Elevating our reputation

Dear Colleagues,

Last week, we announced we will soon be welcoming three candidates for the position of Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor of the Lawrence campus. The search committee received strong applications from candidates across the country who are excited about this opportunity. The truth is, KU is in an excellent position to attract top candidates for this role, thanks to your hard work.

In fact, our reputation as a flagship research university serves as the foundation for our ability to recruit new talent throughout all of our campuses.

KU has been a member of the elite Association of American Universities since 1909. This membership in a group of just over 60 leading research universities is a point of pride — for us and for the state of Kansas. We do not take this position for granted, however, as strategic planning processes in Lawrence and at KU Medical Center have focused on ways to improve our academic standing and research excellence.

Also, campus construction projects will ensure our new provost and other new faculty, staff, and students in Lawrence and at KU Medical Center will enjoy facilities that are second to none.

As we look out our windows in Lawrence, we can see the beginning stages of construction on a new 500-bed residence hall and dining facility. Joining that building will be a much-needed integrated science building. And in Kansas City, it is exciting to see the new steel infrastructure of our Health Education Building, which will ensure we are using cutting-edge methods to train new doctors for the state of Kansas.

An additional validation of your efforts to bolster our academic reputation came with the latest “Best Graduate Schools” rankings from U.S. News & World Report. Ten KU programs are among the top 10 among public universities nationally, and 42 are in the top 50. At the medical center, our family medicine program moved up to No. 11 in the country. And our special education program and our city management and urban policy program are to be especially commended for earning No. 1 rankings among all universities.

I’d like to express my wish that as many of you as possible participate in the process of selecting our new provost. As you can see from the position description, this job is critically important for our university.

The provost seeks to ensure and elevate our academic quality, including both our educational and research efforts. These are our core functions and things that distinguish a public university from other organizations.

For you, these visits provide an important opportunity to provide feedback on the candidates.

Mark your calendars for the upcoming visits, attend if possible, watch the live stream, and fill out the online feedback forms for each candidate. We want to be sure that we’re recruiting not just the most talented candidate, but also the right candidate for KU. Updates on the search will be provided online.

Thanks to your efforts, we will continue to elevate the university’s reputation and further our mission to serve our state and our world.


Bernadette Gray-Little