in the Kansas Union Ballroom.

Wed, 10/02/2019

The University of Kansas has achieved all-time highs in key metrics related to student recruitment and success. In particular, we set records for our one-year retention rate, four- and six-year graduation rates and entering freshman class GPA, while creating the most diverse student body in university history. This is good news, and we can be proud of our progress related to these institutional priorities.

Fri, 09/27/2019

Earlier today, Vice Chancellor for Public Affairs Reggie Robinson was named the new president and CEO of the Kansas Health Foundation, one of the nation’s premier public health non-profit organizations. Reggie’s last day at KU will be in November, and he will begin his new position Dec. 1.

Mon, 08/26/2019

Welcome back! I hope your summer was relaxing and productive, and I am excited to continue working with you to advance our university’s mission of education, service and research.

Wed, 08/21/2019

As has been publicly reported, one of our faculty members has been involved in an investigation of alleged criminal activity. He is accused of fraud related to his work at our Lawrence campus and in China.

Thu, 05/23/2019

Thanks to all of you who came together for Commencement and made this past Sunday a special one for all our graduates and their many guests. I also want to take this moment to reflect on a few highlights from the past few months and thank you for moving the University of Kansas forward.

Fri, 05/10/2019

Last August, I shared with you that we would begin a nationwide search for our next provost and executive vice chancellor in spring 2019. I am writing today to inform you that we are initiating that process and have established the search committee that will lead the effort.

Wed, 04/24/2019

Today we are pleased to announce the renewal of KU’s sponsorship and apparel agreement with adidas. This 14-year agreement is worth $14 million annually – which is more than double the annual value of our previous contract with adidas – making it one of the largest apparel partnerships in college athletics.

Tue, 03/12/2019

Chancellor Girod offers his condolences and shares his thoughts on the passing of Wichita State University President John Bardo. 

Mon, 02/18/2019

On Wednesday, February 20, our community will again come together for One Day. One KU. In advance of this year’s event, I want to thank you – our faculty and staff – for your central role in our fundraising efforts.

Tue, 01/22/2019

Welcome back to campus, Jayhawks. I want to wish you well as we begin a new year and return from a holiday break that hopefully provided an opportunity to rest and recharge. The new academic term also provides us with a chance to examine what lies ahead.

Fri, 12/14/2018

As our semester comes to a close, I want to take a moment to reflect on our recent achievements, as well as our efforts to improve the student experience, serve Kansas communities, and grow our research enterprise. Thanks to you, we continue to fulfill our mission and move the University of Kansas forward.

Thu, 11/08/2018

With sororities and fraternities under scrutiny nationwide and at KU, we must commit to raising our standards for health, wellness and self-governance and seek new ways to meet the expectations we have for our community.

Wed, 10/24/2018

During the past three weeks in a federal courtroom in New York City, the University of Kansas and our men’s basketball program have been the subjects of testimony and speculation during the trial of three defendants accused of defrauding three universities, including KU. The trial concluded today with jury verdicts of guilty on all counts of conspiracy and wire fraud.

Mon, 10/15/2018

Recently, I was in Overland Park to speak with the Board of Advisors for the University of Kansas Edwards Campus to discuss ways we can all work together to enhance the economic future of the region. It is a busy time at the Edwards Campus, which is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year, and will dedicate KU’s new location in Leavenworth next month. All of this provides good context to reflect on how our efforts in Overland Park and the Kansas City metropolitan area are helping to advance our university’s mission.

Thu, 10/04/2018

This week, we saw good news that accompanied our annual 20th day enrollment announcement. Our new class of freshmen has the highest average ACT score and the highest average high school GPA of any class in history, and our six-year graduation rate and freshman retention rate are the highest they’ve ever been.

Tue, 09/04/2018

As anyone walking through campus at the beginning of this new academic year will immediately notice, we have a number of new buildings and facilities all around us. One of the more exciting ones is the new Integrated Science Building, which has the potential to improve KU’s standing in myriad ways.

Thu, 08/23/2018

With the new semester underway, I would like to update you on two important leadership positions and share a timeline for future announcements regarding these positions.

Mon, 08/20/2018

I love the energy that sweeps our university as students return to campus for the first day of classes. Today, as we kick off the new academic year, I’d like to briefly touch on a few milestones and preview some of the initiatives we will discuss this year.

Fri, 07/13/2018

Earlier this week, we made the necessary decision to relocate the Pledges of Allegiance public art exhibit from the area in front of The Commons at Spooner Hall to the Spencer Museum of Art due to safety concerns. This work of art has elicited strong reactions and calls for its removal. We are writing to reaffirm our full commitment to ensuring the exhibit remains in the Spencer Museum through its scheduled run.

Thu, 07/12/2018

I am sad to report that former Chancellor Del Shankel passed away this morning at the age of 90.

Wed, 07/11/2018

There has been much discussion today about a public art exhibit on our campus featuring an artist’s depiction of an American flag. Our Spencer Museum, along with other institutions nationally, have participated in this year-long series of exhibits intended to foster difficult conversations.

Thu, 07/05/2018

I am excited to report that Jeff Long, one of the most experienced and respected collegiate athletics administrators in the country, will soon be joining the University of Kansas as our director of athletics.

Tue, 07/03/2018

Earlier today, it was reported that the Trump administration is rescinding guidance to colleges and universities on the use of race as a factor in admissions decisions. I am writing this message to assure you that the University of Kansas will continue its efforts to create a diverse community of scholars across our campuses.

Tue, 06/05/2018

Last week, we announced a budget reduction on the Lawrence campus to address fiscal constraints for the upcoming year. Today, as summer classes begin, I’d like to share a few additional thoughts about this reduction and why I am confident KU will continue to excel in all aspects of our mission.

Fri, 06/01/2018

In a joint message to campus, Chancellor Girod and Interim Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor Carl Lejuez discuss changes to KU's central administration structure.

Mon, 05/21/2018

I am writing to inform you of a leadership change in Kansas Athletics. This morning I met with Director of Athletics Sheahon Zenger and informed him that I am relieving him of his duties, effective immediately.

Fri, 05/11/2018

Thank you for making my first year so rewarding. Across our university and nation, Jayhawks welcomed me into their classrooms, boardrooms and living rooms to discuss KU. These conversations were productive and honest, and they shaped my thinking about our university’s direction.

