Archive for Saturday, May 30, 2009

Chancellor choice

KU’s next chancellor brings with her a strong record of leadership and academic excellence.

May 30, 2009


Chancellor Robert Hemenway replacement search

More than 200 community members came out to meet KU's new chancellor on Saturday afternoon.


New KU Chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little talks to the community

Bernadette Gray-Little will be KU's 17th chancellor, and the first African-American and the first woman to hold the position.

KU selects Bernadette Gray-Little as 17th chancellor

Look back at the process that led Kansas University hire Bernadette Gray-Little as its 17th chancellor.

Related document

Bernadette Gray-Little's resume ( .PDF )

Kansas University soon will have one more connection to the University of North Carolina.

The Kansas Board of Regents announced Friday the selection of Bernadette Gray-Little, the current UNC provost, as KU’s 17th chancellor. Interestingly, Gray-Little was on the search committee that recruited former KU Fine Arts Dean James Moeser to become Carolina’s chancellor in 2000. The tables were turned several years later when Moeser recruited Gray-Little, then dean of UNC’s College of Arts and Sciences, to serve as UNC provost.

Earlier this month, Gray-Little received the UNC alumni association’s Distinguished Service Medal. Her citation for that medal noted that when her selection as provost was announced to the UNC Faculty Council, she received a standing ovation.

That seems like a strong endorsement for KU’s next chancellor.

Gray-Little’s selection is a landmark for KU. She will be the university’s first woman chancellor and its first black chancellor. Hopefully, this will be the first of many landmark events for KU under the new chancellor’s tenure.

In a press release announcing the selection, Regents Chairwoman Donna Shank said Gray-Little “rose to the top of an exceptionally talented and competitive pool of applicants” and that her accomplishments and character made her “ideally suited to propel KU to even loftier heights.”

In recent years, KU has struggled to increase the racial and ethnic diversity of both its faculty and student body, and it seems natural that Gray-Little would be able to advance that goal. At age 64, Gray-Little won’t be the youngest KU chancellor. However, the average tenure these days for a chancellor or president at a major U.S. university is six or seven years. If she served that long, she would be just a few years older than Chancellor Robert Hemenway is now.

Gray-Little obviously is highly regarded at North Carolina. The standing ovation reflects her support among faculty. The Distinguished Service Award, which recognizes outstanding service to the university and to its alumni association, speaks to her relationship with UNC alumni and friends. Those are talents that should help her build strong relationships with the various constituencies at KU.

The entrance of a new chancellor is an exciting time for KU. We welcome Gray-Little to Lawrence and hope she will, indeed, prove to be an inspired choice to be KU’s next chancellor.


Jack Martin 8 years, 10 months ago

"In recent years, KU has struggled to increase the racial and ethnic diversity of both its faculty and student body, and it seems natural that Gray-Little would be able to advance that goal."

I'd like to point out that the University of Kansas has made significant gains in both of these areas in recent years.

Last fall's incoming class was the most talented and most diverse in KU's history and a record 12.7 percent of all KU students in 2008-09 were American Indian/Alaskan Native, Asian, African-American or Latino.

Additionally, the number of minority faculty members increased by 83% during Chancellor Hemenway's tenure, setting a new record in 2008-09.

While we are always working to recruit an even more diverse student body and faculty, the gains already made shouldn't be ignored.

Thank you.

Jack Martin University Communications

Uhlrick_Hetfield_III 8 years, 10 months ago

Hogwash, Martin. Unpack those numbers and the data for black students and faculty are trivial.

With Wichita and Kansas City, KS sitting just down the road from KU the number of qualified minority students attending KU and the retention rates are atrocious. When Hemenway came he indicated that he would place strong emphasis on changing those numbers. As usual, he lied.

Within weeks I asked about the plans for elevating minority participation and retention and was told there weren't any, nor were there any even being discussed.

