In the news
The month of May is exhilarating on our campus, partly due to the flurry of activity that comes with the end of the semester, and partly due to the anticipation of Commencement. May is also the ideal time to look back on the year and celebrate your achievements. And there are many worth celebrating.
Once embraced as a collective good, a public higher education is increasingly viewed — and paid for — as a private one. This has serious implications for students and families, and also for our economy and society, neither of which can prosper without the unique public benefits universities provide.
Last month, five new Foundation Distinguished Professors were announced, bringing the total number to eight. Victor Agadjanian, Beth Bailey, James Bever, Cecilia Menjivar, and Dennis O'Rourke represent a major step toward completing the initiative we began with our partners in Topeka three years ago.
At the start of each academic year, I have the privilege of welcoming new students and addressing our community at Convocation. And at the end of each academic year, it is my honor to preside over Commencement and confer more than 7,000 degrees upon new University of Kansas graduates.
During my tenure as chancellor, we have engaged in campus forums dedicated to specific topics ranging from our strategic plan to sexual assault on campus. I have always greatly appreciated the strong participation and open conversations of the KU community at these events.
We’ve all seen the groups of prospective students and their families touring campus with a backwards-walking Student Ambassador leading the way. But what may appear to be simply a tour is in reality a vital part of a student’s decision on which college to attend.
We are committed to the University of Kansas being an inclusive community where all feel welcome and able to express themselves without fear of discrimination. This value is a foundational one for our university, and KU’s non-discrimination policy includes prohibitions against discrimination based on sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression among its protections.
Yesterday was an historic day for the University of Kansas, as we had the honor of welcoming President Barack Obama to the university. I believe I can speak for everyone who had the chance to be part of the visit in saying it was a truly special moment for our university, and one we will not soon forget.
President Barack Obama visited the University of Kansas on January 22, 2015 to give a speech at the Anschutz Sports Pavilion. Prior to the President's remarks, Chancellor Gray-Little welcomed the crowd of more than 7,000 people.
As we start this new semester, I want to continue the discussions we were having toward the end of the fall semester on how to be a more inclusive community. This is all the more appropriate since we are celebrating the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. through events this week and next.