University of Kansas Chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little announced Thursday that she will step down next summer. Gray-Little has led the school since 2009, when she became the first woman and the first African-American to serve as KU chancellor.
In a message to campus students and staff, Gray-Little said she’s proud of the school's accomplishments during her tenure, including the Far Above fundraising campaign, which raised $1.6 billion to help pay for scholarships, faculty and new buildings.
She also mentioned the Central District redevelopment, a major construction project now underway on the Lawrence campus.
"Now is an ideal time for the University of Kansas to identify a new chancellor to guide the next chapter in the university’s history,” says Gray-Little. “Additionally, by announcing my decision now, we give state and university leaders a full academic year to conduct the important work of recruiting the next chancellor without the need for an interim, which will ensure a smoother transition.”
The chair of the Board of Regents, Zoe Newton, thanked Gray-Little for her work at the university.
“Chancellor Gray-Little has been a transformative figure for the University of Kansas and has ably guided the university during the past seven years,” says Newton.
In the coming weeks, the Board of Regents will announce the process to search for Gray-Little's replacement.
KPR's Stephen Koranda filed this report.