Thu, 04/26/2018

Beginning May 1, Rodolfo Torres will become our new interim vice chancellor for research. John Colombo — who has served in this role since last summer — will remain in the Office of Research to assist Rodolfo as an interim associate vice chancellor for research while gradually reducing his involvement with that office as key vacancies are filled.

Tue, 04/17/2018

I am pleased to announce Carl Lejuez, dean of the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences, as our interim provost and executive vice chancellor. Carl will begin his new role April 30 as current provost Neeli Bendapudi leaves KU to become president of the University of Louisville.

Thu, 04/05/2018

The mission of the University of Kansas is to educate leaders, build healthy communities and make discoveries that change the world. Two weeks from today, we have an opportunity to see this mission on display in a special way.

Tue, 04/03/2018

I am writing to let you know that a key member of our executive team will be leaving the University of Kansas for a new opportunity. Earlier today, Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor Neeli Bendapudi was named the new president of the University of Louisville. She is slated to begin her new role in May.

Fri, 03/16/2018

In recent weeks, a number of our fraternities have made headlines for being investigated, sanctioned or shut down. These and additional investigations suggest a systemic issue with misconduct that warrants our full attention and focus. And now we have an opportunity to launch a collaborative effort for multi-stakeholder engagement to aggressively address these issues together.

Mon, 02/12/2018

On Tuesday, February 20, friends around the world will come together to support the University of Kansas’ first-ever 24-hour giving campaign, One Day. One KU. In advance of this event, I want to thank you for the crucial role you play in our fundraising efforts. Donors support KU because they believe in the work you do to improve our state and society. For that, you have my sincere appreciation.

Mon, 01/29/2018

As we begin another semester at the University of Kansas, I want to update you on our efforts in Topeka and how we are fostering relationships across Kansas.

Tue, 01/16/2018

Welcome back, Jayhawks! I hope you had a joyful holiday season, and I trust you are ready for another productive year. With classes beginning today, I want to take a moment to look ahead to some of the highlights for the upcoming semester.

Mon, 01/15/2018

As our nation comes together to honor the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., I find myself reflecting on the events in Charlottesville, Virginia, last August. It was a terrible weekend for our nation and a reminder that we have a long way to go if we are to fulfill Dr. King’s dream.

Fri, 01/12/2018

It is my pleasure to announce that Reggie Robinson has agreed to serve as our vice chancellor for public affairs. We are fortunate to have a leader of his experience and talents in this critical role for our campuses.

Tue, 01/09/2018

After careful consideration and in consultation with The University of Kansas Health System and The University of Kansas Physicians, I am pleased to announce Robert D. Simari, M.D., as the executive vice chancellor for the University of Kansas Medical Center.

Fri, 12/15/2017

Today, as our semester comes to a close, I would like to take a moment to reflect on my first six months in Strong Hall and thank you for your support.

Mon, 11/27/2017

Last week, we were delighted to learn that KU has earned a No. 5 national ranking in the Military Times Best: Colleges 2018 rankings. The rankings recognize schools that excel in providing services to students with military ties, have a military-inclusive campus, and have high academic achievement rates among these students.

Mon, 11/13/2017

In September, I joined Kansas Athletics Director Sheahon Zenger to announce a fundraising project focused on football. This project addresses the reality that a competitive football program is important to our university and that our outdated facilities hamper our ability to compete in the Big 12 Conference. Today I would like to update you on this project.

Mon, 10/30/2017

We often talk about how we educate leaders and how our work benefits people around the globe. This week, we will welcome Colombian Pres. Juan Manuel Santos back to campus as one of our distinguished alumni who has demonstrated outstanding leadership to end a long-running civil war in his native Colombia.

Mon, 10/16/2017

Last month, we were delighted to announce that enrollment at the University of Kansas has grown for the fourth straight year to its highest level since 2011. Additionally, this year’s freshmen have the highest average high school GPA and are the most diverse of any class in KU history. Retention and graduation rates are also higher than ever.

Mon, 09/25/2017

This past Friday, I joined Kansas Athletics Director Sheahon Zenger to announce Raise the Chant, a $350 million fundraising project focused on football. Today I’d like to discuss this exciting effort and why it needs to be one of KU’s institutional priorities.

Sun, 09/17/2017

As I meet with Jayhawks across the state and on our campuses, I am continually reminded of how much impact we have on the lives of our students during the relatively short period of time they spend with us. Today, I want to focus on thinking about how we can continue to improve the student experience at KU.

Mon, 08/21/2017

I always enjoy the energy that comes with the start of the semester. This year, for the first time, I am experiencing that energy as chancellor — and loving every minute of it. I’m delighted to have all of you back on campus and look forward to the work we’ll do together as a community of scholars.

Mon, 08/14/2017

We are writing to share our profound sadness and concern at the events that occurred in Charlottesville, Virginia, beginning Friday night. Like many of you, we were horrified at the sight of white supremacists with racist and hate-filled messages marching on a university campus.

Tue, 08/08/2017

I am pleased to announce that Reggie Robinson, director of our School of Public Affairs & Administration, will serve as interim vice chancellor for public affairs. Reggie will assume the role effective August 14

Wed, 07/12/2017


I am honored to write you for the first time as the 18th chancellor of the University of Kansas. Susan and I greatly appreciate the expressions of support we’ve received in recent weeks, and I look forward to working with each of you on behalf of this great institution.

Thu, 05/04/2017

During the past eight years, we have transformed the University of Kansas with 50 capital improvement projects totaling $700 million and launched a once-in-a-generation redevelopment of our Central District that will change the face of education and research at KU. But as I have said before, the transformation goes deeper than buildings and encompasses every aspect of our mission.

Mon, 04/17/2017

American public universities have played a special role ever since the first were chartered in the late 1700s. The founders understood that the United States would prosper only if it had strong universities that could educate the next generation of leaders and create the inventions and ideas that drive progress.

Mon, 02/27/2017

With new leadership comes new ideas, and that has certainly been the case in Washington since January. Some of the ideas proposed by the new administration have caused concern at universities nationwide – including the University of Kansas – and I believe many of those concerns are valid. I want to assure you we continue to work with peer universities and our congressional delegation to be part of the policymaking process on issues affecting higher education.

