Chancellor Douglas A. Girod

Message: Service to the community part of KU's mission

Monday, April 12, 2010

Dear Colleagues,

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.

Because service is an important part of KU's mission, we integrated a Semester of Service into the inaugural festivities. We called upon Jayhawks and members of the broader community to volunteer their time to worthy causes throughout the area, setting a goal of 100,000 hours volunteered.

I am happy to say that, thanks to you, we have exceeded that lofty goal.

Looking through the list of volunteer activities shows just how involved Jayhawks are in the communities that are home to our campuses. Individuals donated their time to community organizations and churches, and groups put on benefits to raise money for a wide range of charities.

I want to thank everyone who took part in the Semester of Service. I also want to let you know that it is never too late to get involved. We now have a group called KU Advocates to help coordinate our university's involvement in the community. Contact Linda Luckey at to learn more.

Of course, since service is part of KU's mission, our faculty, staff and students are serving communities as part of their daily work. And for the third year in a row, some of that work is being highlighted in a publication called KU Works for Kansas, which has been distributed statewide.

As you'll see from its stories, we serve Kansas in countless ways - from helping small business owners transition their businesses to the next generation, to helping children and families live healthier lives.

All of the service efforts highlighted, and the many more that are taking place throughout the state, are examples of how Kansas benefits from being home to a world-class research university.

We should all be proud to be a part of such a university, and proud of the service we provide - as teachers, mentors and researchers, and as active members of our communities.

Bernadette Gray-Little

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.