Jayhawks Rising March Update

Barbara A. Bichelmeyer, Provost & Executive Vice Chancellor
March 8, 2022, 9:02 a.m.
KU Lawrence staff, faculty and affiliates

Dear Colleagues,

Our vision to be an exceptional learning community that lifts each other and advances society took shape prior to my arrival as Provost, and with work, continued even as we have made our way through the pandemic. Over months and years, the KU community has come together in multiple events to generate scores of ideas and activities that will strengthen our institutional effectiveness while keeping true to our vision. Jayhawks Rising is the result — its goal is to improve the quality of your experience at KU, and at the same time, it will need your support and effort in order to succeed.

The plan is framed around three mission-based institutional priorities — Student Success, Healthy & Vibrant Communities, and Research & Discovery — and 13 objectives that create strategic alignment across the organization and serve as the foundation for our success as an AAU research-intensive institution.

Deans and Vice Provosts were identified in early 2021 to serve as co-leads for each of the 13 objectives. Our Objective Leaders were selected because they have daily responsibilities tied to their particular objective. These leaders gathered last June to review ideas formed by design teams and collected from submitted suggestions from all areas of the campus community. They also considered the expectations of outside stakeholders, such as our accrediting agency and the Association of American Universities.

During the summer months, the Objective Leaders refined strategies to address each objective. This past fall they met to identify three strategies for each objective that have the greatest potential to advance KU’s vision and mission and elevate the university. Through additional dialogue and coordination, they worked to ensure each objective, as well as the top strategies, are aligned across units and functions. We continue to have regular conversations to ensure the most effective use of KU resources. Objective Leaders will soon begin holding regular meetings with campus stakeholders to share their strategies and action steps to help ensure we all work in concert to reach our full potential.

So many people have provided input to this plan and this process, for which I am so appreciative. We continue to welcome your ideas, your efforts and your comments. To participate, find the “Get Involved” and “Email Us” buttons on the Jayhawks Rising homepage.

From Ideas to Implementation

As we’ve moved into the implementation phase of Jayhawks Rising, dozens of individuals have already begun work to incorporate our key strategies. Over the coming months, we will employ various methods of communication to help Jayhawks become more aware of the plan’s details and see how the work you do individually — and what we do collectively — contributes to a better, more strategically aligned KU.

These strategies align with the work we already undertake to educate and support our students, to elevate our scholars and to build an environment where people want to work and study. The Jayhawks Rising strategic plan is not something extra we do in addition to our day jobs, it is the foundation of our work — the way we achieve our mission and vision.

The strategies appearing on the website, as well as in the executive summary, address some of our most pressing concerns and opportunities for our greatest advances. Resources — both financial as well as time and talent — will be assigned to these to help ensure our actions and investments guide us toward our vision to be an exceptional learning community that lifts each member and advances society. In the near future, CFO Jeff DeWitt will share greater detail about the financial health of KU Lawrence-Edwards, and a plan that facilitates our fiscal recovery and the achievement of our Jayhawks Rising priorities and objectives.

Please visit jayhawksrising.ku.edu to learn more. The website will be updated with new information as it becomes available and with new initiatives as they are developed.

Thank you for all you do for KU.

Together, we are Jayhawks Rising.



Barbara A. Bichelmeyer

Provost & Executive Vice Chancellor