Mon, 02/13/2017

Last Thursday, I had the opportunity to visit with the House Higher Education Budget Committee, which this year includes a number of first-year legislators. It was my second visit in three weeks with this group, and each time, I was heartened to meet with so many thoughtful lawmakers who care deeply about our state and our university.

Sun, 01/29/2017

Last Friday’s executive order suspending immigration from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen has raised concerns for many members of the University of Kansas community. I share these concerns, and I want to assure you we are coordinating with our international programs staff, immigration experts, and peer universities to fully understand the implications of the new federal policies.

Tue, 01/17/2017

As has been the case for many years, the start of our spring semester coincides with Martin Luther King Day observances. I re-read my opening messages of the past few years, and I found myself almost wishing that Martin Luther King Day might eventually be “just another holiday” – but it is not yet. This year, more than any I can remember in more than 30 years, King’s call for equal justice and his aspiration to make true democracy a reality for our country are needed.

Fri, 12/16/2016

As our semester comes to a close, I want to take a moment to reflect on your achievements during the past few months and thank you for your efforts on behalf of our university.

Mon, 12/05/2016

I remain committed to working with policymakers, elected officials and university leaders nationwide to promote science, research and universities’ central role in driving new discoveries and technologies. At the same time, I call on all of you to continue doing what you do best — that is, making discoveries that improve lives, create prosperity, and help us better understand the world. This is our obligation as a community of scholars.

Mon, 11/21/2016

Thanksgiving is the time of year to reflect on the blessings in our lives and the things for which we are grateful. My hope for you is that these blessings include family, friends, health and the chance to wake up each day and live a meaningful life.

Mon, 11/07/2016

The Integrated Science Building takes center stage this Thursday when we host a “topping out” ceremony with the Central District development team and construction crew. The event will include a short program and conclude with the ceremonial “raising of the final beam” atop the building.

Mon, 10/24/2016

The mission of the University of Kansas is to educate leaders, build healthy communities and make discoveries that change the world. Later this week, we have an opportunity to see all aspects of this mission on display in a special way.

Mon, 10/10/2016

Nothing is more important than the safety and well-being of our University of Kansas community. With that in mind, I’d like to update you on our efforts to ensure KU is in compliance with state law allowing concealed weapons on university campuses beginning July 1, 2017.

Tue, 09/27/2016

As a university and a public institution, we must support the right of the members of our KU community to express their individually held beliefs. Free speech and free expression are core tenets of why universities are the center of debate, thought and discourse in our world.

Mon, 09/26/2016

I am delighted to announce this year’s freshman class has grown for the fifth straight year and is the most academically talented class in KU history, according to enrollment numbers released today.

Thu, 09/22/2016

Recently, I shared with the Kansas Board of Regents my intention to step down as chancellor next summer. KU always has been a special place with remarkable people and an instinctive spirit to change our world for the better. It has been an honor to lead the University of Kansas and serve as your chancellor.

Tue, 09/06/2016

I believe that public research universities play a special role in our society. In addition to educating students and making discoveries, we address society’s most complicated challenges on behalf of the public good. At the University of Kansas, this is reflected in our mission to strengthen communities in areas where our expertise can make a difference, both in Kansas and beyond.

Mon, 08/22/2016

The start of the fall semester is always exciting at the University of Kansas. A sense of renewal comes from seeing thousands of students returning to our campuses, and it makes me proud to think about the great work we’ll do as a community of scholars during the coming year. This year is especially exciting because of the transformation that continues at KU.

Mon, 05/16/2016

Yesterday we came together for Commencement, and I want to thank all of you who made it such a special day for our graduates and their families and friends. I would also like to take a moment to look back on what has been an historic year for the University of Kansas, thanks to you.

Mon, 04/18/2016

It is my pleasure to share with you the recipients of this year’s 2016 Scholarly Achievement Awards, which recognize five KU mid-career faculty for significant scholarly or research achievement.

Mon, 04/04/2016

Last week, we announced we will soon be welcoming three candidates for the position of Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor of the Lawrence campus. The search committee received strong applications from candidates across the country who are excited about this opportunity. The truth is, KU is in an excellent position to attract top candidates for this role, thanks to your hard work.

Mon, 03/21/2016

Welcome back from Spring Break! For those of you who stayed on campus, I hope you took advantage of the slightly slower pace to catch up or get ahead on your next project. For those who left town, I hope you’re rested and ready to finish the semester strong.

Wed, 03/02/2016

Yesterday afternoon, Governor Sam Brownback announced a 3 percent cut to Kansas Board of Regents universities, totaling $17 million for the current fiscal year, which ends June 30. For the University of Kansas, this reduction amounts to $7.18 million across all our campuses — $3.95 million for KU Lawrence, and $3.23 million for KU Medical Center.

Mon, 02/29/2016

In December, I wrote about how the University of Kansas is working to comply with the state law that will allow concealed handguns in campus facilities beginning July 1, 2017. Today I’d like to update you on our efforts.

Mon, 02/15/2016

The University of Kansas freshman class has grown for four straight years, a notable achievement that can be attributed largely to the great work being done by Enrollment Management, Marketing Communications and other offices that communicate directly with prospective students.

Mon, 02/01/2016

Faculty, staff and students at the University of Kansas are building healthier communities across our state, and I want to update you on these efforts. But first, I want to provide a brief update from Topeka, where the 2016 Legislative Session has begun.

Tue, 01/19/2016

As we begin this new semester, I would like to reflect on discussions about diversity and inclusion we had last semester and our ongoing work on these issues. This is especially fitting as we celebrate the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. this week through various events on campus and in our communities.

Fri, 12/18/2015

As our semester comes to a close and we begin preparations for the holiday season, I want to thank you — our alumni — for your support. Many of you encourage talented students to come to KU, while others of you donate time and financial resources to KU. Your Jayhawk pride and generosity are critical to our mission.

Thu, 12/17/2015

As our semester comes to a close and we begin preparations for the holiday season, I want to take a moment to thank you for your efforts and celebrate your achievements over the past few months.

Mon, 12/07/2015

There has been increasing discussion about changes to Kansas gun policy that will impact state universities beginning in 2017. In light of this, I’d like to outline next steps for the University of Kansas related to guns on our campuses.

