Jayhawks Rising: Aligning for Common Purpose, Collaboration & Accountability

Barbara A. Bichelmeyer, Provost & Executive Vice Chancellor
Monday, April 3, 2023, 11:35 a.m.
KU Lawrence Faculty, Staff and Affiliates

Dear Colleague,

For the first time in a long time, we can see how all the plans we make, all the actions we take, and all the work we do in our respective units are working together to contribute to KU’s larger goals. 

In January, the academic deans on the Lawrence and Edwards campuses presented plans for Fiscal Year 2024 that demonstrate solid, intentional ties between each academic unit’s activities and the priorities and objectives of the Jayhawks Rising strategic plan.

Each dean presented to an audience of other KU leaders that included the Chancellor, vice chancellors and vice provosts of administrative support units, and university governance leaders. The deans’ individual presentations facilitated alignment and planning in other areas such as research, information technology services, DEIB, communications, enrollment management, and facilities and operations.

While it may have been stressful for the deans during this inaugural process, they each rose to the challenge and delivered thoughtful assessments and informative plans.

To ensure the audience of reviewers had a common frame of reference, each dean used a template to prepare and deliver their presentations. This helped the reviewers anticipate and offer in-the-moment feedback on the unit plans and identify recurring themes and connections across units. The template focused on:

•    Unit mission

•    Unit action plan for Research & Discovery

•    Unit action plan for Student Success

•    Unit action plan for Healthy & Vibrant Communities

•    Resource needs for success in these areas

The deans’ plans spelled out current or developing strategies within the next five years to advance the objectives of each institutional priority. The plans also indicated the critical success factors that will be used to measure progress. In addition, the presentations revealed how a unit’s individual activities addressed one or more of the five core foundations of Jayhawks Rising. This will help to maintain and strengthen KU’s institutional accountabilities to the Higher Learning Commission, our university accreditor; the Kansas Board of Regents, our governing authority; membership in the Association of American Universities; the incorporation of the RISE framework to support diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging; and KU’s focus on comprehensive internationalization. 

The strategic alignment presentations, which will expand to include vice provosts next year, help us integrate our strategies with the annual budget process. By working together to inform and build the financial plan, both the unit and the university are better able to achieve strategic priorities. What is truly exciting is that these presentations contributed to increased awareness, collaboration, improved consistency across units, transparency, and opportunities for continuous improvement. It also allows for greater effectiveness in communications with our internal stakeholders and external constituents. 

It is important that you know what’s taking place in your respective units, as well as how these activities and goals tie directly to our institutional objectives advancing KU and to objectives in other units. It is my hope that the deans, and eventually our vice provosts, use the alignment presentations as another opportunity to have regular conversations with you. 

For more information about Jayhawks Rising initiatives and processes, please visit jayhawksrising.ku.edu

Thank you for all you do for KU.

Together, we are Jayhawks Rising.



Barbara A. Bichelmeyer

Provost & Executive Vice Chancellor