NPR in Kansas City
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
Available On Air Stations
Education

Regents Select KU Medical Center Leader As Next KU Chancellor

girod.jpg
Stephen Koranda
/
Kansas Public Radio
Doug Girod on Thursday was named the next University of Kansas chancellor. He said he'll focus first on student recruitment, retention and graduation rates.

The Kansas Board of Regents on Thursday named Doug Girod to be the next chancellor of the University of Kansas.

Girod served as executive vice chancellor of the KU Medical Center for the last four years.

“Dr. Girod is the right person for this time of transition. His 23 years of service are a testament to Dr. Girod’s love and commitment to KU,” Regents Chair Zoe Newton said during a special meeting in Lawrence. “He will honor KU’s traditions and history while leading this great university into the future.”

Girod is a surgeon specializing in ear, nose and throat issues. He joined KU Medical Center in 1994.

He said one of his first priorities will be to appoint a task force to address student recruitment, retention and graduation rates.

“We will focus on the overall student experience on our campus and increase their opportunities for experiential learning in our communities, and we’ll strengthen our outreach across the entire state of Kansas and beyond,” Girod said.

On the budget front, Girod said he’ll work to better communicate KU’s value with Kansas lawmakers. Higher education in Kansas took funding cuts last year.

“We do great things with those resources, but we don’t always do a great job telling our story,” he said. “We need to continue working on the communication element so they can appreciate what return on investment they’re getting and what an economic engine we are in this state.”

University officials recognize the state faces a tight budget, he said.

Girod credited outgoing Chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little with improving the infrastructure and boosting fundraising at KU.

“It is hard to look anywhere and not see the relevance of her tenure on this campus,” he said.

Gray-Little will step down from the job this summer.

Stephen Koranda is Statehouse reporter for Kansas Public Radio, a partner in the Kansas News Service.