The Kansas Board of Regents has selected Dr. Doug Girod to be the next chancellor of the University of Kansas. Girod has been serving as the head of the KU Medical Center for the last four years.
The regents held a special meeting in Lawrence Thursday to make the announcement.
“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," said Regents Chair Zoe Newton. "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 Med 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.
Higher education in Kansas took funding cuts last year and on the budget front, Girod said he’ll be working to better communicate with Kansas lawmakers.
“We do great things with those resources, but we don’t always do a great job telling our story and 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,” Girod said.
University officials do recognize the state faces a tight budget, he said.
Girod credits outgoing Chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little with improving infrastructure on the campuses and boosting fundraising.
“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.