Chancellor Douglas A. Girod

Staff Directory

Executive Assistant to the Chancellor
230 Strong Hall

Mary serves as the office manager, directing special projects, troubleshooting, and tracking issues. She also is the chancellor's primary liaison with the Board of Regents and other officials. A North Carolina native, Mary has a background in arts management and higher education administration. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Journalism from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and has served in similar capacities at Penn State and the University of Kentucky.

Jana Collins
Secretary to the Chancellor
230 Strong Hall

Jana Collins manages the chancellor's calendar and correspondence, arranges travel and serves as Assistant to the Chancellor. She joined the staff in the Office of the Chancellor in September 2017. She previously worked for the KU Office of the Provost, the KU School of Education and the Baker University President's Office. She is a native of Highland, Kansas, and holds a Bachelor of Music Education degree from Baker University and a Master of Science in Education-Higher Education Administration degree from the University of Kansas.

Administrative Assistant
230 Strong Hall

Debra Bia serves as assistant to Mary Burg, executive assistant to the chancellor. She serves on the Faculty and Academic Staff Retirement Lunch planning committee and assists with a variety of other events and committees. She joined the staff in the Office of the Chancellor in March 2008 after six years in the Provost’s office.  She is a native of Cherryvale, Kansas and holds a Bachelor's Degree in Business Administration from Pittsburg State University.

Administrative Assistant
230 Strong Hall

Melissa Simpson Rhodes serves as the administrative assistant for the Office of the Chancellor, performing a variety of duties, including coordinating the annual United Way fund drive on the Lawrence campus. Prior to joining the Office of the Chancellor, she had been with KU’s Institute for Advancing Medical Innovation as an executive assistant since April 2015. She graduated from Oklahoma State University with a Bachelor of Science degree in hotel and restaurant administration and spent many years working in the hospitality, health care and public education sectors. 

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.
23rd nationwide for service to veterans —"Best for Vets," 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.

KU is in the midst of a comprehensive effort to ensure the university is ranked among the top tier of public international research universities.

Through Bold Aspirations, our strategic plan, we're changing the way we prepare students for success. We're fostering research and scholarship across all disciplines. And we're sharing the benefits of a flagship university with our state and world.