Brian White named vice president and general counsel for Wake Forest University


I am writing to inform you that one of our key leaders will be leaving the University of Kansas for a new opportunity.

Earlier today, Brian White, our general counsel and vice chancellor for legal affairs, was named the new vice president and general counsel for Wake Forest University. While this is a loss for KU, I am excited for Brian and have no doubt he will do great work in his new role. Brian describes this new opportunity as an ideal fit for his professional interests and an opportunity he couldn’t turn down. Though we are sad to lose him, we are glad to know he will continue benefiting students and society in his new role.

Kim Grunewald, deputy general counsel in Lawrence, will serve as interim leader of our Office of the General Counsel when Brian departs. We will launch a national search for a new permanent leader in the days ahead.

In his time at KU, Brian has been integral to many of KU’s most important initiatives. Brian restructured our Office of the General Counsel to support new university priorities and integrate previously separate Lawrence and KU Medical Center legal activities. He helped us navigate unprecedented legal and policy challenges during the COVID-19 pandemic. He helped create Kansas Team Health, a first-in-the-nation model of student-athlete care, and guided the transition of Watkins Health Services to a new medical-oversight model. And he provided leadership during a period of rapid change for college athletics that included conference realignment, the development of NIL, and an overhaul of the NCAA enforcement process.

Beyond these specific initiatives, Brian has been a trusted advisor to me and our leadership team for virtually every big decision we’ve made. I know I can speak for Provost Bichelmeyer, Executive Vice Chancellor Simari and countless other KU leaders in saying how impactful he has been.

Most importantly, Brian has been a wonderful colleague. When he first came to Lawrence, he described himself as someone who “always tries to get to ‘yes.’” He embodied that philosophy every day at KU, and the university is better for his efforts.

Please join me in congratulating Brian and thanking him for his service.



Douglas A. Girod
University of Kansas