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Archive for Saturday, November 7, 2009

Kansas assets

November 7, 2009

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Earlier this week, four university faculty members, two from Kansas University and two from Kansas State University, were honored for their superior research accomplishments. They were recipients of the Higuchi-KU Endowment Research Achievement Awards established in 1981 to honor the name and work of Takeru Higuchi.

Higuchi came to KU in 1967 and served as a professor of chemistry and pharmacy on Mount Oread. He was named a Kansas Board of Regents distinguished professor and was chairman of the department of pharmaceutical chemistry. He was looked upon as the father of “physical pharmacy” and enjoyed worldwide recognition for his vision and work in applying the principles of theoretical chemistry to pharmaceutical needs.

Those receiving the awards this year were Steve Barlow, KU professor of speech, language and hearing; Duy Hua, KSU distinguished professor of chemistry; Arienne Dwyer, KU associate professor of anthropology; and Charles Rice, KSU distinguished professor of agronomy.

Each recipient has compiled a truly distinguished career. Their research efforts and accomplishments will result in major dividends for their universities, the state and for mankind.

After receiving their awards, each recipient was asked to outline his or her research and its significance and relevance. The award recipients told inspiring and fascinating stories.

In these days of fiscal cutbacks in higher education, university officials would be wise to invite members of the Kansas House Appropriations Committee and the Senate Ways and Means Committee (the committees that deal with the state budget) to attend the Higuchi Awards program. They would learn the importance of these individuals to the state and perhaps go back to Topeka with a far greater appreciation of what these men and women and their many associates on state university campuses mean to their students and the welfare of Kansas.

The roster of past recipients in the four specific fields — biomedical sciences, basic sciences, humanities and social sciences and applied sciences — represents a who’s who of KU, KSU and Wichita State University faculty from 1982 to the present.

These men and women reflect great credit on their universities and the state. They are what universities are all about, and they are to be congratulated and thanked.

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