Five Values for a Better KU

Dear Students, Staff and Faculty,

The spring semester is well underway, and I hope you are making progress on your goals and aspirations!

Last year at this time, leaders from governance and administration worked together on a project to renew our culture. The effort – the IRISE Culture Charter – articulated the values and agreements we have for ourselves and for how we engage with each other. The IRISE values – Integrity, Respect, Innovation, Stewardship, Excellence – are the foundation of our vision to be an exceptional learning community that lifts each member and advances society.

Beginning this semester, KU Lawrence and Edwards will spotlight these values as we strengthen our culture to support excellence and individual success for each of our community members. Our goal is to promote freedom of expression and academic freedom, while at the same time fostering the sense of belonging, care and safety that are necessary to facilitate learning and growth.

Why it Matters

At a leading research institution like KU, we are committed to excellence, education and equity. Central to these commitments is the environment we cultivate for our students, our staff and our faculty. For each of us to thrive, we need to be intentional about the ways we engage with each other, the values we share, and in our shared use of the physical and virtual spaces where we live, learn, create, discover and work.

What we provide here at KU is more than a degree and more than a paycheck. We each invest in improving ourselves, in supporting others, and in improving the world around us. Our IRISE Culture Charter communicates our agreements with each other as we each pursue our own learning, as we engage in free inquiry, and as we address the challenges of our world today.

Please take some time to review the culture charter to consider how you experience and express these values and agreements. Do you see yourself and your colleagues or classmates reflected in them? Do these values motivate you? Do these agreements empower you?

Recognize Your Colleagues

The IRISE values are not new at KU. What is new in our culture charter is the articulation of our agreements for living out each value. To highlight our agreements, we want to recognize and appreciate our faculty, staff and students who live our values and agreements every day. These people represent the best of our culture, and for this, they deserve to be celebrated.

Please take a moment to express your gratitude to a colleague or classmate who has helped you or supported your success at KU by modeling the five IRISE values: Integrity, Respect, Innovation, Stewardship and Excellence. At the bottom of the Provost Office IRISE webpage, you will find a link where you can celebrate your colleague with well-deserved recognition by submitting a nomination.

Our values are contagious. The more we see them in each other, the more we try to emulate them. During this and future semesters, we will provide programming that features members of our community who model our IRISE values and agreements, and we will promote their inspirational approaches to working, living and studying across our campuses.

The passion, creativity and focus with which we approach our work and our learning matters. The way we engage with each other matters. The proverbial rising tide does lift all boats. At KU, IRISE lifts all Jayhawks.

Thank you for all you do for KU.



Barbara A. Bichelmeyer

Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor

Join the office on Facebook at /KUprovostoffice/. Join the office on Instagram at /KUprovost/. Follow the Provost Office on X at @KUProvost.

This issue of Provost's Message as well as past messages from this office can be found on the Provost's Message web page.