picture of Dr. Bernadette Gray-Little

Dr. Bernadette Gray-Little

Trustee

Dr. Gray-Little, recently retired, served as the 17th Chancellor at the University of Kansas from 2009-2017. During her distinguished tenure, she advanced the university’s mission of lifting students and society by educating leaders, building healthy communities, and making discoveries that change the world. She led the effort to create new admission standards to give students and families a more accurate picture of what it takes to be successful at a research university. Under her leadership, the university also revamped financial aid, creating four-year renewable scholarships and expanding the Jayhawk Generations Scholarship. Due in large part to these efforts, the university experienced five straight years of freshman class growth. Dr. Gray-Little was also instrumental to the creation of Chancellor’s Doctoral Fellowships to support outstanding doctoral students, as well as the creation of KU’s first university-wide curriculum, the KU Core. Her leadership led to the success of a $1.66 billion comprehensive fundraising campaign. Dr. Gray-Little has overseen a remarkable physical transformation of the university, including the construction and renovation of multiple facilities.


Her prior experience in higher education includes service as executive vice chancellor and provost from 2006-2009 at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. A professor of psychology, she rose to the post of UNC’s chief academic officer after successive administrative appointments, including dean of the College of Arts and Sciences. While at UNC, she earned a reputation as a champion for the highest quality educational experience for students and a strong advocate for faculty and for research.


In 2013, Dr. Gray-Little was named to the boards of directors of the Association of American Universities (AAU) and the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU). She served as Chairwoman of the Board of Directors of the APLU from November 2015 through November 2016. A native of eastern North Carolina, Dr. Gray-Little received her bachelor’s degree from Marywood University in Scranton, Pa., and her master’s and doctoral degrees in psychology from Saint Louis University. She earned a Fulbright Fellowship to study in Denmark. She also served as a Social Science Research Council Fellow and received a Ford Foundation Senior Scholar Fellowship through the National Research Council.