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Archive for Thursday, March 14, 2002

Local briefs

March 14, 2002

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Lawrence: Big 12 Gay Conference schedules meeting at KU

Kansas University will play host to the first-ever Big 12 Gay Conference next month.

The conference, organized by the Student Development Center, will run from April 10-13. Though it's officially a Big 12 conference, students from 35 universities have been invited.

Events include an evening reception April 10 at Tremors Night Club, 729 N.H., and a keynote speech April 11 by Robert Minor, KU professor of religious studies. Workshop topics April 11 and 12 include leadership, activism, health religion and social issues.

Most events will be at the Kansas Union and Ecumenical Christian Ministries, 1204 Oread Ave.

A dance will be at the Lawrence Holidome, 200 McDonald Drive.

The conference will conclude April 13 with a 10 a.m. Pride March and Rally along Massachusetts Street.

Conference registration, which is open to students, staff or faculty at any college or university, is $30 and can be made online at www.ku.edu/~biggay. For more information, contact Laurie Sisk at 864-2801.

Budget crisis: Arts advocates pay visit on legislators to protest cuts

Topeka  Arts advocates Wednesday lobbied lawmakers to not cut arts funding during the current budget crisis.

Gov. Bill Graves' proposed budget would reduce state funding to the Kansas Arts Commission by $66,304. That would result in a total loss of $1.26 million in private matching support, arts officials warned.

Mary Doveton, managing artistic director of the Lawrence Community Theater, and Tim Van Leer, executive director of the Lied Center, visited lawmakers in the Capitol, and urged them to at least fund the Kansas Arts Commission at its current level.

Van Leer and Doveton said reduced arts funding would hurt Lawrence. A funding cut could mean the Lied Center would be unable to provide some free programs to Lawrence school students, as it currently does, Van Leer said.

"They are smart to be here. We need to hear their message," Sen. Sandy Praeger, R-Lawrence, said of the arts advocates.

Leadership search: Engineering dean candidate scheduled for first interview

A Kansas University official wants to make the jump from associate vice chancellor of research and public service to dean of the School of Engineering.

James Roberts, who also serves as vice president of the KU Center for Research, is one of four finalists for the dean position. He'll conduct meetings with the search committee, deans, faculty, staff and students today and Friday.

Roberts, a KU graduate, served as professor of electrical engineering and computer science at KU from 1990 to 1997, before taking his current position.

Other finalists will be announced as their interview dates approach.

The engineering dean oversees about 2,300 students and about 95 faculty members. The successful candidate will replace Carl Locke, who has been dean for 15 years.

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