As provost, Neeli Bendapudi helped students move into KU student housing in fall 2016.

Before Neeli Bendapudi had a chance to settle into the dean’s office in the new Capitol Federal Hall, she moved into Strong Hall as KU provost and executive vice chancellor.

As business dean since 2011, Bendapudi led the school to record enrollment, launched an online MBA program, and oversaw fundraising and construction of the school’s new $70 million home, which opened in May.

In her new post, Bendapudi is KU’s chief academic officer and chief operating officer for the Lawrence and Edwards campuses. She is responsible for advancing KU’s mission in conjunction with the chancellor, administrators, faculty, staff, and students.


Freshman class milestones

KU’s freshman class grew for the fifth-straight year in fall 2016 — and was the most academically talented in KU history. The 4,233 new Jayhawks were KU’s fourth-largest freshman class ever. Their average ACT score was 25.7 and their average GPA was 3.58 — both all-time highs.

The class also included 22.9 percent minorities, making it KU’s second-most diverse freshman class ever.

Aerospace winning streak

KU’s engineering team claimed first place at the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics Team Engine Design Competition. Since the AIAA competitions began in 1968, Jayhawks have earned more awards than any other school in the world.

New Libraries dean

Since May 2016, Kevin L. Smith has been dean of KU Libraries — the largest library system in Kansas. Smith oversees more than 4.4 million print volumes in seven campus facilities and 110,000 full-text journal titles online.

Delving into diplomacy

Rebecca Rumptz, a student veteran majoring in international studies and journalism, has been chosen for the U.S. Foreign Service Internship Program with the Department of State.

We are #1

The University of Kansas has the No. 1 special education program in the nation, according to U.S. News & World Report. KU’s Master of Public Administration program also received a top ranking for the 18th year in a row.

Best for Vets

KU’s commitment to serve those who serve our country has earned the university a top-10 spot from the Military Times in its “Best for Vets” college rankings for the second consecutive year. Today, KU has more than 1,300 military-affiliated students and 400 faculty and staff on its five campuses.

Far Above capital campaign

2016 marked the completion of Far Above, the most successful capital campaign in KU history. The $1.66 billion raised from the campaign is transforming the university — funding 16 construction projects, 53 new professorships, and 735 student scholarships.

Best in show

For the fifth year in a row, the School of Architecture, Design & Planning’s design department was named Best School at the National Student Show, where KU students won nearly half of the awards, including Best In Show. The show is sponsored by the Dallas Society of Visual Communications.