Board of Regents to announce KU’s next chancellor today

Strong Hall, Kansas University

UPDATE:KU Medical Center leader Doug Girod named 18th chancellor of KU

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The Kansas Board of Regents is poised to name the next chancellor of the University of Kansas.

A public meeting of the board has been scheduled for 1 p.m. Thursday at the Lied Center, 1600 Stewart Drive on the KU campus, the board has announced.

During the meeting the board will formally vote to approve the chosen candidate, who also is expected to be in attendance. The meeting will be live-streamed online at

The board interviewed finalists for the job Tuesday and Wednesday in Topeka. Board spokeswoman Breeze Richardson declined to answer how many finalists were interviewed but confirmed it was multiple candidates.

The KU chancellor, the university’s chief executive officer, is at the helm of a multi-campus, multi-million-dollar operation.

The chancellor oversees the university’s main campus in Lawrence, the KU Edwards Campus in Overland Park and the KU Medical Center campus in Kansas City, as well as smaller School of Medicine campuses in Wichita and Salina. The chancellor also oversees KU research and educational centers in Hays, Parsons, Pittsburg and Topeka plus the Kansas Law Enforcement Training Center in Yoder.

KU Chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little, 72, announced in September that she would step down this summer. Gray-Little, formerly provost and executive vice chancellor at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, became KU’s 17th chancellor in 2009.

As it did when Gray-Little was hired, the board opted to conduct a closed search for her successor. The board has not publicly shared the name of any candidates or finalists, and intends only to announce the name of the person who is ultimately hired.

The consulting firm of R. William Funk & Associates was hired to help recruit candidates. The chancellor search committee, chaired by KU alumni and former Kroger CEO David Dillon, vetted candidates and presented finalists to the Board of Regents for final consideration.

“The committee did fulfill the charge of forwarding three to five candidates,” Dillon said this week.

Dillon declined to share additional information or descriptions about the finalists, citing the board’s decision to keep candidates’ identities confidential.

Dillon said he was pleased with his committee’s work in tackling the question, “What does the university really need at this time?”

The 25-member search committee included KU students, faculty, staff, alumni and community members.

Even with the committee’s large size and differing perspectives, members operated in a collaborative and effective way, Dillon said. He said KU constituents should be proud of how their viewpoints were represented by committee members.

“They wanted what’s best for KU,” Dillon said.