The following messages was sent to University of Kansas faculty, staff, and affiliates on Monday, Oct. 16.
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 is terrific news and a clear indication that we are progressing on key institutional goals. Moreover, this progress is the result of strategic choices we’ve made and the efforts of faculty and staff like you. So today, I want to thank you for your part in bringing talented Jayhawks to KU and helping them succeed here. In addition to providing these students a life-changing opportunity, your efforts elevate the university as a whole.
It’s worth reflecting on the improvements we’ve made in how we identify and attract new Jayhawks. In recent years, this has included new renewable scholarships, new admissions standards and an evolution in our recruitment focus from a regional model to a national/international model.
Of course, we can only recruit new students if we have an outstanding product to offer — and because of you, we do! We have nationally ranked academic programs and transformative opportunities across our departments. We have beautiful and well-run campuses. And we have talented marketing practitioners who present KU in a smart and friendly way.
This year’s record-setting retention and graduation rates speak to the ways you support students once they arrive here. This support happens in the classroom when instructors go the extra mile for their students. It includes programs that help Jayhawks in times of crisis. And it includes the work being done to improve the student experience by redesigning courses, using predictive analytics, strengthening academic advising and streamlining processes.
I also want to highlight the vital role of private giving in recruiting and retaining top scholars, as well as our incredible alumni, who are the best Jayhawk ambassadors you can find anywhere.
The truth is, each of you plays a crucial role in recruiting new Jayhawks and ensuring they earn their degree. Again, thank you for the work you do.
If you know any prospective students who want to become Jayhawks, encourage them to apply by November 1 to be eligible for scholarships.
Sarah Heitmeyer, vice president of legacy recruitment for the Student Alumni Network, sent the following message to all Student Alumni Network members about Crimson & Blue Day. The event for prospective students and their family members will be held Friday, Oct. 13.
As we prepare for our fall break on Friday, something big is happening on campus. This Friday is Crimson & Blue Day, which is our chance to show prospective students all the incredible things the University of Kansas has to offer. I want to echo Provost Neeli’s statements about the opportunity to host prospective Jayhawks and their families from across the state, nation, and world.
On Friday, a thousand prospective students will be on the Hill with their family members, and I am sure we’ll see them exploring campus as we go to our classes. We were all prospective students once. Whether you toured many universities or only a few, you remember the overwhelming feeling of making a college decision. Let’s make this decision easy for these prospective students by showing them our caring and compassionate Jayhawk community.
I hope that you will join me in being a welcoming face for these future Jayhawks on Friday. Stop and take a moment to talk with students and their families as you walk around campus. Share with them your KU story and the opportunities and experiences you’ve had here as a student. Ask them if they have questions about campus and KU. They may need help navigating campus or may want to hear about some of your favorite things about KU or Lawrence.
If you are especially interested in connecting with prospective Jayhawks, join me at the Adams Alumni Center from 9-11 a.m. to mingle with students and families. We’ll have breakfast burritos from Salty Iguana as well as Hot Box Cookies available. This will be a great opportunity to share your KU experiences with these future students.
Please join me in welcoming future Jayhawks and their families to campus on Friday. I know together we can show them the best of KU!
Cheema, a senior who is majoring in biology, is vice president of the Pre-Medical Society and founder and president of KU Friends of Pakistan. She is a University Honors Scholar and serves as the historian for Mortar Board honor society. She is a member of Student Senate and vice president of membership for the Student Alumni Leadership Board.
Khan, a senior who is majoring in political science and global and international studies with a minor in Middle Eastern studies, has served as president of the Muslim Student Association. She chaired the Student Senate Multicultural Affairs Committee, and she has been a member of KU Students for Refugees, the Dole Institute Student Advisory Board and International Student Services.
The Ex.C.E.L. Award provides an annual $250 scholarship to two students. The winners will present at the Blueprints Leadership Conference next spring in conjunction with KU’s Student Involvement and Leadership Center.