Tue, 11/24/2015

A few weeks ago, we learned that Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor Jeffrey Vitter will be leaving us at the end of the semester to become Chancellor at the University of Mississippi. I am writing today to announce we have established the search committee that will lead our efforts to identify our next provost.

Mon, 11/23/2015

At the University of Kansas, we are focused on educating leaders who will go on to make positive contributions to our society. We are fortunate to welcome one such leader, former President Bill Clinton, to our campus today to receive the 2015 Dole Leadership Prize.

Fri, 11/13/2015

Earlier this year at Convocation, I encouraged our incoming freshmen to use their time at the University of Kansas to begin addressing our society’s great challenges.

Mon, 11/09/2015

One of my favorite experiences as chancellor is visiting with friends and supporters of the University of Kansas across the state and nation. From their detailed comments and questions, I can tell they are tracking our progress.

Thu, 10/29/2015


I am writing to let you know that a key member of our executive team will be leaving the University of Kansas for a new leadership opportunity.

Mon, 10/26/2015

The mission of the University of Kansas is to educate leaders, build healthy communities and make discoveries that change the world. Recently, we had a special opportunity to see all aspects of that mission on display in a very powerful way.

Mon, 10/05/2015

This year’s freshman class is already shaping up to be quite special. First, the Class of 2019 grew to 4,187 students — an increase of 2.5 percent from last year — marking the fourth straight year of freshman class growth. More importantly, this year’s freshmen have the highest average high school GPA and second-highest average ACT score in KU history, as well as the second-highest percentage of minority students on record.

Mon, 09/21/2015

As a flagship research university, the University of Kansas’ first mission is to educate leaders who will contribute to our state and society. Of course, before we can educate these leaders, we must first recruit them to join us on Mount Oread. Thanks to your efforts, the University of Kansas continues to differentiate itself by offering outstanding educational opportunities and experiences for prospective students.

Tue, 09/08/2015

As a flagship research university, KU has a special responsibility to make discoveries that improve lives, create prosperity, and help us better understand the world. This responsibility is borne by our community of scholars — faculty, staff and students — who seek out knowledge and then share it. Thanks to your efforts, we are fulfilling this obligation.

Mon, 08/24/2015

The start of the fall semester is among my favorite times of the year. The energy that comes from having students, faculty and staff back on our campuses is palpable, and it is invigorating to think about the work we will do as a community of scholars.

Mon, 08/03/2015

Former University of Kansas Chancellor Robert Hemenway passed away Friday evening. He was 73 years old, and we take great comfort in knowing he spent his final days surrounded by his family. He leaves behind his wife, Leah, and eight grown children. While we are deeply saddened to learn of his passing, I hope we can use the coming days to celebrate his life, including the tremendous work he did as the university’s chancellor from 1995-2009.

Wed, 06/03/2015

As you’re likely aware, the Kansas Legislature has still not passed a budget for Fiscal Year 2016. Without a budget, there is no authority to distribute funds to cover the first pay period of the fiscal year, which begins Sunday, June 7. The result would be the furlough of state employees beginning that day.

Sat, 05/30/2015

From social media to research and instruction, the University strongly supports the First Amendment rights of faculty and the freedom of faculty to pursue the independent and uninhibited exchange of ideas.

Thu, 05/14/2015

In just a few days, we’ll gather for Commencement to celebrate the Class of 2015. Of course, Commencement is also an opportunity to look back on the year and reflect on the achievements of all our students, faculty and staff.

Mon, 05/04/2015

The month of May is exhilarating on our campus, partly due to the flurry of activity that comes with the end of the semester, and partly due to the anticipation of Commencement. May is also the ideal time to look back on the year and celebrate your achievements. And there are many worth celebrating.

Mon, 04/20/2015

Once embraced as a collective good, a public higher education is increasingly viewed — and paid for — as a private one. This has serious implications for students and families, and also for our economy and society, neither of which can prosper without the unique public benefits universities provide.

Mon, 04/06/2015

Last month, five new Foundation Distinguished Professors were announced, bringing the total number to eight. Victor Agadjanian, Beth Bailey, James Bever, Cecilia Menjivar, and Dennis O'Rourke represent a major step toward completing the initiative we began with our partners in Topeka three years ago.

Mon, 03/23/2015

At the start of each academic year, I have the privilege of welcoming new students and addressing our community at Convocation. And at the end of each academic year, it is my honor to preside over Commencement and confer more than 7,000 degrees upon new University of Kansas graduates.

Mon, 03/09/2015

During my tenure as chancellor, we have engaged in campus forums dedicated to specific topics ranging from our strategic plan to sexual assault on campus. I have always greatly appreciated the strong participation and open conversations of the KU community at these events.

Mon, 03/02/2015

We’ve all seen the groups of prospective students and their families touring campus with a backwards-walking Student Ambassador leading the way. But what may appear to be simply a tour is in reality a vital part of a student’s decision on which college to attend.

Wed, 02/11/2015

We are committed to the University of Kansas being an inclusive community where all feel welcome and able to express themselves without fear of discrimination. This value is a foundational one for our university, and KU’s non-discrimination policy includes prohibitions against discrimination based on sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression among its protections.

Fri, 01/23/2015

Yesterday was an historic day for the University of Kansas, as we had the honor of welcoming President Barack Obama to the university. I believe I can speak for everyone who had the chance to be part of the visit in saying it was a truly special moment for our university, and one we will not soon forget.

Tue, 01/20/2015

As we start this new semester, I want to continue the discussions we were having toward the end of the fall semester on how to be a more inclusive community. This is all the more appropriate since we are celebrating the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jrthrough events this week and next.

Thu, 12/18/2014

It’s the last week of the semester, and as students finish their last finals of 2014, I want to update you on some of the achievements of your fellow Jayhawks. But first I want to thank you and your fellow friends of KU who have made many of these achievements possible. Many of you serve on alumni advisory boards, while others help us recruit students, and still more are donors. Your support and generosity are vital to KU’s success.

Mon, 12/08/2014

A reporter from the University Daily Kansan recently asked me, “What is your favorite part about being chancellor?” I told her what I tell everyone who asks: Getting to celebrate the individual and collective accomplishments of our community—your accomplishments.

