Record-Breaking Academic Achievement Doesn't Just Happen

Feb. 18, 2009

Dear Jayhawk Fans:

I could not be happier with the news that this past semester our University of Kansas student-athletes set an athletic department record for combined grade point average in a fall semester.

In the Fall of ’08, our remarkable student-athletes averaged 2.99 in the classroom. For the second straight semester, 53 percent of KU’s student-athletes – 283 to be exact – were named to the Athletic Director’s Honor Roll by achieving a 3.0 GPA or better. And 40 student-athletes posted a perfect 4.0.

In athletics and in the classroom we strive for excellence. When our student-athletes excel in the classroom it means that we as a department are fulfilling our promise to these young men and women. We offer each of them not only an opportunity to compete athletically at the highest level, but also a chance to earn a degree from one of the best academic universities in the country.

It is an honest, upfront contract we make with our future student-athletes, and we work hard to make it an honorable one. We do not spare expense, time or effort when it comes to preparing Jayhawk student-athletes for their future world away from campus. Kansas Athletics is dedicated to ensuring that each and every one of them has the most meaningful, mind-developing academic experience possible while wearing the Jayhawk uniform.

I believe much of the academic success reflected in the most recent semester’s GPA is attributable not only to the efforts of our students but also directly to our outstanding faculty and Student-Athlete Support Services. I’m proud of the time and attention the Student-Athlete Support staff provides to help develop the academic, personal and career pursuits of our student-athletes. This one-on-one time and attention truly makes an impact.

On any given weeknight you will find every one of our offices filled with studying students, some with tutors and others working on their own. The conference rooms downstairs are packed. We set up tables in the atrium upstairs, and even that space is packed. The really good news is that we don’t need to drag student-athletes in here kicking and screaming. They come because they know the Student-Athlete Support Services staff is here for them.

We provide this additional support to student-athletes because more is demanded of them with their involvement in athletics. It is our obligation to make sure they understand that their success in academics should be their priority and it’s where their future lies.

So, I salute our Jayhawk student-athletes. Your accomplishments always make us proud. But I also salute the men and women of our faculty and Student-Athlete Support Services for a job always well done.

Rock Chalk Jayhawk!

Lew Perkins
Director of Athletics