Community service activities
The theme for this year’s Homecoming was “Jayhawks of the Galaxy.” Students and alumni participated in several activities throughout the week, including competitions, community service opportunities and reunions. Members of the KU and Lawrence communities collected more than 3,300 cans of non-perishable food for Just Food of Douglas County during the CANstellation competition. They also donated more than 1,500 office supplies for Community Village Lawrence, which was sponsored by the Homecoming steering committee and the United Way of Douglas County.
The annual event was organized by the KU Alumni Association and a student-led Homecoming steering committee, which was directed by Nellie Kassebaum, a Burdick junior in the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences. She worked with Alumni Association adviser Jacey Krehbiel, assistant director of membership and business development. Homecoming sponsors were Crown Toyota Volkswagen, PepsiCo and Kansas Athletics.
The Homecoming parade was Friday, Oct. 6, on Massachusetts Street in downtown Lawrence and featured retired NASA astronauts and KU alumni Joe Engle and Steven Hawley as grand marshals. A meet and greet with Kansas Athletics preceded the parade from 4 to 5 p.m. at South Park.
Larry Stoppel, 1973 College of Liberal Arts & Sciences alumnus, and his wife, Nancy Tade Stoppel, a 1973 School of Education alumna, from Washington, Kansas
Overall Winners Greek Life
1st place: Alpha Delta Pi and Triangle
2nd place: Sigma Delta Tau, Delta Delta Delta, Alpha Tau Omega, Beta Sigma Psi
3rd place: Delta Gamma, Delta Tau Delta, Pi Kapa Phi, Alpha Kappa Lambda
1st place: Engineering Student Council
2nd place: Beta Upsilon Chi
3rd place: Sellards Scholarship Hall
For more information and a complete list of competition winners, visit homecoming.ku.edu.
KU’s 105th Homecoming celebration, Jayhawks of the Galaxy, took place Oct. 1-7, 2017. For a full list of activities and events during Homecoming week, fun facts and historical information, visit the Homecoming website. Share your photos with us by posting on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram using the hashtag #kuhomecoming, and follow the hashtag to see more pictures of the celebration. Homecoming is sponsored by Crown Toyota Volkswagen.
Bad weather didn’t stop a good time as Jayhawk Jingles took on an intergalactic feel for the annual Homecoming celebration.
Five sorority-fraternity teams packed the Adams Alumni Center Thursday, October 5th to perform their songs and dances with a Jayhawk theme. Hits such as “Starships,” “Hooked on a Feeling,” and “Bohemian Rhapsody” were performed with KU-centric lyrics, and costumes and props included green alien shirts and a cardboard spaceship.
Watch our video or photo slideshow below, or click here to view the photos on Flickr. Photos may be downloaded for personal use.
KU’s 105th Homecoming celebration, Jayhawks of the Galaxy, takes place Oct. 1-7, 2017. For a full list of activities and events during Homecoming week, fun facts and historical information, visit the Homecoming website. Share your photos on social using the hashtag #kuhomecoming, and follow the hashtag to see more pictures of the celebration. Homecoming is sponsored by Crown Toyota Volkswagen.
Wescoe beach was lit up with color on Tuesday, October 3rd for Chalk ‘n’ Rock, a Homecoming tradition where Greek life and other student organizations cover the sidewalk in chalk drawings celebrating this year’s Homecoming theme, Jayhawks of the Galaxy.
The competition had 11 entries, with the team of Alpha Chi Omega, Kappa Sigma, and Zeta Beta Tau placing first in the greek life category and the Engineering Student Council finishing first in student organizations.
A panel of judges selected this year’s winners:
1st: Alpha Chi Omega, Kappa Sigma, Zeta Beta Tau
2nd: Alpha Delta Pi, Triangle
3rd: Sigma Delta Tau, Delta Delta Delta, Alpha Tau Omega, Beta Sigma Psi
1st: Engineering Student Council
2nd: Beta Upsilon Chi
3rd: Sellards Scholarship Hall
Watch our video recap and slideshow of photos from Chalk ‘n’ Rock below, or click here to view the pictures on Flickr. Photos may be downloaded for personal use.
