In the news
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little hosted a ceremony to rename the Arts and Design Building as "E. Laurence Chalmers Hall" to honor the legacy of our 11th chancellor.
Chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little welcomed new and returning Jayhawks during the 150th Convocation of the University of Kansas. She described KU's sesquicentennial as an opportunity to reflect both on KU's history and its role in shaping the future, and she urged students to challenge themselves and take advantage of the university's community of scholars.
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.
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.
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.
Chancellor Gray-Little shares her farewell remarks to the Class of 2015 at the 143rd Commencement of the University of Kansas.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.