Steering Committee & Programs Summary

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October 20th – First meeting of the steering committee. Beginning of a SWOT analysis of strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. Appraisal by Provost Vitter of the urgency of the planning mission, indicators of the state of the university (1.2 MB PDF), and committee discussion on the weaknesses and threats to KU’s ability to be successful.

October 26th – Second meeting of the steering committee. Continuation of SWOT (actually WTSO) analysis (119 KB PDF). Faculty panel and response panel on the topic of how to build synergies at KU – discussing both where it happens and why it doesn’t happen. Steering committee examined strengths and opportunities for KU and preliminary elements of goals to be used to design the work group charges.

November 1st – Third meeting of the steering committee. Student panel discussion on their experiences at KU and what KU could do to engage students at a higher level. Steering committee discussion and refinement of the work group charges.

November 8th – Fourth meeting of the steering committee and first meeting of the work groups. Kick-off by Chancellor Gray-Little. Background by Provost Vitter on the urgency of the planning process. Perspectives and summary of steering committee work by co-chair Prof. Mabel Rice. Description of the key goals and characteristics (110 KB PDF) that form the charges to the work groups. The work groups initial meeting and planning of their efforts, due in early March.

December 14th – Fifth meeting of the steering committee. Working group chairs shared progress to date and plan for moving forward. Steering committee discussed issues relating to the overarching enabler of developing the KU workforce. Strategic initiatives were introduced. See the relevant discussion board for more details.

January 20th – Sixth meeting of the steering committee. Provost Vitter used a PowerPoint presentation (523 KB PDF) to show next steps in the strategic planning process. Vice Provost for Administration and Finance, Diane Goddard, presented issues pertinent to the overarching enabler of organizational and support infrastructure. Steering committee developed and ranked action steps for addressing organizational and support infrastructure issues. See the relevant discussion board for more details.

February 22nd – Seventh meeting of the steering committee. Provost Vitter used a PowerPoint presentation (270 KB PDF) to give a broad overview of KU’s resources. President of KU’s Endowment Association, Dale Seuferling, presented information about philanthropy and the capital campaign. Associate Vice Chancellor of Innovation and Entrepreneurship, Julie Goonewardene, presented information about entrepreneurship’s role in a modern university. Steering committee developed and ranked action steps for addressing issues related to making KU more entrepreneurial. See the relevant discussion board for more details.

March 17th – Eighth meeting of the steering committee. Provost Vitter used a PowerPoint presentation (434 KB PDF) to highlight broad community participation and the overall progress in strategic planning. The four work groups presented their preliminary reports to and received feedback from the steering committee. See the relevant discussion board for more details.

April 18th – Ninth meeting of the steering committee. Provost Vitter discussed the strategic planning progress to date. The steering committee outlined synergies, linkages, and cross-pressures across the four work group reports to be considered while creating the final strategic plan. The steering committee also provided feedback on the enabler goals. See the relevant discussion board for more details.

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