Mon, 11/24/2014

As you prepare for Thanksgiving Break, I want to express my gratitude to you for not just choosing to work at a university, but for choosing to work at a public university.

Mon, 10/27/2014

At the Board of Regents meeting earlier this month, I outlined the progress we’ve made toward achieving our bold aspirations.

The regents were impressed—by you and your accomplishments.

Mon, 10/06/2014

Our first mission as a flagship research university is to educate leaders who will go on to contribute to our state and society after graduation. It’s at the heart of everything we do as an institution, and is central to our Bold Aspirations strategic plan. Thanks to you, we continue to make progress in this vital area, including in growing the number of students who choose to become Jayhawks, as this fall we saw enrollment rise for the first time since 2008’s record level.

Thu, 09/11/2014

During the past week, we have engaged as a community in an ongoing dialogue about sexual assault and how we can address this difficult issue together. Some of you have shared heartbreaking stories of your own sexual assault, while others have made recommendations about actions we can take to improve our prevention and response efforts.

Thu, 09/04/2014

Sexual assault on college campuses is a national problem, and one that has been highlighted this week here at the University of Kansas.

Tue, 09/02/2014

This is one of my favorite times of the year. The residence and scholarship halls are full of activity. Jayhawk Boulevard has reopened. And students on all five of our campuses are back in classrooms, laboratories, and libraries as we start a new academic year.

Mon, 08/25/2014

Classrooms and sidewalks are filling up, and the construction fencing for most projects is coming down, marking the start of a new academic year at the University of Kansas. For those of you who are new to our university: welcome. I know I speak for your colleagues when I say that I’m glad you’re here and I can’t wait to see the contributions you will make to our community. For those of you who are returning, and for the many of you for whom summer isn’t a break at all, I hope that you are ready to continue our shared drive to achieve our bold aspirations.

Fri, 05/16/2014

Freedom of inquiry and expression are vital to the success of universities, as well as central to the rights and responsibilities we have as university faculty and staff. As with most Regents policies, application of the social media policy will be governed by each individual campus. At the University of Kansas, we will ensure that the application is guided by our commitment to academic freedom and open inquiry and expression as protected by the First Amendment.

Tue, 05/13/2014

In just a few days, we’ll gather at Commencement to congratulate the Class of 2014. They will walk down the Hill and into the world having benefited from all the opportunities available at a flagship research university. The Jayhawk Nation is truly global, and I know that you will welcome this year’s graduates into your ranks, helping them get off to a good start, just as generations of KU alumni have done for each succeeding class.​

Mon, 05/05/2014

Before we gather at Commencement to congratulate our graduates, I want to take this opportunity to thank you for your achievements during the course of the academic year. You have much to be proud of.

Mon, 04/21/2014

Our first mission as a university is to educate students who will go out into the world and become leaders in their fields and their communities. We have an example of one of those leaders returning to our campus tomorrow.

Mon, 04/07/2014

During the past several months, we have been working closely with policymakers to secure support for initiatives that will help the University of Kansas achieve its bold aspirations. I’m pleased to report success in several key areas.

Mon, 03/10/2014

When the 2014 session of the Kansas Legislature opened in mid-January, Governor Brownback proposed a budget that saw partial restorations of the cuts made to the University of Kansas last year. Over the past two months, I and several other leaders from our university have met with legislators and testified to committees in support of the Governor’s Budget. We outlined how the proposals for higher education would help us better serve Kansans and achieve the shared aspirations we have for the university.

Mon, 02/24/2014

Our primary mission at the University of Kansas is to educate students to become leaders in our state and world. As chancellor, nothing is more satisfying than the opportunity to visit with KU graduates who walked down the Hill and went on to prosperous careers and fulfilling lives.

Mon, 02/10/2014

One of the great privileges of being chancellor is that I get to share your accomplishments with our alumni and donors, policymakers, and peers around the nation. From alumni gatherings to meetings with AAU presidents, and now in the 2014 Chancellor’s Report, I have the honor of sharing your achievements with the world.

Thu, 02/06/2014

I’d like to thank the staff members on all of our campuses who have been hard at work the past couple days clearing the snow so the university could reopen. It is a cold, difficult job, and our community is grateful for your efforts. I also want to thank those of you who worked through the storm in order to keep our students housed, fed, and safe. The forecast calls for the accumulated snow to stay with us for a while, so please be careful when traveling.

Tue, 01/21/2014

Partnerships with policymakers at all levels of government are vital to our ability to achieve our bold aspirations. As we start the new semester, I want to update you on news from the Statehouse and the Board of Regents that is of interest to the University of Kansas.

Thu, 12/19/2013

Yesterday, the Board of Regents voted to enact a policy governing social media postings by faculty and staff at all Regents universities. Application of this policy falls to the individual universities. As is the case with other Regents policies governing faculty and staff rights and responsibilities, we will work closely with university governance on how to apply this policy at KU in a way that respects our university’s core values and beliefs, as well as our rights and responsibilities as public university employees.

Tue, 12/10/2013

We’re in the last week of fall classes at the University of Kansas, and after finals next week, students will be heading home for break. As the semester ends, so too does a special year for our university.

Mon, 12/09/2013

Four days of classes, then finals, and the semester will be over. But before we begin the winter break, I want to thank you for your achievements over the past semester and year.

Mon, 11/25/2013

A strong economy and a dynamic society require leaders from all kinds of disciplines, ranging from science and engineering to the humanities, social sciences, and the arts. As the state’s flagship research university, we are uniquely positioned to educate leaders across a great many fields and disciplines.

Mon, 10/28/2013

This Wednesday we will welcome members of the Kansas Legislature to two of our campuses as part of their tour of the state’s higher education institutions. Members of the House Appropriations and Senate Ways and Means committees will attend, as will members of the leadership of both chambers.

Mon, 10/07/2013

Two years ago at Opening Convocation, I talked about the climb that students and the university were embarking upon. While the students’ climb ends with a walk down Mount Oread, for our university I said, “the climb will never truly end, but we will still feel that same sense of accomplishment when we achieve the higher aspirations we are now setting for ourselves and our institution.”

