Chancellor Douglas A. Girod

Message: The KU difference

Monday, September 21, 2015

As a flagship research university, the University of Kansas’ first mission is to educate leaders who will contribute to our state and society. Of course, before we can educate these leaders, we must first recruit them to join us on Mount Oread. Thanks to your efforts, the University of Kansas continues to differentiate itself by offering outstanding educational opportunities and experiences for prospective students.

This semester begins the third year of the KU Core, our revamped undergraduate curriculum, which is enabling students to combine classroom and experiential learning in a way that best meets their goals. Through the Center for Undergraduate Research, we are providing undergraduates the opportunity to do research — an opportunity available only to graduate students at many universities.

Meanwhile, our professional schools continue to develop innovative programs and experiences for students. For example, the journalism school gives students the opportunity to create marketing campaigns for real-world clients, while our business school gives students the chance to consult for Kansas non-profits or even create their own company.

We can be proud that our academic community includes students from all 105 Kansas counties and all 50 states, with our incoming freshman classes achieving record-high diversity numbers in recent years. These students enrich our university, as do the 2,200 international students who come to KU from more than 100 countries. Additionally, nearly 25 percent of KU students study abroad during college, helping them develop a global perspective.

The KU difference goes beyond the classroom. We offer more than 600 student clubs and organizations, which enhance students’ lives and educations. Our debate team has won five national championships and is consistently among the nation’s best. We’re also one of only 50 universities to offer all three ROTC programs —Air Force, Army and Navy.

Part of the KU difference is the awesome support of Jayhawk alumni and donors, who last fiscal year contributed a truly astounding $258.8 million to support our mission. These gifts continue to make possible new scholarships, fellowships and awards for deserving students, as well as endowed professorships aimed at recruiting and retaining exceptional researchers.

We are in the midst of recruiting the next class of Jayhawks, and for prospective undergraduates the deadline to apply for scholarships is November 1. If you know of a student who should be a Jayhawk, encourage him or her to apply. And if you’re asked to meet with a prospective student, know that the connection you make can help ensure that she or he will choose KU.

Thank you again for your support. Your efforts continue to make a difference to our university and our students.


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.