Throughout her career, Bernadette Gray-Little has been a catalyst for positive change, academic distinction, and operational excellence. Under her leadership as Chancellor at the University of Kansas, where she served from 2009-2017, the University successfully launched innovative new degree and research programs while streamlining administrative functions, reducing costs, and improving efficiency. In addition, she launched and oversaw a highly successful capital campaign, raising a record-breaking $1.6 billion and exceeding the campaign goal by more than 30%.
Dr. Gray-Little oversaw more than 50 capital improvement projects totaling $700 million implemented across the Lawrence, Kansas campus, the Edwards Campus in Overland Park and the University of Kansas Medical Center campuses in Kansas City, Wichita, and Salina. Other achievements include the expansion of the Schools of Engineering and Medicine and construction of the new Health Education Building at the University of Kansas Medical Center. While Chancellor, Dr. Gray-Little served on the Board of Directors of the Association of American Universities (AAU) and Chair of the Board of the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU).
Prior to joining the University of Kansas, Dr. Gray-Little held multiple leadership positions at the University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill, including Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost, Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, Executive Associate Provost, Senior Associate Dean for Undergraduate Education, Chair of the Department of Psychology, and Director of Undergraduate Studies. Her successes there include establishing the Office of Undergraduate Research and overseeing all aspects of undergraduate education, including a comprehensive curriculum revision initiative with an emphasis on research. She was also a faculty member in the Psychology Department.
Dr. Gray-Little holds Master’s and Ph.D. degrees In Psychology from St. Louis University. She earned her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology at Marywood College in Scranton, Pennsylvania. She was a Fulbright Fellow and a Social Science Research Council Fellow, and received a Ford Foundation Senior Scholar Fellowship through the National Research Council.
Currently Dr. Gray-Little serves on the Marywood College Board of Directors and the Online Computer Library Center Board of Trustees. She was Co-chair of the Social Science Research Council Task Force, “To Secure Knowledge”. Past Board roles include the Kansas City Area Development Council, US Bank, the University of Kansas Hospital, Midwest Research Global, the University of Kansas Medical Center Research Institute, the University of Kansas Endowment, the BIG XII Conference, BioOne Online Journals, the Kansas Council of Economic Education, and Chair of the University of Kansas Center for Research.
Dr. Gray-Little served as Adjunct Faculty at the Center for Creative Leadership and in numerous consulting roles, including consultant to the Duke Fuqua School of Business MBA Program and Executive Education Program, The College Board College Level Examination Program Committee, the Doctoral Evaluation Project at the New York State Education Department, and Grantham, Griffin, & Buck, Executive search consultants
In 2018, Dr. Gray-Little received the Fred Ellsworth Medallion, in recognition of her extraordinary service to the University of Kansas. In 2017, she was recognized with the Gordon Parks Choice of Weapons Award for her dedication to and accomplishments in education. Dr. Gray-Little has received numerous other awards including Kansan of the Year, the William Richardson Davie Award, and the UNC Alumni Association Distinguished Service Medal.