In the news
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.
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.
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.
Chancellor Girod's farewell remarks to the Class of 2019 at the 147th Commencement of the University of Kansas, as prepared for delivery.
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.
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.
Chancellor Girod offers his condolences and shares his thoughts on the passing of Wichita State University President John Bardo.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
I am sad to report that former Chancellor Del Shankel passed away this morning at the age of 90.
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.