Mon, 09/23/2013

You have probably heard or read that a faculty member at our university used his personal Twitter account to make comments in the wake of the Navy Yard shooting in Washington, D.C., that have understandably generated outrage.

Mon, 09/09/2013

If you couldn’t tell from all the students wearing Far Above t-shirts, over the weekend we launched a new phase in the campaign to achieve our bold aspirations for the University of Kansas and The University of Kansas Hospital.

Mon, 08/26/2013

The start of the academic year is a time of renewal. As we welcome new students, faculty and staff to the University of Kansas, we’re also welcoming new ideas, energy and perspectives to our community of scholars.

Mon, 06/10/2013

A few weeks ago we celebrated Commencement, concluding an academic year that has seen the University of Kansas take big strides toward achieving our bold aspirations. We’re poised to continue that progress, but first I must update you on the latest round of state budget cuts.

Wed, 06/05/2013

Over the weekend, by the narrowest of majorities the Kansas Legislature passed the state budget for FY 2014 and FY 2015, which Governor Brownback is expected to sign into law. Despite advocacy that included the work of Jayhawks for Higher Education, legislators cut the University of Kansas budget by $13.53 million over the next two years.

Mon, 05/13/2013
We watched Jayhawks perform at Carnegie Hall and race in the Olympics. We’ve seen them honored with Goldwater, Truman, State Department and numerous other scholarships. And we’ve celebrated as they won everything from moot court competitions to newspaper advertising awards. These are all tremendous achievements, but there have been many others. They’re less visible, but they occur every day in classrooms, study sessions and one-on-one meetings, where you have helped our students prepare to be leaders in their fields and in our world.
Mon, 04/22/2013
Some days, it might seem like we’re just moving stones from place to place. But that’s when we must remember the future, and remember we are in fact building a cathedral. What we do today will change the lives of countless people tomorrow, and serve as a testament to the talent and dedication of the faculty, staff and students of this university.
Wed, 04/17/2013
Last week I wrote to you about some of the effects that budget cuts proposed by the Kansas Legislature would have on the University of Kansas and our ability to meet our responsibilities as the state’s flagship university. Working with leaders on all of our campuses, I have additional details to share with you, which I will also be sharing this afternoon with the Board of Regents.
Mon, 04/08/2013
The University of Kansas has special responsibilities, including educating leaders who contribute to the prosperity of their communities and conducting research that leads to new ideas, new products and new treatments. In these and countless other ways, we contribute to the well-being of our state. Our continued ability to meet these responsibilities is threatened by budget cuts being considered by the Kansas Legislature.
Mon, 03/25/2013
There is a debate taking place regarding the future of public universities and the role they play in our society. This debate is taking place across our nation, and is most visible when it comes time for legislators and governors to pass state budgets.
Mon, 03/04/2013
At the start of the semester, I mentioned to you how donors and alumni around the nation have shared with me their support for the changes we’re making at the University of Kansas. I’d like to expand on that theme, discussing how these changes complement each other and advance our entire university.
Mon, 02/18/2013
Our ability to continue fulfilling our mission depends on the talent of our faculty, staff and, importantly, our students. That’s why we must continue to aggressively recruit talented students to KU, whether they’re from Kansas or outside the state, by demonstrating that KU is uniquely positioned to prepare them for successful careers and lives.
Tue, 02/05/2013
I'm pleased to present my 2013 State of the University address in this brief video, which details how the University of Kansas is meeting its responsibilities as the state’s flagship university by educating leaders, building healthy communities and making discoveries that change the world.
Tue, 01/22/2013
As we start a new year, we’re building on the progress made in 2012 toward achieving our bold aspirations. This progress was the result of the work of countless people across our university, and I’m pleased to tell you that work has not gone unnoticed.
Mon, 12/10/2012
When you look back on what we’ve done over the past year, it’s hard to believe we fit it all into 12 months.
Mon, 11/26/2012
At my first Convocation, I outlined three areas that I would focus on as your chancellor: increasing the percentage of students who graduate, enhancing scholarship in all disciplines, and securing the resources we need to accomplish our goals.
Mon, 11/12/2012
Over the course of the past week, we have marked two occasions that remind us of the rights and responsibilities of citizenship, as well as how we as individuals and as a university contribute to our democracy.
Fri, 10/26/2012

It’s the 100th anniversary of Homecoming at the University of Kansas, and Jayhawks are returning to campus during what is already proving to be a successful fall semester. This fall, we’ve welcomed a record-setting class of new Jayhawks, been visited by a president, celebrated our largest-ever research grant and made progress toward achieving our bold aspirations.

