LEADING A MAJOR UNIVERSITY IS NO EASY TASK. It involves the ability to bring passionate scholars with different perspectives together, to provide an environment where students can thrive, and to address the challenging issues of our time.

That’s why I’m excited to welcome Douglas A. Girod as the 18th chancellor of the University of Kansas. 

I have had the opportunity to work with Chancellor Girod in his previous role as executive vice chancellor of KU Medical Center. His big-picture mentality brought momentum to build the new Health Education Building in Kansas City, Kan., establish a new medical school in Salina and expand the existing one in Wichita. These initiatives will have a lasting influence on the quality of life of people in our state.

Girod’s appointment has a historical connection: He is our third chancellor to come from KU Medical Center, joining Franklin Murphy and W. Clarke Wescoe.

Undoubtedly shaped by his career as a surgeon, he has a keen ability to analyze problems and develop solutions. But he is also thoughtful, strategic and visionary. His genuine nature and warm personality will serve him well in working with our alumni and friends. In his first message to the campus, he stated: “Like so many of you, I am a Jayhawk to the core.”


Girod has stated that improving the overall student experience will be one of his priorities. He also plans to focus on growing research to maintain KU’s status in the prestigious Association of American Universities, and to expand outreach to our state. I believe these goals will resonate with donors.

Girod and his wife, Susan, have started a new life on Mount Oread. He will forge his own path as the leader of the entire university, with all its campuses and diverse academic programs. Living in Lawrence, he will find a community infused with school spirit, where scholars examine the world from all angles. 

I’m filled with optimism about the future of our great university under Doug Girod’s leadership, and the opportunity to magnify our impact on our state and the world. 

Welcome, Chancellor Girod. KU Endowment stands ready to help you accomplish great things.