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.
It’s been a year of progress at the University of Kansas—progress that is moving us along the path toward recognition as a top-tier public international research university. None of our progress would be possible without your hard work and dedication.
Look at just a few of the things we’ve accomplished together in the past year as we fulfill our mission of lifting students and society by educating leaders, building healthy communities and making discoveries that change the world.
With the input of thousands of members of the KU community, we finalized our strategic plan, Bold Aspirations, and began implementing it on all of our campuses. New scholarships are helping us recruit top students, while the renewal of our core curriculum is well underway and our strategic initiatives are bringing together scholars from across disciplines. And to keep us on track we’ve set bold goals that will measure our success against peers like Colorado, Indiana and Iowa.
Thousands across the university were also involved in creating Changing for Excellence. This project is enabling us to unlock the talent of our staff by streamlining administrative processes, while also freeing up resources that we can devote to teaching and research.
This year we applied for National Cancer Institute designation and eagerly await the results of that application with the knowledge that the drive to reach this point has already benefitted cancer patients throughout the region.
And last week we launched Far Above: The Campaign for Kansas, which will match the generosity of Jayhawks with the priorities we’ve set out to advance KU and The University of Kansas Hospital.
In August, I wrote to you about how the actions we took during this academic year would help determine the future of KU. Thanks to you, we have made outstanding progress. That progress will continue over the summer and in the years ahead, because when it comes to fostering excellence at our university, we’re just getting started.