Carney Selected to Lead Launch of Jayhawk Global

Barbara A. Bichelmeyer, Provost & Executive Vice Chancellor
Friday, Feb. 4, 2022, 3:09 p.m.
KU Lawrence staff, faculty and affiliates

Dear Colleague,

I’ve been in conversations with our Deans and other senior leaders for many months about the importance of expanding our enrollment and the opportunities presented through growth in online instruction and other broad outreach endeavors. I’m excited to share with you today that Michelle Carney, Dean of the School of Social Welfare, will become the Founding Vice Provost for Jayhawk Global.

Jayhawk Global leverages existing resources of marketing, the Center for Online and Distance Education, the Edwards Campus and Lifelong and Professional Education and our philosophies of student engagement and academic excellence, and clarifies lines of administrative support to re-envision how KU delivers online instruction and noncredit bearing programs to every interested individual, regardless of where they live.

Michelle will retain her status as Dean of Social Welfare and will use this enhanced role to lay the groundwork over the next six months to launch Jayhawk Global. She has demonstrated strengths in innovation, experience in academic leadership as well as experience with online academic programs, and she’s been a model of engagement with the communities served through KU-Edwards.

She will work closely with the Deans and Vice Provosts to transform and strategically align existing administrative functions and processes and help remove existing organizational barriers between the Lawrence and Edwards locations. This will help us ensure consistent high-quality support for all students whether online, or in-person at Lawrence or in Overland Park.

Michelle will work with academic leaders, faculty, and Vice Provost for Academic Affairs and Graduate Studies Jen Roberts, Chief Marketing Officer Chris Gregory and Vice Provost for Enrollment Management Matt Melvin to identify and build new markets that deliver high-demand programs through online and noncredit bearing options.

As we look to the future, and more specifically to grow and build the strength of the university, we must recognize the importance of increasing our enrollment and seizing the opportunities that remain underexplored. Lawrence is an exceptionally strong research-residential experience. Edwards will continue to serve on-the-ground workforce development needs of professional and commuter students. We have several nationally recognized programs that are already available in the online realm, and we have amazing intellectual talent and instructional capabilities on all our locations that can dramatically expand KU’s impact and status on a global scale. Jayhawk Global will be the virtual branding of KU academic programs.

Michelle will begin the process of building Jayhawk Global with an understanding of what the Deans and faculty need this online space to be and do. She has an understanding of the strengths that Edwards has contributed in its vision to compete in and serve the Kansas City Metro. She has an understanding of the innovation and growth that needs to happen to serve our constituents and future students.

I want to thank Stuart Day, Dean of the School of Professional Studies and the Edwards Campus; Emily Zentner, Interim Vice Provost for Lifelong & Professional Education; and Laura Diede, Director of the Center for Online and Distance Education, who have been and continue to be amazing partners as we re-envision how KU can emerge from the pandemic as an international force in online education, and all will continue to be important members of our leadership at KU. I anticipate Michelle will serve as the Founding Vice Provost for six to nine months.

What transpires in the months ahead will be important to the fiscal success of KU, as well as to our reputational advancement. You can learn more about Jayhawk Global in this video. In the days ahead we will work on an FAQ page to share with campus.

Please join me in thanking the Deans for their counsel as we explored how to expand the reach and impact of our faculty, and in thanking all our Vice Provosts for their guidance on how we can better serve our students and other constituents. We have a great concept and a great leader for Jayhawk Global, and with your participation we will surely have great success.

Rock Chalk!


Barbara A. Bichelmeyer

Provost & Executive Vice Chancellor