Faculty representatives to the University Senate Executive Committee voiced some timely concerns this week about the sparse attendance of faculty at Kansas University's convocation ceremonies last Sunday.
Although the convocation was intended primarily as an event for students and parents, the SenEx representative believed the absence of faculty members was conspicuous. The lack of faculty was particularly ironic, he said, considering remarks by Frances Ingemann, the SenEx chair, who told the convocation audience that faculty members welcome "one-on-one contact" with students.
Chancellor Gene Budig also spoke to the convocation audience about KU's commitment to undergraduate education. A showing by faculty members at the convocation might have helped reinforce that commitment.
University administrators say they have never made a special effort to get faculty members to attend convocation, so the faculty aren't entirely to blame. But it seems that attendance by faculty members at convocation would show a certain concern for students.
It's a symbolic gesture that probably has no bearing in the quality or dedication of KU faculty members, but it might give KU students and their parents a little better feeling about the university as they embark on another fall term.