Chancellor Douglas A. Girod

Message: At the top of our game

Monday, April 2, 2012

Dear Colleagues,

The past few weeks, we’ve all enjoyed watching our student-athletes excel on the national stage. Coach Self and his team have played their way into tonight’s NCAA National Championship, while Coach Henrickson and her squad advanced to the Sweet 16.

Diamond Dixon and Andrea Geubelle won national titles in their events at the NCAA Indoor Track and Field Championships, with their team placing second overall. And members of the spirit squad and pep band received national acclaim for rescuing a man from underneath a car while they were on their way to a tournament game in Little Rock.

We’re proud of our students’ achievements because they reflect well on our university. Of course, if you look at other areas where KU is a national leader, you’ll see the wide range of fields in which KU students, faculty and staff excel.

Brothers Patrick and Sean Kennedy last month advanced to the Cross Examination Debate Association Tournament semifinals and are currently in the Elite Eight of the National Debate Tournament. KU ranks No. 1 among public universities for NDT appearances and has won five national titles.

Four KU students were recently named prestigious Goldwater Scholars: juniors Jeremy Ims, Brittany Krutty, and Rodi Torres-Gavosto, and sophomore Ted Christensen. And just this weekend, the advertising staff of the University Daily Kansan won their national competition for the second year in a row.

In the latest U.S. News rankings, our city management and urban policy program again ranked first, while our special education program moved up into a tie for No. 1 overall and occupational therapy ranked second among public universities. This year KU also ranked No. 2 in the nation for the number of faculty members earning prestigious Fulbright awards.

We celebrate these achievements, but also hold them up as models to follow, particularly in the areas central to our mission in which KU lags behind its peers. Striving for excellence across KU is at the heart of Bold Aspirations.

We’ve already changed our scholarships to recruit the best students. And we’re in the process of building a core curriculum that will keep students on track to graduate and help prepare them to be leaders in their careers and lives.

We’re seeking to enhance scholarship and research in every department at KU, and encouraging collaboration across disciplines in our four strategic initiatives. This will help KU scholars make the discoveries that change our world, while also securing our place among our peers in the Association of American Universities.

And we’re making needed changes in our administrative operations that unlock our employees’ talent and make KU more effective, while also freeing up resources to devote to teaching and scholarship.

Our mission as a research university is clear: lift students and society by educating leaders, building healthy communities and making discoveries that change the world. Together, we will ensure KU excels in every aspect of that mission.

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.