The University of Kansas, also referred to as KU, is a public research university with its main campus in Lawrence, Kansas, and several satellite campuses, research and educational centers, medical centers, and classes across the state of Kansas. Two branch campuses are in the Kansas City metropolitan area on the Kansas side: the university's medical school and hospital in Kansas City, the Edwards Campus in Overland Park, and a hospital and research center in the state's capital of Topeka. There are also educational and research sites in Garden City, Hays, Leavenworth, Parsons, and Topeka, and branches of the medical school in Salina and Wichita. The university is one of the 62 members of the Association of American Universities.
Founded March 21, 1865, the university was opened in 1866, under a charter granted by the Kansas State Legislature in 1864 and legislation passed in 1863 under the State Constitution, which was adopted two years after the 1861 admission of the former Kansas Territory as the 34th state into the Union. Disputes over Kansas' establishment as a free or slaveholding state prior to admission to the union prompted an internal civil war known as "Bleeding Kansas" during the 1850s.
Enrollment at the Lawrence and Edwards campuses was 28,401 students in 2016; an additional 3,383 students were enrolled at the KU Medical Center for an enrollment of 28,091 students across the three campuses. The university overall employed 2,814 faculty members in fall 2015.