-Ryan Camenzind KU’s 105th Homecoming celebration, Jayhawks of the Galaxy, takes place Oct. 1-7, 2017. For a full list of activities and events during Homecoming week, fun facts and historical information, visit the Homecoming website. Share your photos with us by posting on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram using the hashtag #kuhomecoming, and follow the hashtag to see more pictures of the celebration. Homecoming is sponsored by Crown Toyota Volkswagen.
The university’s 105th Homecoming celebration kicked off Sunday with Glow KU. The campus and community event is designed to light up Lawrence with crimson and blue spirit.
A panel of judges drove around town to cast their votes for the winning displays. Check out the photos here. Organizations will display their lights all week.
First place: Sigma Delta Tau, Delta Delta Delta, Alpha Tau Omega, Beta Sigma Psi
Second place: Alpha Delta Pi, Triangle
Third place: Delta Gamma, Delta Tau Delta, Pi Kappa Phi, Alpha Kappa Lambda
First place: Engineering Student Council
Second Place: Beta Upsilon Chi
The sign competition, a perennial favorite, took place on the Watson Library lawn with eight entries. Judges graded the signs on criteria including originality, use of school colors, adherence to the Homecoming theme and overall appearance.
First place: Alpha Delta Pi, Triangle
Second place: Alpha Chi Omega, Kappa Sigma, Zeta Beta Tau
Third place: Delta Gamma, Delta Tau Delta, Pi Kappa Phi, Alpha Kappa Lambda
First place: Beta Upsilon Chi
Check back tomorrow for pictures of Chalk ‘n’ Rock, another favorite tradition! A list of all Homecoming event winners is online.
KU’s 105th Homecoming celebration, Jayhawks of the Galaxy, takes place Oct. 1-7, 2017. For a full list of activities and events during Homecoming week, fun facts and historical information, visit the Homecoming website. Share your photos with us by posting on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram using the hashtag #kuhomecoming, and follow the hashtag to see more pictures of the celebration. Homecoming is sponsored by Crown Toyota Volkswagen.
Today the Kansas Board of Regents announced the appointment of Dr. Douglas A. Girod as the 18th Chancellor of the University of Kansas.
“I am honored to be here today to make this important announcement. Naming the next Chancellor is one of the most important jobs we undertake as the Board of Regents,” stated Zoe Newton, Chair of the Board of Regents. “Dr. Girod is the right person for this time of transition. His 23 years of service are a testament to Dr. Girod’s love and commitment to KU. He will honor KU’s traditions and history while leading this great university into the future.”
Douglas A. Girod, M.D., became executive vice chancellor of the University of Kansas Medical Center on Feb. 1, 2013, where he oversaw the educational, research, patient care and community engagement missions of the University of Kansas Schools of Medicine, Nursing and Health Professions, with their total annual enrollment of more than 3,300 students; a workforce of more than 2,100 faculty and more than 4,000 staff; and research funding of nearly $100 million.
In addition to serving as executive vice chancellor, Dr. Girod also served as interim executive dean of the KU School of Medicine until March 24, 2014. Prior to those roles, he served as Senior Associate Dean for Clinical Affairs and chair of the Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery. A surgeon, Dr. Girod joined the University of Kansas Medical Center faculty in 1994 and quickly rose through the academic ranks, becoming chair of the Otolaryngology department in 2002. He was named Russell E. Bridwell Endowed Chair in 2008.
“Doug Girod brings a wealth of experience to this role. He is a proven administrator and an excellent listener, and those on the KU Medical Center campus already are well familiar with Dr. Girod’s steady guidance and leadership abilities,” said Chancellor Bernadette Gray-Litte. “I congratulate him, and KU is in good hands. I know he will continue our work to fulfill our mission and elevate the national stature of our university into the future. ”
Learn more about the new chancellor in the official news release from the University.
Michelle Mohr Carney, professor and director of the School of Social Work at Arizona State University, has been named dean of the school and will officially join the KU faculty in July.
“KU is indeed fortunate to have someone with Michelle’s leadership experience and scholarly background joining our team,” said Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor Neeli Bendapudi. “I’m confident she will guide the school toward new opportunities and partnerships that address student and societal needs.”
