Initiative 2015

The University of Kansas stands for many things, but it never stands still. From time to time, we step back to assess how we’re doing and where we’re going. What we learn drives what we do, so that an already great university can become even stronger.

In January 2008, then-Chancellor Robert Hemenway convened three task forces to address topics that are central to our life together. Each task force included KU faculty, staff and students. After completing their deliberations, they submitted a number of recommendations. The Initiative 2015 report reflects their input and those recommendations.

The three topics are at the core of our mission: teaching and learning, discovering and innovating, and working for Kansas. The charge to the task forces was to provide a sense of where KU needs to be in each area by the year 2015 — the date of KU’s next overall accreditation review.

Bold Aspirations

Bold Aspirations is the strategic plan for KU, comprising individual plans for the following:

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Jaclyn Carpenter, a junior studying American Studies, took a moment after finishing her finals to wander around Marvin Grove — know the feeling? But Jaclyn told us her semester was a good one. Her favorite class this year? Jewish American Literature, "because professor Cheryl Lester really knows how to engage with her classes." This made us want to know: What was your favorite class and why? Jaclyn added some advice: “You're only on this campus for four years, so take any free time you have to explore all the unique wonders it has." We love that idea, Jaclyn. #exploreKU

Curiosity sparks KU paleontologist Chris Beard’s quest for man’s ancient cousins When he’s not scrutinizing ancient primate fossils in his KU lab, world-renowned paleontologist Chris Beard (http://bit.ly/1w3TQSj) is out stalking human evolutionary ancestors in remote corners of Libya, Turkey, China, Myanmar, Kazakhstan, Cambodia, Egypt, Tunisia, or Kenya. Beard, who came to KU as a Foundation Distinguished Professor, has a passion for being out in the middle of nowhere and making a discovery — “There’s nothing better than that. It’s fabulous.”


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Why KU
  • One of 34 U.S. public institutions in the prestigious Association of American Universities
  • 26 prestigious Rhodes Scholars — more than all other Kansas colleges combined
  • Nearly $290 million in financial aid annually
  • 46 nationally ranked graduate programs.
    —U.S. News & World Report
  • Top 50 nationwide for size of library collection.
    —ALA
  • 23rd nationwide for service to veterans —"Best for Vets," Military Times