Chancellor Douglas A. Girod

Message: Leadership update at the KU Medical Center

Friday, November 11, 2011

Dear Colleagues,

The University of Kansas Medical Center has undergone remarkable growth and progress during Executive Vice Chancellor Barbara Atkinson’s leadership. More Kansans are being treated by KU-educated health professionals, and more patients have access to new treatments discovered by KU researchers thanks to accomplishments at the medical center.

Yesterday afternoon, Dr. Atkinson announced that she will step down as dean of the School of Medicine once a new dean is selected, and that she will retire as EVC in two years.

Her service to the university will continue, adding to a list of remarkable achievements. For example, KUMC's National Institutes of Health ranking has risen 15 places in five years, reaching 60th nationally in the latest rankings.

The faculty has more than doubled in size over the past decade and medical school enrollment is on track to rise from 175 today to 211 in 2012. That is thanks in part to the expansions in Wichita and Salina, and is vital to meeting Kansas’ physician shortage.

KUMC’s private fundraising has nearly doubled in the past four years, while external research funding has increased from $69 million in 2005 to $100.7 million today.

And, of course, we have undertaken the drive for National Cancer Institute designation, which is already delivering benefits to patients throughout the region.

We owe Dr. Atkinson and her colleagues our sincere thanks for these and the many other achievements that are improving the health and well-being of countless individuals.

This organizational change will allow Dr. Atkinson to focus on her four major priorities for KUMC. We will also be able to undertake a successful transition, setting up the medical center for continued progress toward its aspirational goals. We are in the process of establishing a selection committee to identify a new dean for the School of Medicine.

I want to thank Dr. Atkinson for her past and future leadership, as we strive to achieve KU’s mission of educating leaders, building healthy communities and making discoveries that not only change the world, but also change lives.

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.