About the Office of the Provost
We live in times that have been described as both “extraordinary” and “tough.” In his inaugural address in January 2009, President Barack Obama signaled the importance of higher education and how it must rise to meet “the demands of a new age.”
Through our strategic plan Bold Aspirations, the University of Kansas seeks to respond to the demands of a new age. We seek to change our world, and at the same time, our world calls upon us to change. We have made much progress, and we look to the continued engagement and awareness of everyone in our campus community as we move ever forward.
In every way, our goal is to make KU an engaged university. We must ensure that our interactions — between students and teachers, faculty and their academic fields, or KU and the community — foster an active flow of knowledge and discovery.
We aspire to engage our students in the learning process, challenging them to take an active role in their education. We encourage them to be active members of our campus and our community, presenting opportunities for research, global awareness, service, and leadership. Engaged learning expands our concept of the classroom or laboratory and brings a new focus to student experiences.
We must continue to be engaged in the pursuit of knowledge, because research and teaching are inexorably linked — one discovering new information, the other disseminating it. By obtaining external funding for research projects and sharing our findings with the world, we fulfill our mission as a major research university and member of the Association of American Universities. Through faculty publications, fellowships, and research awards, we mark the varieties of research engagement that indicate the thriving creativity of our intellectual community.
We remain engaged with our state, always seeking to meet the needs of Kansas students, families, and businesses. Wendell Berry, a farmer, writer, and thinker, has noted: “If this education is to be used well, it is obvious that it must be used somewhere; it must be used where one lives, where one intends to continue to live; it must be brought home.” At KU, we bring education home to Kansas through the many contributions we make to our state and the collaborations we encourage with other state universities and community colleges.
In times that are both extraordinary and tough, like those KU is experiencing now, engagement also requires that we look inward, that we set institutional priorities and examine how we can better achieve the mission of this great university. Together, we can respond to the demands of a new age at KU and meet our bold aspirations.