A message of reflection, remembrance and hope

Chancellor Douglas A. Girod, M.D.; Barbara A. Bichelmeyer, Provost & Executive Vice Chancellor; Mike Rounds, Vice Provost for Human Resources, Public Safety and Operations D.A. Graham, Interim Vice Provost for Diversity, Equity & Inclusion; Jeff DeWitt, Chief Financial Officer
Friday, Sept. 10, 2021, 1:35 p.m.
KU Lawrence staff, faculty and affiliates Active Lawrence and Edwards students at KU

Faculty, Staff and Students,

The United States’ withdrawal from Afghanistan and the subsequent takeover by the Taliban have brought mixed emotions for many people within the KU community. Our hearts are with those most closely touched by these difficult events, including Jayhawks who are actively serving or who served in the military, and those who have close ties to Afghanistan.

We recognize the sacrifice of U.S. service members, veterans and their families, and we mourn the thousands of casualties — both military and civilian — over the past 20 years. Regardless of politics, watching the last planes leave Kabul felt like an unsatisfying end to that chapter in history.

This weekend, the country also marks a devastating anniversary. The scars from 9/11 may never fully heal, and the situation in Afghanistan may compound that anguish. Although our community and country have seen hate and violence against people based on their identities, we also have seen extraordinary acts of kindness and compassion. Our hope is that as a campus community — and as a nation — we will focus on the ties that bind us together rather than the differences that divide us.

Many people in our community have deep, personal and profound connections to 9/11 and the situation in Afghanistan. The Employee Assistance Program (EAP) can provide support and mental health services for faculty and staff, while Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) provides those services to students. The greatest good, however, often comes through our personal interactions. For our active military and veteran students, the Military Affiliated Student Center is a safe place for such interaction.

We encourage you to connect with and offer support to Jayhawks and their families who are active military, veterans or first responders, as well as our students and colleagues who have been personally impacted by 9/11 and Afghanistan.


Doug Girod


U.S Navy Reserves, 1982 – 1997

Barbara A. Bichelmeyer

Provost & Executive Vice Chancellor

Mike Rounds

Vice Provost for Human Resources, Public Safety and Operations

U.S. Army, Retired

D.A. Graham

Interim Vice Provost for Diversity, Equity & Inclusion

U.S. Navy, 1986 – 2005

Jeff DeWitt

Chief Financial Officer

U.S. Army and Army Reserve, 1979 – 1982