Archive for Saturday, April 22, 2006

Rules limiting use of Jayhawk amuse, irk faculty members

April 22, 2006


There are new rules at Kansas University that bar the beloved Jayhawk from appearing on the business cards and stationery of most employees - except those in the athletic department and the alumni association.

But in the case of KU professor Chris Anderson, some rules were meant to be broken.

He's drawn up his own business cards with the Jayhawk on them, and he plans to use them.

"Lew Perkins can come pry them from my cold dead hands if he wants to take them away from me," said Anderson, associate professor of business. "What's he going to do? Come confiscate my computer?"

All KU employees will be getting new stationery and business cards as the university implements a "visual identity" overhaul, which took months to plan and cost $88,900 for the development of a new "KU" logo in Trajan font. KU is in the process of changing over stationery, cards, Web pages and other items.

David Johnston, KU marketing director, said the Jayhawk, a fun symbol of spirit, pride and tradition is fitting for the athletic department and alumni association.

The "KU" signature chosen for the academic side of the university was more fitting for its use, he said.

"The purpose is to use the most appropriate tool in each instance," he said.

Christopher Anderson, associate professor in the School of Business has a Jayhawk logo on the back of each of his business cards. This flies in the face of new KU standards that place the beloved Jayhawk only on the business cards and stationary of those in the athletic department and the alumni association.

Christopher Anderson, associate professor in the School of Business has a Jayhawk logo on the back of each of his business cards. This flies in the face of new KU standards that place the beloved Jayhawk only on the business cards and stationary of those in the athletic department and the alumni association.

The Jayhawk can be used in other academic situations, such as on banners, but just not on stationery and business cards.

The changes mean many employees who once opted to have the Jayhawk on their business cards will have to change their ways. It's a rule that's ruffled some feathers and left others simply laughing.

KU employees used to be able to make choices about their business cards, opting for a Jayhawk or the university seal, for example.

Anderson said the Jayhawk card was a good conversation starter in some circles.

When Anderson ran out of cards, he couldn't wait for the new cards to roll out, so he had an assistant draw up some. He has the imagery on his computer, he said. If he writes a letter of recommendation, he plans to use the Jayhawk on it. Anderson called the rules ridiculous.

"Images are first," he said. "Are words next? And could thoughts be far behind?"

KU alumnus David Schoech, a 1982 graduate of the pharmacy school, said he learned about the rules when attempting to make up nameplates to give to graduating seniors. He tried to get a recent, but not brand new, pharmacy school logo on the nameplates. That logo included the Jayhawk. KU officials barred him from using the logo, Schoech said, and he ended up paying $50 to use the Jayhawk image on the nameplates. Schoech said he thought the athletic department was being a bit of a bully.

"In this case the little schools that make up the bigger university are just getting stomped by the big boy on the block," he said.

Johnston rebutted the claim that the athletic department was responsible for the changes.

"The assumption that athletics has greater stake or ownership or investment in the Jayhawk versus the institution is just false," he said. "It's just false."

Some took the rules in stride.

"That's funny," KU business professor Paul Koch said of the new business card standards. "That's more amusing than concerning to me."

Maria Carlson, professor of Slavic languages and literatures, and Eve Levin, associate professor of history, said they wouldn't miss the Jayhawk business cards.

"We're strictly seal people," Carlson said of the cards that feature the KU seal. "I think we'd be more affected if we were forced to use the Jayhawk."


jhawk1000 12 years ago

What a crock of it! I am becoming more ashamed of my school every day. Almost 90,000 dollars for the KU logo study, then limiting the jayhawk to athletic and alums is asinine at the very least. Top it off with all the recruiting violations of the "elite" athletic department and you wonder how KU allows Perkins all his freedom to act as a dictator. I guess it all is about money and guess what, you ain't getting any more of mine for any reason. As soon as my step daughter graduates, the school is history in my books. Get rid of Perkins and get back to fiscal and intellectual sanity.


Tammy Copp-Barta 12 years ago

I'm so SICK of the athletic department dictating what happens at the Un-versity. Does anybody think about the cost of reprinting all those items? This is the second or third time in 10 years they've changed the requirements for the stationary, envelopes and business cards. The cost must be incredible!

