New Chancellor Makes First Formal KU Address
No matter whether it is canada goose outlet in usa your first convocation or your 50th, I’m confident you feel the excitement and anticipation that comes from the start of a new school year.
We’re on the eve of a journey a journey that has different routes and different destinations for all of us, but one that we all chose to take together, as Jayhawks.
Our itinerary is set, in the form of class schedules and research plans. Our bags are packed with some of us eagerly collecting clothing that’s a darker shade of blue than what we owned previously and we’re ready to go.
In residence halls, apartments and houses around Lawrence, new friends and roommates are meeting for the first time or getting reacquainted after a summer apart. They’re telling each other about their lives, their passions and their hopes for the future. They’re learning about the people who will travel with them on this journey.
In that spirit, I’d like to tell you a little bit about myself and the road I’ve taken to get to this evening.
My journey began in Washington, North Carolina. It’s a small town in the eastern part of the state, sitting on an inlet that leads out into the Atlantic Ocean.
I had a very rich childhood. I was the fourth child of eight. My father was a construction worker or at times he did farm labor. My mother goose outlet canada would have considered it a luxury to be able to stay at home and take care of us, but at times she also worked sometimes on canada goose black friday sale a part time basis and sometimes, full time.
In addition to their love, my parents conveyed canada goose jacket outlet a commitment to personal integrity and a conviction that we should not let external perceptions set limits on our aspirations. They also gave me a belief in the power of education to transform a life. That belief has stayed with me my entire career, and it is a belief that my husband, Shade, who is also from Washington, North Carolina, has helped me instill in our two children.
I attended a Catholic school through my senior year in high school. It was the nuns there who suggested I go to Marywood University in Scranton, Pennsylvania. With their encouragement, the support of my family and a number of scholarships, I attended Marywood and earned my degree in psychology.
With my parents’ message about the power of an education reinforced by my college professors, I decided to continue my studies by attending Saint canada goose Louis University. in psychology. was or what it took to get one. At the end of my time in St. Louis I competed successfully for a Fulbright fellowship, which provided an opportunity uk canada goose outlet to conduct research in Denmark.
>From Copenhagen, it was back to North Carolina, this time to Chapel Hill. It was there where I could realize my passion for teaching and research, devoting much of my work to canada goose store the effects of social and cultural factors on personality and psychopathology. From assistant professor to professor, then chair, dean and provost, I tried to never lose canada goose coats on sale sight of the fact that it was access to higher education that changed my life, just as it changes the lives of all of our students.
I thoroughly enjoyed my years at UNC and could have easily spent my entire career there. But when the opportunity to become chancellor of the University of Kansas presented itself, I couldn’t canada goose outlet uk say no. During the interview process I was inspired by the love and aspirations that committee members had for this university. I have not once regretted my decision. Indeed I am confirmed in it each day.
Now that I’ve told you a little bit about where I’ve come from, I’d like to canada goose uk black friday give you my vision for where I believe we can take this great university.
I do this understanding there are a great many things I do not yet know about KU. After https://www.georg-godorr.de all, it was just Monday at Traditions Night that I learned the Alma Mater and Rock Chalk Chant, and it’ll still take me some time to master that special hand clap.
But I can tell you that in the few short weeks since I had the honor of being named chancellor, I’ve already canada goose outlet gained a tremendous appreciation for the support that exists for KU here in Lawrence and around the state. Kansans recognize what they have here and canada goose outlet online uk they want us to succeed.
I intend to use the coming days, weeks and months learning about this university, the hometowns of our campuses and this state. I’ll spend much of my time meeting with faculty and staff, deans and donors, alumni and Kansans, here on campus and around the state and nation.
I want to hear from them and from you about what KU’s strengths are and where we can make improvements. I want to see how KU already works for Kansas and learn how we can help meet even more of the state’s needs.
These conversations will undoubtedly inform my thinking about the long term direction of the university. But as I told the search committee and the regents, I have three main areas that I intend to focus on initially: one, undergraduate education, including increasing our graduation rate; two, raising KU’s scholarly and research profiles, which has important implications for graduate and professional students; and three, ensuring we have the resources to accomplish these and other priorities.
KU’s mission is one of teaching, research and service, and the men and women of KU shape lives and improve the world around them. Nowhere is that work more evident than in academics. Watching students learn and grow is one of the most rewarding aspects of being an educator, but we also have a responsibility to ensure that growth leads to a degree because education should help you make a life and a living.
My life would have been radically different had I not finished college. I canada goose clearance sale don’t know where I would have ended up, but it wouldn’t have been here on this stage.
Far too many students who begin college do not finish it. The hopes canada goose outlet new york city of the first day of college turn to regrets, with canada goose factory outlet the stigma of dropping out only adding to the financial cost of not finishing.
I recognize canada goose uk shop this is a problem at universities nationwide. I canada goose outlet store uk also know KU has made strides and its graduation rate is the best in the state. Yet only about 32 percent of first time freshmen have graduated after four years, and only 60 percent after six years.
How do we change that? There’s no easy answer, but that is a question I will seek solutions for as I meet with you here on campus and with people around the state.
Certainly, canada goose outlet canada making sure students are prepared when they enter KU is part of the solution and the new flexibility on admissions standards should be part of the discussion. Also, the Four year Tuition Compact, in addition to making the cost of college predicable for students and families, should act as an incentive to graduate in four years and then walk down the Hill at Commencement. I’m looking forward to my first walk, and in 2013, I want to take that walk with those of you who are first year students now.
The walk down the Hill is one of the many things KU is known for. Another is championships. Debate championships, journalism championships and, of course, basketball championships. KU is known as a great place to be a champion, but it is also known as Canada Goose Outlet a great place to be a scholar.
The second area I plan to focus on is the scholarly profile of the university, raising it from its already strong level by ensuring research in all fields is fully supported and promoted. As an international research university, KU attracts researchers and scholars from around the world researchers who also travel the globe on journeys of discovery. Our students learn from faculty members who are renowned in their fields and whose research interests span nearly the entire scope of human knowledge.
It is my intent to ensure the university promotes a wide canada goose outlet toronto factory spectrum of research, from the drive for National Cancer Institute designation, through all areas of the natural sciences, and on to the arts, humanities and social sciences.
NCI designation is within our grasp and other major research initiatives must also be identified and supported. Major collective initiatives leverage KU’s strength and depth for creating new knowledge in order to change our world and benefit our state.
To be successful in raising KU’s scholarly profile, we must ensure we have the facilities and resources needed to compete for outside funding, and we must encourage cooperation and collaboration between researchers from different fields, across our different schools and campuses.