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.
The first news I have to share is that last week the Kansas Board of Regents approved new admission standards for KU. These standards take effect in fall 2016 and will encourage students to excel in high school by giving them an accurate picture of what it takes to succeed at Kansas’ flagship university.
I want to thank the many parents, students, alumni and educators who helped us develop these new standards. We all share the goal of having students come to KU ready to succeed so they can later walk down the Hill as graduates.
We want every student who is interested in attending KU and who can be successful here to come study with us. Your help is essential as we search for the next generation of Jayhawks. If you know a student we should be recruiting, please tell us.
Then, tell that student about the academic opportunities only available at a research university – in particular, a university that once again has more U.S. News-ranked graduate programs than all the other public universities in Kansas combined. And don’t forget to mention our four-year renewable scholarships, including the Jayhawk Generations Scholarship for out-of-state students from Jayhawk families.
Once they’re on campus, students will now have access to a range of new services to help them stay on track to graduate on time. Among those are a set of first-year experiences we’re developing, starting this fall with our Common Book program and a new system for reaching out to students to offer assistance before they fall behind.
We’re also developing the new KU Core Curriculum, which will give students more flexibility to make study abroad, undergraduate research and community service part of their studies. This will not only let them better tailor their education to their interests, but experiences like these are also highly valued by employers.
A great university needs great faculty who can share their discoveries with their students and the world, which is why we’re starting the search for Foundation Professors. We will recruit leaders in their fields who will be central to our efforts to address global challenges, such as development of new health care innovations and the quest for sustainable energy sources.
We’re also halfway to the $1.2 billion goal of Far Above: The Campaign for Kansas, which will create new student scholarships and help us recruit top scholars from around the world. Thanks to the generosity of Jayhawks, these and other advances will benefit our state and beyond.
And in recognition of the need to operate as efficiently as possible, we’re already realizing significant savings from Changing for Excellence. For example, through new contracts with suppliers, we’ll save $800,000 a year. Reducing administrative costs like this will enable us to redirect resources to teaching and research.
The University of Kansas has a noble mission: lifting students and society by educating leaders, building healthy communities, and making discoveries that change the world. Thanks to your continuing support, we’re striving to meet the aspirations we all share for the university we all love.