Since the time of the first Chancellor, R.W. Oliver (1865-1867), the role and responsibilities of KU's Chancellor have changed considerably. Chancellor Oliver did not have any clear guidance from the Board of Regents as to what his exact responsibilities were, other than to preside over Regents meetings and act as the University's financial agent. Under Chancellor Fraser's administration (1867-1874), the Regents gave limited control over the faculty to the Chancellor by combining the offices of the Chancellor and president of the faculty, and thus making the University's executive officer the Chancellor.
By the 1970s, the Chancellor had full authority over the University's units, "subject to the direction and control of the Board of Regents" and served as the spokesperson for the University. Through designated representatives, the Chancellor is also responsible for the initiation and administration of University policies, including those presented to the Board of Regents for approval, and presenting the University's budget to state officials. One of the chief responsibilities of the Chancellor is the implementation of all resolutions, policies, rules, and regulations adopted by the Board of Regents.
Today, the role and responsibilities of the Chancellor of the University of Kansas, while not having changed significantly, are simply stated as:
"..the chief executive officer of the University of Kansas, overseeing campuses in Lawrence, Kansas City, Overland Park, and Wichita in addition to research and educational centers in Topeka, Hutchinson, Parsons, and elsewhere in the state."
One thing that has remained the same over the years is that the Chancellor plays a key role in steering the University of Kansas forawrd to meet the current and future needs of its community at the local, state, and global levels.Letha E. JohnsonAssistant ArchivistUniversity ArchivesUniversity of Kansas Libraries