The University of Kansas has announced that Chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little, the school’s 17th chancellor, will step down in summer 2017. The university also said that details of the search process for Gray-Little’s successor will be shared in the coming weeks.
Gray-Little—the first female, first African American chancellor in KU history—arrived in 2009 after holding leadership positions at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, including executive vice chancellor and provost.
Zoe Newton, chair of the Kansas Board of Regents., the first people to be notified of Gray-Little’s decision, said that the chancellor “Chancellor Gray-Little has been a transformative figure for the University of Kansas and has ably guided the university during the past seven years.” Newton added, “On behalf of the Board of Regents, I want to thank her for her service and leadership and wish her the very best.”
Expressing her gratitude for the opportunity of leading the university, Gray-Little explained the timing of her announcement, “With many critical initiatives either completed or nearing completion…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.” She added, “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.”