Mon, 10/15/2012
Our first mission as a university is to educate the students who will go on to become leaders in our state, nation and world. As Kansas’ flagship research university, we are able to give those students unique opportunities that will better prepare them for prosperous careers and successful lives.
Mon, 09/24/2012
Today we are honored to welcome a distinguished alumnus, Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos, back to the University of Kansas.
Mon, 09/10/2012
As a public university, the University of Kansas has a special responsibility to the people of our state who provide roughly a fifth of our budget. Part of our mission involves building healthy communities, which includes a wide range of ways our students, faculty and staff contribute to the health and vitality of Kansas.
Mon, 08/20/2012
This is one of my favorite times of the year. There’s a certain energy that comes from having thousands of talented students, faculty and staff back on our campuses. Of course, this past summer was not without its own excitement.
Thu, 07/12/2012
Chancellor Gray-Little wrote to alumni to report that The University of Kansas Cancer Center has officially been named a National Cancer Institute designated cancer center. This achievement will have benefits for patients throughout the region, as well as for our university.
Fri, 06/29/2012
You may have seen news reports that The University of Kansas Cancer Center has been selected to receive National Cancer Institute designation. While we are encouraged by this news, we do not yet have our formal notice of grant award and have been asked by the NIH to reserve July 12 for a formal announcement.
Thu, 06/28/2012
It’s been an eventful summer so far on Mount Oread. While there are fewer students here during the summer semester, there is still plenty of activity that I want to update you on as the University of Kansas continues to work toward the goals set out in Bold Aspirations.
Mon, 05/07/2012
Signs that Commencement is near are evident across the university. Students are taking finals and completing end-of-the-semester projects, while faculty members are preparing for research trips or summer courses. And our facilities staff is busy making sure the Lawrence campus is beautiful and ready to welcome thousands of visitors this weekend.
Mon, 04/30/2012
The University of Kansas would be a very different place without the support of private donors.
Mon, 04/23/2012
I am writing to invite you to the Employee Recognition Ceremony on Thursday, May 3 at 1:30 p.m. in the Kansas Union Ballroom. A reception will follow. This is KU's annual event to honor our employees for their years of service to the University. Service pins are given to 5 through 15-year honorees, and gifts are given to honorees with 20-45 years of service. Employees of the Month are recognized and the Employees of the Year are announced.
Mon, 04/09/2012
The past several years at the University of Kansas Medical Center have seen tremendous growth and progress toward fulfilling the university’s mission. Overseeing this progress has been Dr. Barbara Atkinson, in her roles as executive vice chancellor and executive dean of the School of Medicine.
Mon, 04/02/2012
The past few weeks, we’ve all enjoyed watching our student-athletes excel on the national stage. Coach Self and his team have played their way into tonight’s NCAA National Championship, while Coach Henrickson and her squad advanced to the Sweet 16.
Sun, 04/01/2012
Chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little today commended fans for safely celebrating the University of Kansas' 64-62 win over Ohio State in the Final Four on Saturday night.
Fri, 03/16/2012
As a center for scholarship and research, the University of Kansas is committed to making discoveries that change the world. But for those discoveries to have the maximum benefit for the state and society we serve, they must be shared.
Mon, 02/27/2012
This winter you may have noticed some Kansas Athletics billboards around the Kansas City area stating, “We are Kansas City.” These billboards featured enduring moments in the history of Jayhawk athletics in the city, but that sentiment is shared across the university, and by the tens of thousands of KU alumni who live in Kansas City and surrounding communities.
Mon, 02/13/2012
As the state’s flagship university, the University of Kansas has a responsibility to contribute to the health, vitality and prosperity of our state. Included in that mission is encouraging the commercialization of KU discoveries.
Tue, 01/31/2012
In November, I wrote to you about the duty we each have as human beings to immediately report to law enforcement any abuse or sexual assault of a child, including reports you receive from others. I also told you we were examining university policies to codify that responsibility for our employees.
Tue, 01/17/2012
As our students were completing their finals last month, I was meeting with the Board of Regents to share the aspirations we have set for ourselves as a university, as well as outlining how we will achieve them.
Mon, 12/12/2011
Finals began today and the semester will soon come to a close. But before we turn our attention to spending time with loved ones during the break, I want look back over what has been an eventful and successful fall at the University of Kansas.
Mon, 11/28/2011
From climate change to shortages of vital resources like water and fuel, our world faces a range of challenges. How we as a university, nation, and society meet these challenges will determine the health, well-being and prosperity of not just our children and grandchildren, but all of us.
Mon, 11/14/2011
Next week we’ll celebrate Thanksgiving. Many will head home for the holiday, while many of our international students will be welcomed into the homes of local residents as part of the 57th annual Betty Grimwood Thanksgiving Homestay Program.
Fri, 11/11/2011
The University of Kansas Medical Center has undergone remarkable growth and progress during Executive Vice Chancellor Barbara Atkinson’s leadership. More Kansans are being treated by KU-educated health professionals, and more patients have access to new treatments discovered by KU researchers thanks to accomplishments at the medical center.
Thu, 11/10/2011
The shocking allegations of abuse at Penn State serve as a reminder to us all of the importance of reporting crimes and other offenses to the proper authorities, including law enforcement.
Fri, 11/04/2011
KU is dedicated to being recognized among the top-tier public international research universities. To achieve this goal, we must transform our institution in terms of effectiveness and efficiency. Our resources should be carefully dedicated to meeting our mission of educating future leaders, building healthy communities, and making discoveries that will change the world.
Mon, 10/31/2011
As someone who believes a truly great university educates its students on how to make a good living and a good life, I’ve followed with some concern the pressure placed on universities to only educate students for their careers. This is most often felt in the humanities and is something I spoke about at the Reinvention Center’s national conference last year.
Mon, 10/17/2011
In my previous message, I discussed how the initiatives underway at KU fit together and how work on each one helps us make progress on the other two. This time, I want to focus specifically on the important role that graduate programs — especially doctoral education — play in KU’s ability to achieve its mission.
Mon, 10/03/2011
We are engaged in three big initiatives: Bold Aspirations, the strategic plan; Changing for Excellence, our project to increase efficiency and effectiveness; and Far Above, the comprehensive fundraising campaign. One question I’ve been asked is why we’re undertaking these, and specifically why we’re doing them all at the same time.
Mon, 09/19/2011
This week we mark a milestone in the University of Kansas’ drive to cure cancer.
Tue, 09/06/2011
I’ve often talked about the special role the University of Kansas fills as the state’s flagship research university. We’re called upon to educate tomorrow’s leaders, conduct innovative research, and build strong, healthy communities through service.
Mon, 08/22/2011
Welcome to the first day of classes of the 2011–12 academic year at the University of Kansas! It was a pleasure to see many of you at Convocation last night as we formally started the latest chapter in the history of our university.
Mon, 08/15/2011
As you know, the effects of the national recession and resulting state budget crisis have not spared the University of Kansas. In this context, it is clear that we must do things differently if we are to maintain current standards of quality, let alone make the improvements that are necessary to ensure KU’s future success.
Mon, 08/01/2011