We need to decide. Are we the University of Kansas, home of the Jayhawks, or the Kansas Athletics University. I do believe my tax dollars are being wasted time and time again to reprint this crap. While Lew's "private donation" salary keeps creeping up and his authority gets bigger and bigger. About as bad a a Chancellor who can't/doesn't run the Un-versity. I mean what DOES he do anyway. The Provost takes most of the heat ..

Somebody get tough at the Regents and start thinking with your brains instead of your basketball tickets!!! (That the rest of us can't afford cause we're earning money for reprinting of business paper!!!)

Bob Reinsch 12 years ago

Are we a University with an Athletic Department, or an Athletic Department with a University?

Fatty_McButterpants 12 years ago

Wow, some people are really wound tight. Who really cares?!

hawkbygod 12 years ago

Take a step back and read the article, not just the quotes from a few professors. This was the decision of the University administration, not Lew Perkins. The University is trying to market one image through the new KU symbol. KUAC is not trying to steal the Jayhawk.

Also, the NCAA violation occured before Lew got to Lawrence. It was his internal audit that discovered the violations, and saved the school the embarassment of having the NCAA discover the violations. Please, if you are going to freak out about something on a message board at least have a few facts right.

moveforward 12 years ago

Free the Jayhawk NOW!

All this will do is encourage the proliferation of altered Jayhawks - those that are sort of reminiscent, but legal to print on shirts and hats.

This was very poorly handled and the motivation is corrupt.

Jamesaust 12 years ago

"The University is trying to market one image through the new KU symbol."

Yes, and that image is NOT apparently the University of Kansas.

Perhaps if the School of Business or the School of Arts & Sciences are not part of KU, my money should go elsewhere?

compmd 12 years ago

I wonder if this logo and licensing crap is the reason why its so hard to find KU items at college clothing stores outside of Lawrence. There is nothing for KU at Steve & Barry's in Chicago. Oddly they have K-State gear, and dozens of other schools. KU is legendary for its "fsck you, pay me" stance on everything.

JayhawkPiller82 12 years ago

Maybe I am wound a little tight as I'm the alumni that contacted LJW about the Jayhawk logo issue. But, when it comes to individual schools' choice of wether or not being able to use a perticular KU symbol, I am ---wound tight that is. And, as hawkbygod suggests I have backed away from the argument and will concede the need for uniformity in KU's "visual identity". I just don't want to back up into Missouri not to see that the Athletic Dept. is the real force behind the process. I have the "facts straight" here. I have read the 53 page Graphic Identity Standards manual. On page 25 it says only the Athletic Dept. & Alumni Assoc. may use the Jayhawk in "official" use. And, if the LJW only interviewed only a "few professors" they did NOT investigate the issue or were pressured by the University to make light of(spin) the matter from public debate. LJW -- ask a majority of the Dean's of the individual schools and you'll find more than "amusement and irk" about the new policy. Who "really cares?" as Fatty_ asks. I care and I'll bet MOST alumni do too. True Jayhawks will not let this issue go until the policy is changed...and it will change!

yourworstnightmare 12 years ago

I think the current jayhawk is an embarrassing joke of a character akin to a bad Hanna-Barberra cartoon like "Grape Ape". The jayhawk is insipid and hollow, and looks about as threatening and intelligent as a domestic turkey.

I say bring back the "pterosaur" jayhawk from the early 20th century, the statue of which is outside of Strong Hall. That jayhawk looks wise and powerful and would be a much better symbol that the current vacuous child's toy.

JayhawkPiller82 12 years ago

If "yourworstnightmare" thinks the Jayhawk is an embarrasing joke, then either their from MO or are not true KU faithfull. Though the bird is not "threatening", I take issue (as all teacher, students & alumni should) about the intelligent comment. If you don't like the bird, then use the new and improved ($90M worth) KU or the smart looking university seal if you perfer. The choice is yours, but then again it's not. The fact is the schools CANNOT use the jayhawk even if they didn't think it was a "cartoon" character. All I'm saying is give the Dean's the freedom to choose which identitiy they what ... and when they want to use it.