“I am very excited to join such a prestigious university and school,” Carney said. “I can’t wait to start working with the engaged and productive faculty, and the dedicated staff. The KU School of Social Welfare is poised to be an even greater leader in social work education in the next decade.”
Bendapudi said she was thankful for the effort displayed by those involved in the dean search as well as leaders in the school.
“I want to thank the members of the search committee, led by Dean of the School of Law Stephen Mazza, for their important contributions of time and talent to this institution,” Bendapudi said. “I also must acknowledge the dedication and service of Professor and Associate Dean Stephen Kapp, who stepped in to assist as interim dean during this time of transition.”
Learn more about the new dean of the KU School of Social Welfare in the official news release from the university.
L. Paige Fields, professor and dean of the School of Business at Trinity University, has been named Henry D. Price professor and dean of the KU School of Business. She will begin her tenure July 1.
“I am truly excited to have Paige joining our faculty,” said Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor Neeli Bendapudi. “Dr. Fields has proven leadership skills that will continue the upward trajectory of the school and build important partnerships within the university as well as the across the state of Kansas and in the Kansas City region.”
“I am honored to be joining the KU family as the new dean of the School of Business,” Fields said. “With Capitol Federal Hall as our home, outstanding opportunities for the School of Business abound. I am absolutely thrilled to begin the process of working with the KU community to develop strategies, new ideas and cutting-edge programs that will enhance the school’s already outstanding reputation. We should look to invest, innovate and grow, and I am eager to help KU’s incredible group of faculty, staff, students, alumni and business community members do just that.”
Fields fills the vacancy created when Bendapudi, the previous dean of the School of Business, was selected to be KU’s provost and executive vice chancellor.
The following message from Chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little was sent to KU students, faculty, staff members and alumni at the close of the spring 2017 semester.
Two years ago at Traditions Night, I shared with the freshmen how Shade and I enjoy evening strolls across Mount Oread. I even revealed my favorite location atop Daisy Hill, from where you can look east and see clear across campus to Fraser Hall.
Today, that view looks very different than it did a few years ago. 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. As the semester comes to a close and we reflect on the 2016-17 academic year, we can all be proud of our role in this transformation.
The transformation is apparent in the way we educate students, starting with how we bring them to KU in the first place. This year, our freshman class grew for the fifth straight year and was the most academically talented class in KU history — the result of strategic changes in how we identify, recruit, fund and enroll best-fit students. These record-setting freshmen joined KU students like Shegufta Huma, who this year became our 27th Rhodes Scholar, and Taylor Zabel, our 19th Truman Scholar.
The transformation of KU is also apparent in the way we build healthy communities. In September, our KU Cancer Center applied for Comprehensive Cancer Center designation through the National Cancer Institute. In October, our Alzheimer’s Disease Center’s national designation was renewed, empowering us to continue our efforts to prevent this devastating disease. And in June, we will complete construction on the new Health Education Building, which will enable us to accommodate a modern curriculum and increase the number of healthcare professionals we educate.
The transformation is apparent in the way we make discoveries. Last semester, Professors Alice Bean and David Darwin were named Fellows of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and Professor Raghunath Chaudhari was named a Fellow of the National Academy of Inventors. In April, KU alumnus and Google Earth co-creator Brian McClendon joined KU as a research professor in electrical engineering and computer science. And last week, Cecilia Menjivar, our Foundation Distinguished Professor of Sociology, became the second KU researcher in three years to be named a Carnegie Fellow.
This past year, we sought opportunities to make campus more welcoming and inclusive. In September, our Office of the Provost responded to the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Advisory Group report. Work continues on our Climate Study, a university-wide examination of the living, learning and working environment at KU.
This year was not without challenges. Earlier this semester, we reacted to executive orders on immigration that have caused uncertainty about the future of immigration and international scholarship. We also face uncertainty about federal research funding and the state budget as it relates to higher education. I remain hopeful we can manage these challenges if we remain vigilant and committed to our core values.
Next weekend at Commencement, thousands of Jayhawks will walk down the Hill and receive their degrees. While the day is primarily a celebration of the new graduates, it is also a celebration of alumni and supporters like you who have paved the way for them. For that, I thank you.