Douglas A. Girod began as the 18th chancellor of the University of Kansas in July 2017. In this role, Chancellor Girod leads KU's mission to educate leaders, build healthy communities and make discoveries that change the world.
Chancellor Girod has established a bold vision for the University of Kansas to be a destination for top scholars from across the world, an engine of economic growth for Kansas, and one of the nation’s leading research universities. In pursuing this vision, Chancellor Girod seeks to elevate the university’s national stature and enhance KU's membership in the Association of American Universities.
Under Chancellor Girod's leadership, KU has recruited the largest freshman class in history, earned the highest designation for the KU Cancer Center, increased research expenditures for six straight years, and established new medical oversight models for student healthcare services. In October 2021, Chancellor Girod was named to the AAU board of directors.
Before becoming chancellor, Dr. Girod served as executive vice chancellor at KU Medical Center, where he oversaw the educational, research, patient care and community engagement missions of the schools of Medicine, Nursing and Health Professions.
A head-and-neck surgeon, Girod first joined the KU Medical Center faculty in 1994 and quickly rose through the academic ranks, becoming chair of the Otolaryngology department in 2002. In that role, he was instrumental to the University of Kansas Health System being named in the U.S. News & World Report "Best Hospitals" national rankings. He also served as interim executive dean of the KU School of Medicine and as senior associate dean for clinical affairs at the medical center.
Chancellor Girod earned his bachelor’s degree in chemistry from the University of California at Davis and his medical degree from the University of California at San Francisco. He completed his residency and an NIH research fellowship at the University of Washington in Seattle. Prior to joining the University of Kansas Medical Center, Girod served as vice chairman and research director in the Department of Otolaryngology at the Naval Medical Center in Oakland.
He served in the United States Navy Reserve from 1982 until 1997, rising to the rank of lieutenant commander and earning the Meritorious Service Medal. He was honorably discharged in 1997.
Committed to caring for patients throughout the world, Girod has led or participated in a dozen international medical missions in places such as Uganda, Guatemala, Mali, the Philippines and Mexico.
Girod has also been active within the community, serving on the board of the Civic Council of Kansas City and on boards of the chambers of commerce in Lawrence and Greater Kansas City, as well as MRI Global. He also serves on the board of directors at the Big 12 Conference. He is on the steering committee for the regional civic community effort known as KC Rising to develop long term economic prosperity for the Kansas City region. He was recognized with a Regional Leadership Award from the Mid America Regional Council in 2016 for his work with KC Rising.
Girod has served as president of the American Head and Neck Society, and vice president of the Triological Society, in addition to other national leadership roles. Of his numerous awards and honors, he is perhaps most proud of his 2006 Student Voice Award for Teaching on a Surgical Rotation, bestowed by students at the University of Kansas School of Medicine.
In his free time, Chancellor Girod enjoys spending time with his wife, Susan, and their three children, riding his motorcycle, attending Kansas Athletics events, serving as the advisor to the KU Car Club, and flyfishing.