Good riddance to Bob Hemenway, welcome Chancellor Gray-Little.

wordgenie8 8 years, 10 months ago

Bernadette---Beware the lack of awareness at KU and in Lawrence. People here don't know themselves. If this is liberal... I have just passed one of the most benighted years of my life... that as a published author and scholar whose formidable intellect was quickly recognized at west coast flagship schools. Maybe you can be more forgiving than I? Ignorant people here believe they know everything based on mere appearances and won't hesitate to treat you that way. Ignorance rules at KU.

wordgenie8 8 years, 10 months ago

The caliber of this discussion shows just how much work is needed to improve both diversity and communications at KU. The Communications Director from KU chimes in immediately touting inflated equal opportunity statistics and others go mindlessly right into rabid attack mode. It sure would be nice to see more respect and giving others the benefit of the doubt on these posting boards. It does tend to make you feel better about people. What a open-hearted welcome for the new chancellor, too. Well, you can't get away from the fact the public sphere almost always entails conflict. To Solomon: Of course, people aren't due automatic recognition and not everyone by a long shot craves it either, including me. I'm talking about being subjected to active harassment by the KU and Lawrence communities that is arguably related to choosing people out for discriminatory and abusive treatment based on legally protected characteristics. Do feel that if I were being treated as a human being with abilities apparent to most thinking people I'd not be bashed this way. This problem should not be handled as if an individual were at its source--it's actually the fault of the idiotic cultural norms that get pre-programmed into people in the lower midwest and that few stop to reflect on or question. Making positive changes doesn't seem that popular around here either.

cthulhu_4_president 8 years, 10 months ago

Wordgenie, please proceed to toot your own horn a little bit harder, and get thee and your "formidable intillect" to one of those West Coast Flagship schools where your talents will be recognized.. You will not have to cavort with us lower castes in the midwest ever again.

Respect? Benefit of the doubt? Did you even think about your first post while typing your second? To refresh your memory: "Ignorant people here believe they know everything based on mere appearances and won't hesitate to treat you that way."
Yes, a very respectful and open-minded position.

It seems like you have a longstanding personal grievance with KU. Your grievance may even have merit, however it is obvious that you have much aggression from this experience and now lash out against "idiotic cultural norms" without providing one example of such norms, choosing to stick with abstracts like "ignorance rules" and "few stop to reflect and question" rather than focus on any tangible topic. It's rather sad. You and your "formidable intellect" are without merit. Build yourself a bridge, and then get over it.

manus_flexibilis 8 years, 10 months ago

The ideal of racism should go extinct in the year 2?09, possibly guessing a few centuries; when the pot itself melts.

wordgenie8 8 years, 10 months ago

4 president- Your hostile words really should not be dignified with a response and will not be in the future. You entire response seems based on self-serving, incorrect assumptions. Yes, I am afraid even in attempting to be a lenient, charitable person I can find no kinder word than "ignorance" for repeated hostile acts of interfering with people on the public streets and violating their dignified boundaries and privacy. I read such behavior as terrorizing and threatening. It's is just not acceptable, politically correct or justifiable in any way. There do exist reasonable bounds and civil rights laws. Let's kindly respect them and not use ignorance as an excuse for verbally and physically insulting other people. Please do not harass strangers on the public streets based on prejudiced assumptions.You cannot know their needs and should not interfere based on insulting assumed limitations. To do so constitutes the very definition of defining others based on stereotypes. I'm merely asking for respect for written, reasonable laws. Please, don't go on such cavelier vicious attacks on the basis of such a reasonable request. I may be guilty of the crime of over-generalizing, but so far this is pretty much my impression of the touted midwestern "friendliness"--I try to collect counterexamples but so far haven't come up with many.

Patricia Davis 8 years, 10 months ago

wordgenie8: I feel your pain.Lawrence is an oasis in Kansas, but that is not saying much. I have lived here for over 30 years and still feel suffocated by the narrow mindedness of Lawrence. I have retreated to my garden and given up on finding like-minded souls. I think it is appropriate that the new chancellor is a clinical psychologist because this community is one dysfunctional family.

cthulhu_4_president 8 years, 10 months ago

"You entire response seems based on self-serving, incorrect assumptions."

And you have no room to lecture me about self-serving, incorrect assumptions. Again, have you read your first post?

"Yes, I am afraid even in ......blah blah blah for 6 more sentances"

What in the world are you babbling about?

"I may be guilty of the crime of over-generalizing, "

That's a no-brianer.

"but so far this is pretty much my impression of the touted midwestern “friendliness” "

You are indeed free to your opinion. And you obviously enjoy it daily.

"I try to collect counterexamples but so far haven't come up with many."

I'm sure that you are a very non-biased researcher of.....whatever it is that you've been blabbering about.

Have a nice day, you seem very happy indeed.

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