Members of a Kansas University governance body made clear Thursday that they intend to press the administration to endorse changes in the annual ROTC commissioning ceremony on campus.
Students and faculty on the University Council had passed a resolution in May that recommended the ceremony for commissioning of officers be moved off KU property, but the administration has resisted the change.
After considerable discussion, the council tabled the Reserve Officer Training Corps issue and scheduled a special meeting next Thursday in Blake Hall to focus exclusively on the controversial topic.
A majority of the council continues to believe that U.S. military regulations prohibiting homosexuals from being commissioned is at odds with the university's anti-discrimination policy.
KU SHOULDN'T sanction the Defense Department's policy, said professor Donald McCoy. Shifting the ceremony off campus won't discourage students from joining the training corps, he said.
Del Shankel, interim executive vice chancellor, told council members the administration opposes discriminatory practices and favors continuance of ROTC programs at the university.
"The ROTC programs represent one of higher education's most attractice scholarship programs," said Shankel, adding that 100 of the 250 ROTC students at KU are on scholarship.
The most effective way to bring about a desired change in military policy is to work through professional college associations and Kansas representatives in Congress, he said.
MEANWHILE, KU athletic director Bob Frederick reported on academic aspects of his department. Of 14 KU athletic teams, five had composite grade-point averages above 3.0 on a 4.0 scale.
Frederick said 135 of 400 athletes at the university had GPAs above 3.0 and 11 had perfect 4.0 GPAs. He attributed the success to the integrity of coaches and improved academic services.
He said an NCAA report showed 47.2 percent of the KU student-athletes who enrolled five years ago have graduated. That is close to the graduation rate for the entire university, he said.