Chancellor Douglas A. Girod

Message: A semester to be proud of

Monday, December 12, 2011

Dear Colleagues,

Finals began today and the semester will soon come to a close. But before we turn our attention to spending time with loved ones during the break, I want look back over what has been an eventful and successful fall at the University of Kansas.

After contributions from hundreds of individuals across the university, we completed Bold Aspirations, which is comprised of strategic plans for the Lawrence and Edwards campuses and the KU Medical Center.

On Wednesday, I will meet with the Board of Regents to outline our aspirations and how we plan to achieve them. These aspirations will challenge us to strive for excellence in our mission of educating leaders, building healthy communities and making discoveries that will change the world. And when we achieve our goals, KU will be recognized as a top-tier public international research university.

Of course excellence can already be found in many places throughout our university, as demonstrated by the accomplishments of our students, faculty and staff this fall.

Last month, senior Kelsey Murrell was named a Rhodes Scholar. An English literature and creative writing major, she’s the 26th KU student to earn this honor, which is more than have been earned by students from all other Kansas colleges combined.

Kelsey was one of many students and alumni honored this fall. Spring 2011 graduate David Platter’s sculpture was named one of the best contemporary student works in North America, while Nathan Lindsey and Christopher Omlid took first place in the International Moot Court Competition in Information Technology & Privacy Law. And 11 KU students won Fulbright scholarships for 2011-12.

These student accomplishments were matched by those of our faculty, who earned more Fulbright awards for 2011-12 than faculty from any other university save one. Additionally, Robin Rowland was named a Distinguished Rhetorical Scholar by the National Communication Association, while Val Stella earned the highest honor given by the American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists.

This fall KU researchers also shared breakthroughs with the world on topics ranging from the benefits iPads can have for children with visual impairments to disparities in NIH funding to the effects of the recession on men.

We opened a new School of Medicine campus in Salina, and in Wichita opened a new pharmacy program and expanded our medical school there to four years.

KU Libraries continued its leadership role in the international open access movement, while in Kansas City we opened the third Bioscience and Technology Business Center location, creating the largest incubator network in the state.

All of these accomplishments, and the many more I don’t have room to mention, advance our mission and have direct benefits for the students and the state we serve. They also would not be possible without the dedication of every member of our community. Without the contributions of talented individuals from departments and units across the university, KU could not succeed.

Thank you for all that you do to contribute to the success of our university and best wishes to you and your family for a joyous holiday season.

Bernadette Gray-Little

One of 34 U.S. public institutions in the prestigious Association of American Universities
44 nationally ranked graduate programs.
—U.S. News & World Report
Top 50 nationwide for size of library collection.
5th nationwide for service to veterans —"Best for Vets: Colleges," Military Times
Chancellor's Vision

The mission of the University of Kansas is to lift students and society by educating leaders, building healthy communities, and making discoveries that change the world.

We will do that by raising the expectations we have for ourselves, the aspirations we have for our state, and the hopes we have for our world.