Scholarships are one of our best tools for recruiting talented students to the University of Kansas. That’s why we’ve been realigning our scholarship programs to offer renewable scholarships to more incoming students.
Mon, 05/16/2011
Another successful academic year at the University of Kansas is about to conclude. Students start finals today and Commencement is now less than a week away. It’s sometimes easy to get caught up during the rush of the semester and forget about what a remarkable institution we work for.
Mon, 05/02/2011
This weekend brought news that two members of the Association of American Universities were leaving the organization – one voluntarily and one after a vote by two-thirds of AAU members to discontinue its membership. This came after a review of both universities’ status was initiated by the AAU last year.
Tue, 04/12/2011
Last April, I announced that the Lawrence Campus would be developing a comprehensive sustainability plan, setting measurable goals toward minimizing our negative environmental and social impacts. Today I'm pleased to share an update on that process, along with opportunities for you to get involved with sustainability initiatives in our community.
Mon, 03/28/2011
The University of Kansas is an active member of communities throughout Kansas. Our faculty, staff and students volunteer countless hours in service of others, both on their own and through events organized by university groups.
Mon, 03/07/2011
I wanted to send you a short message today updating you on two efforts that are central to the future of KU: the strategic planning process and the comprehensive campaign.
Mon, 02/21/2011
In the two previous messages this semester, I've talked about how events in Topeka shape our ability to carry out the university's mission. This time I'd like to focus on how actions in Washington also affect KU.
Mon, 02/07/2011
Service to others is central to our mission. We serve our students by inspiring them to reach their full potential. We serve the world through scholarly and creative endeavors that enhance quality of life and create jobs and prosperity. And we serve society through the work of countless individuals on our campuses, around the state, and all over the globe.
Mon, 01/24/2011
As we start the spring semester I want to invite you to attend the State of the University Address, this Thursday, January 27 at 4 p.m. in Woodruff Auditorium. This event will give us an opportunity to look at the major events of the past year, as well as to talk about the challenges and opportunities facing KU in the coming months.
Wed, 12/15/2010
There’s one more week left in the semester and one final flurry of activity before the university becomes a much quieter place for a few weeks.
Mon, 11/22/2010
Thanksgiving is only a few days away, which means many of us will be making trips to visit family and, in the case of our students, get a home-cooked meal and a short break before finals begin.
Tue, 11/09/2010
Tonight the steering committee and three work groups representing university constituencies will begin the task of identifying strategic action items, including metrics and a timeline that will enable us to measure our progress. As they prepare to do so, I want to briefly share with you some of the reasons why this process is not only important, but urgent.
Mon, 10/11/2010
The education provided in our classrooms and through scholarly experiences beyond the classroom plays a crucial role in what students learn at KU. But we should also remember that the structure of the curriculum has a significant effect on what our students learn during their time here.
Mon, 08/30/2010
Recruiting students to become active members of the KU community is one of the most important jobs at our institution. Too often, however, we assume that the job of recruiting undergraduates falls only to the staff in the Office of Admissions, when in reality recruiting is a responsibility we all share.
Mon, 08/16/2010
I’ll be coming to Convocation after attending the Board of Regents’ annual retreat that afternoon. During this year’s retreat, the Regents have asked university leaders to outline their plans for the future of their institutions. I want to give you a preview of what I’ll talk about with the board.
Wed, 06/30/2010
Today marks the last day of Danny Anderson's term as interim provost and executive vice chancellor, but the legacy of his service in that position will extend far into the future.
Thu, 06/17/2010
The university is making marked progress on several goals important to our academic and research endeavors. These initiatives are fundamental to our ability to extend the boundaries of human knowledge and advance the horizons of our students, the state and our world.
Mon, 05/10/2010
It is hard to believe that my first walk down the Hill is a week away. It seems like only yesterday that Shade and I made our first visit to the Outlook, took our first stroll down Mass. Street, and experienced for the first time the warm welcome of the Jayhawk family.
Mon, 04/26/2010
As I wrote to you last month, we have been closely monitoring the budget deliberations in Topeka. One of the key dates in those deliberations has now passed and legislators are set to return to Topeka this Wednesday, so I wanted to update you on the current status of the state budget.
Mon, 04/12/2010
First let me say how moved I was by the inaugural ceremony yesterday. It is an honor to lead an institution that has such devoted faculty, staff, students, alumni and friends. I look forward to working with all of you to advance the initiatives I outlined in my remarks, as well as achieve our broader goals in the areas of teaching, research and service.
Mon, 03/29/2010
You see a lot of blue on our campuses. Usually it is paired with crimson and worn to support the Jayhawks. But at the Kansas Law Enforcement Training Center in Yoder, just outside of Hutchinson, there's a different reason most people are dressed in blue.
Mon, 03/08/2010
As much as I'd like to again send you a message about the memories that Jayhawks continue to share with me about their experiences at KU, I need to instead update you on where the university's budget and other priorities currently stand in the Kansas Legislature.
Mon, 02/22/2010
As you might imagine, the Chancellor's Office receives an incredible amount of mail - communications from campus units, official correspondence from the Board of Regents, reports from other universities, and sales pitches from vendors.
Mon, 01/25/2010
Most of us can remember our favorite teacher or professor - someone who engaged and mentored us, opening our eyes to a new field of study or career path. For me, it was two high school teachers who inspired a love of language and of philosophy.
Thu, 01/14/2010
In addition to the beginning of spring classes, this week also marked the start of the 2010 Legislative Session. State leaders face serious budget challenges, but I was gratified to hear Governor Mark Parkinson begin the session on Monday with a strong endorsement of the benefits universities provide to Kansas.
Mon, 12/07/2009
It seems hard to believe that the end of the fall semester is upon us, with finals starting next week. Wasn’t it just yesterday that we came to campus, ready to start a new school year? It doesn’t seem possible that it was four months ago that Shade and I started to unpack in the beautiful Outlook.
Mon, 11/09/2009
I came to the University of Kansas with three initial goals: Increase our retention and graduation rates, enhance the university’s scholarly and research profile, and ensure we have the resources to accomplish these goals.
Mon, 10/26/2009
The start of the school year two months ago meant a return to campus for students, faculty and staff. But it also meant the return of an unwelcome visitor – the H1N1 flu virus.
Mon, 10/12/2009
Kansas is a big state. It’s easy to see that on a map, but only when you start to travel do you fully appreciate its size and diversity.
Mon, 09/14/2009
The state constitution calls for educational institutions dedicated to the “intellectual, educational, vocational and scientific improvement” of Kansas. That’s where we derive our mission of teaching, research and service to the people of Kansas. Our work in these areas provides our state with educated graduates, life-changing research and service projects that benefit Kansas communities.
Mon, 08/31/2009
I’ve officially been chancellor of the University of Kansas for a little more than two weeks now and I can tell you I’m more excited about this university and this job than when I started.

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
Chancellor's Vision

The mission of the University of Kansas is to lift students and society by educating leaders, building healthy communities, and making discoveries that change the world.

We will do that by raising the expectations we have for ourselves, the aspirations we have for our state, and the hopes we have for our world.