In the news
In September, I joined Kansas Athletics Director Sheahon Zenger to announce a fundraising project focused on football. This project addresses the reality that a competitive football program is important to our university and that our outdated facilities hamper our ability to compete in the Big 12 Conference. Today I would like to update you on this project.
We often talk about how we educate leaders and how our work benefits people around the globe. This week, we will welcome Colombian Pres. Juan Manuel Santos back to campus as one of our distinguished alumni who has demonstrated outstanding leadership to end a long-running civil war in his native Colombia.
Last month, we were delighted to announce that enrollment at the University of Kansas has grown for the fourth straight year to its highest level since 2011. Additionally, this year’s freshmen have the highest average high school GPA and are the most diverse of any class in KU history. Retention and graduation rates are also higher than ever.
This past Friday, I joined Kansas Athletics Director Sheahon Zenger to announce Raise the Chant, a $350 million fundraising project focused on football. Today I’d like to discuss this exciting effort and why it needs to be one of KU’s institutional priorities.
As I meet with Jayhawks across the state and on our campuses, I am continually reminded of how much impact we have on the lives of our students during the relatively short period of time they spend with us. Today, I want to focus on thinking about how we can continue to improve the student experience at KU.
Chancellor Douglas A. Girod delivered remarks at Opening Convocation, his first since being named chancellor earlier this year.
I always enjoy the energy that comes with the start of the semester. This year, for the first time, I am experiencing that energy as chancellor — and loving every minute of it. I’m delighted to have all of you back on campus and look forward to the work we’ll do together as a community of scholars.
I am pleased to announce that Reggie Robinson, director of our School of Public Affairs & Administration, will serve as interim vice chancellor for public affairs. Reggie will assume the role effective August 14
I am honored to write you for the first time as the 18th chancellor of the University of Kansas. Susan and I greatly appreciate the expressions of support we’ve received in recent weeks, and I look forward to working with each of you on behalf of this great institution.
Chancellor Gray-Little delivered welcome remarks at the 2017 International Association for Social Science Information Services and Technology conference in Lawrence.
During the past eight years, we have transformed the University of Kansas with 50 capital improvement projects totaling $700 million and launched a once-in-a-generation redevelopment of our Central District that will change the face of education and research at KU. But as I have said before, the transformation goes deeper than buildings and encompasses every aspect of our mission.
The James F. Patterson Land-Grant University Lecture brings a national leader to The Ohio State University to discuss the role of land-grant universities in an ever-changing world.
American public universities have played a special role ever since the first were chartered in the late 1700s. The founders understood that the United States would prosper only if it had strong universities that could educate the next generation of leaders and create the inventions and ideas that drive progress.
Chancellor Gray-Little visited the Kansas African American Museum in Wichita to discuss the unique challenges that women face in the workforce, particularly in the STEM fields.
With new leadership comes new ideas, and that has certainly been the case in Washington since January. Some of the ideas proposed by the new administration have caused concern at universities nationwide – including the University of Kansas – and I believe many of those concerns are valid. I want to assure you we continue to work with peer universities and our congressional delegation to be part of the policymaking process on issues affecting higher education.
Last Thursday, I had the opportunity to visit with the House Higher Education Budget Committee, which this year includes a number of first-year legislators. It was my second visit in three weeks with this group, and each time, I was heartened to meet with so many thoughtful lawmakers who care deeply about our state and our university.
Last Friday’s executive order suspending immigration from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen has raised concerns for many members of the University of Kansas community. I share these concerns, and I want to assure you we are coordinating with our international programs staff, immigration experts, and peer universities to fully understand the implications of the new federal policies.
As has been the case for many years, the start of our spring semester coincides with Martin Luther King Day observances. I re-read my opening messages of the past few years, and I found myself almost wishing that Martin Luther King Day might eventually be “just another holiday” – but it is not yet. This year, more than any I can remember in more than 30 years, King’s call for equal justice and his aspiration to make true democracy a reality for our country are needed.
As our semester comes to a close, I want to take a moment to reflect on your achievements during the past few months and thank you for your efforts on behalf of our university.