Godot 12 years ago

Now that the athletic dept has robbed the academic majority of KU of its time-honored mascot, I say the various schools of business, fine arts, engineering, etc., and, of course, the juggernaut, the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences, should come up with their own, distinct mascots.

Where is the spirit of academic freedom? Say Peeuwww to Lew! Give him the Bird! Get your own identity!

Mark Kostner 12 years ago

What's the matter with KU? No wonder they're slipping, they need an infusion of common sense! As far as I know KU is the only school with the Jayhawk name unless there's a small Kansas high school using it. The Jayhawk name is unique and Kansas specific and KU should take advantage and use it every chance they can. It's a friendly symbol and not one that has ever stirred controversy. Imagine if KU had a common name like "Wildcat" or "Tiger" that is shared by lots of high schools and colleges, or a name like "Fighting Sioux","Indians", or "Redskins" that have drawn fire and in some cases had to be dumped with years of school traditions and histories with them. KU's Jayhawk is so unique it ought to be incorporated into its logo and proudly diplayed on business cards, etc.

Godot 12 years ago

Gee, Mark, if you'd have spoken up earlier, Hemenway wouldn't have had to spend that $88K for "branding" consultant.

Wilbur_Nether 12 years ago

The way to reverse this decision, if you're really that upset about it, is for alumni and students to complain en masse. A few posts on the 'net won't do the trick.

Godot 12 years ago

Pilgrim, the result of the administration's decision is that the Athletic Department co-opts the use of what was once the mascot for everyone involved with the University for its own exclusive use. You can pretend that it was an "adminstration decision" if you wish. The rest of us recognize that the real power broker at KU is the athletic director. KU is a professional sports incubator with an academic facade.

Godot 12 years ago

Pilgrim. I have re-thought my ill-considered position and realize that you are right. How silly could I be to even want my school at KU to be associated with the athletic department? Thank you for helping me to clear my head. I now am quite happy that the bird will, from now on, distinguish the Athletic Dept and the fund raising activities of the University from its true mission: academic study.

crono 12 years ago

Regardless of the athletic department's power...

If professors are old enough to teach college students, then they're old enough to decide how to present their professional identity. 'Nuff said.

Godot 12 years ago

It takes a certain degree of denial to believe that the athletic dept had no influence in coopting the university mascot for their sole use. To do that, you would have to also believe that the other departments and schools were consulted, and that they all agreed the Bird should be reserved for the exclusive use of the sports teams and sports fundraising (aka the alumni association).

When did the KU athletic corp (after all, it is a separate corporation) purchase the copyright and trademark of the Jayhawk from the University of Kansas? How much did they pay for it? Where was the money spent?

It really, really sucks that KU students and alums have to pledge allegiance to the KU athletic corp in order to be able to have any claim to the title of Jayhawk.

So much for Jayhawks on Parade. Better destroy them all, because they violate the copyright.

Bennett 12 years ago

I'm looking from an outsiders perspective and I think it would help some of you to step back a little as well. If professors really want to be taken seriously (academically) they should stay as far away from the cartoon Jayhawk as possible. It may seem academic and traditional to those of you who are used to it on your old business cards, but to a perspective student, grad student, or future prof it is going to look like a sport's mascot. Period. I hear many of you complain about the control of the Athletic Department, but this change is what you really need if you want to be free of athletic association. The Jayhawk will forever be associated with athletics and it will serve you much better to go with something a little more intelligent and academic.

Also . . If you want your University to be efficient in its communications with the outside world, you have to give up a little control of your "visual identity". To be efficient, consistent and professional, the University really does need a unified voice to speak with the public. If there is no consistency, that can only give the impression of disarray.

yourworstnightmare 12 years ago

"KU is a professional sports incubator with an academic facade."

Ouch. I wish I could disagree with you but I cannot. Maybe the athletic department influenced this decision; maybe not. In any event, one must ask why this decision was made? What purpose does it serve to have the Jayhawk exclusive to athletics and alumni?

Bennett 12 years ago

"What purpose does it serve to have the Jayhawk exclusive to athletics and alumni?"

Because it is a cartoon and could not be taken seriously outside of the athletic arena. If you want your academics to be taken seriously outside of your own campus, then stay as far away from the Jayhawk as possible.

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