In the news
In just a few days, we’ll gather at Commencement to congratulate the Class of 2014. They will walk down the Hill and into the world having benefited from all the opportunities available at a flagship research university. The Jayhawk Nation is truly global, and I know that you will welcome this year’s graduates into your ranks, helping them get off to a good start, just as generations of KU alumni have done for each succeeding class.
Before we gather at Commencement to congratulate our graduates, I want to take this opportunity to thank you for your achievements during the course of the academic year. You have much to be proud of.
Chancellor Gray-Little joined area leaders to celebrate the 5th anniversary of the establishment of the Johnson County Education and Research Triangle. Among other successes, JCERT has led to the creation of the KU Clinical Research Center in Fairway and an expansion of degree offerings at the KU Edwards Campus in Overland Park.
Our first mission as a university is to educate students who will go out into the world and become leaders in their fields and their communities. We have an example of one of those leaders returning to our campus tomorrow.
During the past several months, we have been working closely with policymakers to secure support for initiatives that will help the University of Kansas achieve its bold aspirations. I’m pleased to report success in several key areas.
When the 2014 session of the Kansas Legislature opened in mid-January, Governor Brownback proposed a budget that saw partial restorations of the cuts made to the University of Kansas last year. Over the past two months, I and several other leaders from our university have met with legislators and testified to committees in support of the Governor’s Budget. We outlined how the proposals for higher education would help us better serve Kansans and achieve the shared aspirations we have for the university.
Our primary mission at the University of Kansas is to educate students to become leaders in our state and world. As chancellor, nothing is more satisfying than the opportunity to visit with KU graduates who walked down the Hill and went on to prosperous careers and fulfilling lives.
One of the great privileges of being chancellor is that I get to share your accomplishments with our alumni and donors, policymakers, and peers around the nation. From alumni gatherings to meetings with AAU presidents, and now in the 2014 Chancellor’s Report, I have the honor of sharing your achievements with the world.
I’d like to thank the staff members on all of our campuses who have been hard at work the past couple days clearing the snow so the university could reopen. It is a cold, difficult job, and our community is grateful for your efforts. I also want to thank those of you who worked through the storm in order to keep our students housed, fed, and safe. The forecast calls for the accumulated snow to stay with us for a while, so please be careful when traveling.
Partnerships with policymakers at all levels of government are vital to our ability to achieve our bold aspirations. As we start the new semester, I want to update you on news from the Statehouse and the Board of Regents that is of interest to the University of Kansas.
Chancellor Gray-Little was the featured speaker at the Greater Wichita Ministerial League's citywide Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Celebration. She spoke of the continued need to work for opportunity if we are to achieve both justice and peace.
Yesterday, the Board of Regents voted to enact a policy governing social media postings by faculty and staff at all Regents universities. Application of this policy falls to the individual universities. As is the case with other Regents policies governing faculty and staff rights and responsibilities, we will work closely with university governance on how to apply this policy at KU in a way that respects our university’s core values and beliefs, as well as our rights and responsibilities as public university employees.
We’re in the last week of fall classes at the University of Kansas, and after finals next week, students will be heading home for break. As the semester ends, so too does a special year for our university.
Four days of classes, then finals, and the semester will be over. But before we begin the winter break, I want to thank you for your achievements over the past semester and year.
A strong economy and a dynamic society require leaders from all kinds of disciplines, ranging from science and engineering to the humanities, social sciences, and the arts. As the state’s flagship research university, we are uniquely positioned to educate leaders across a great many fields and disciplines.
Kansas legislators concluded a tour of the state's higher education institutions with visits to the University of Kansas Medical Center and University of Kansas. During the visit to KUMC, Chancellor Gray-Little welcomed them before answering questions during a two hour Q&A session.
This Wednesday we will welcome members of the Kansas Legislature to two of our campuses as part of their tour of the state’s higher education institutions. Members of the House Appropriations and Senate Ways and Means committees will attend, as will members of the leadership of both chambers.
Two years ago at Opening Convocation, I talked about the climb that students and the university were embarking upon. While the students’ climb ends with a walk down Mount Oread, for our university I said, “the climb will never truly end, but we will still feel that same sense of accomplishment when we achieve the higher aspirations we are now setting for ourselves and our institution.”
You have probably heard or read that a faculty member at our university used his personal Twitter account to make comments in the wake of the Navy Yard shooting in Washington, D.C., that have understandably generated outrage.