Archive for Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Heard on the Hill: Student Senate looks outside KU for rebranding; former KU interim CLAS dean is finalist for Indiana U. post; building suggested for Chancellor Chalmers

December 1, 2010


Here’s your daily 6 a.m. dose of news, notes and links from around Kansas University.

• In spotting an article in the University Daily Kansan recently that details how Student Senate undertook a new rebranding effort complete with a website and logo redesign, one thing immediately came to mind. Why not hire talented KU students to do the same thing for less cost, instead of sending the cash to a marketing firm in Topeka?

So I called Student Body President Michael Wade Smith, and put the $4,000 question to him.

“We couldn’t get any students to consider our timeline,” he said, adding that he wanted to ensure that the site was up and running as soon as possible, and certainly by the end of this semester. They did approach several students, and ran into a few other issues, too, he said, but the time constraint was the main factor.

• Greg Simpson, professor of psychology who served as KU’s interim liberal arts and sciences dean between Joseph Steinmetz and Danny Anderson, is one of five finalists to become dean of Indiana University’s College of Arts and Sciences, the university announced this week. Simpson is scheduled to make a campus visit later this month.

• KU’s search for a new law dean is entering its final phases. The law dean search committee forwarded its recommendations to Provost Jeff Vitter on Tuesday, said Chris Drahozal, chairman of the search committee.

Vitter will choose from among four finalists, whose names and qualifications are available on the provost’s website.

Drahozal said that, while it was out of his hands, he hoped a new dean could be named by late this year or early next year.

• Responding to yesterday’s inaugural edition of Heard on the Hill, reader Bob Augelli, an old friend of Chancellor Laurence Chalmers’ family, suggested a building that could bear Chalmers' name. I’d heard the suggestion before, but had forgotten it until Augelli mentioned it. He graciously allowed me to reprint his suggestion in this space.

“I have the perfect spot: KU’s Art and Design Building,” Augelli wrote. “Larry Chalmers went on to become the Director of the Chicago Art Institute after he left KU so there is a natural connection to the arts, not to mention the fact that the building has no name other than: Art and Design Building.”

• Check out KU social psychology professor Omri Gillath, who’s quoted in a recent article in USA Today talking about the science behind generosity.

He’s trying to figure out whether attachment security, which the article calls “an internal sense we are worthy of love and people support us,” is a motivating factor in whether people give.

The research is funded by the University of Notre Dame’s Science of Generosity Initiative.

• I’m thinking of starting up the Andy Hyland Generosity Initiative. All you need to do to join is generously send me a tip for Heard on the Hill at


LogicMan 7 years, 5 months ago

"Chancellor Laurence Chalmers"

Was he the one that canceled classes or final exams, and sent the students off of campus? The opposite of what Universities are supposed to do? Just asking.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 7 years, 5 months ago

Among other things, his actions helped to keep the violence of 1970 from spinning completely out of control.

blindrabbit 7 years, 5 months ago

Was a student at KU during Chalmers time; just returned from Nam. Campus and Lawrence was in a bit of chaos during his tenure with Nam,. Draft Issues, Civil Rights, Drug (Kaw Valley Hemp Pickers) Women's Lib., and Environmental all going on. Many professors lowered grade standards as to allow students to stay in school without washing out. Chalmers did cancel finals but that was probably a good idea in view of the serious trouble that was brewing at the time; remember the shootings, Vern Miller, the ROTC, Summerfield and Student Union fires and sabotage.

I was taking classes in the old Reactor Building on 15th Street at the time; KU was really anxious about the security of that location as well.

In retrospect, after all these years, Chalmers was probably the "right" person for the University during those interesting times. We need to recognize his contribution.

carrottop 7 years, 5 months ago

Yep, Rabbit. Those were complicated times. Chalmers did the best he could to maintain order.

Bruce Janssen 7 years, 5 months ago

I missed most of the anarchy that beset Lawrence because I was in the Army. But I made it back in 1971. I think it was that fall that the ROTC building was attacked and Vern Miller put in an appearance. I walked over to campus to see what the commotion was, and after order was restored, I remember the guys from the frat houses climbing into their Corvettes and Mustangs. It was just another day in the life of a psuedo-radical. Gave them something to talk about at the Wheel, I guess. The dismissal of Chalmers by the Board of Regents was still a hot topic. The tunnel linking the Union parking lot to the building was fairly new then, and campus wags called it the Chalmers Tunnel. "Wescoe got a building, and Chalmers got the shaft," they said. There was a group in Lawrence -- state Sen. Reynolds Shultz and Dolph Simons were prominent members -- who despised Chalmers (who was, I believe, clearly an anti-war liberal). Chalmers' enemies learned (and I was told it was through the efforts of Simons' reporters) that he had a mistress. Before long, the Regents were showing "Larry" the door. I once asked Ray Nichols if Chalmers would ever have a building named for him. I think his answer was yes, but we wouldn't live to see it. If this post is removed, we'll know that it's still too early.

Ralph Gage 7 years, 5 months ago

I didn't miss much of the anarchy; I covered it. Any suggestion that whatever happened to Larry Chalmers was a result of this newspaper or its reporters is simply blather.

LJD230 7 years, 5 months ago

And ain't it odd that other universities look to KU for academic and administrative leadership? Those who bash KU might want to take note.

thatonedude 7 years, 5 months ago

When MWS says he "approached students", he means he brought it up to a friend or two then went for something expensive.

yourworstnightmare 7 years, 5 months ago

While I would love to see Hop-a-long Simpson leave KU, he doesn't stand a chance. It would be a huge mistake for any school to hire Simpson in any position of leadership, unless they want low standards and mediocrity.

1983Hawk 7 years, 5 months ago

Nonsense, yourworstnightmare. Greg Simpson is a brilliant man and an excellent administrator, complete with a good set of pragmatism and good diplomatic skills. Your insulting (anonymous) scathing attack is yet another reason why this forum is such a disgrace. Please share with us your detailed knowledge as to why Indiana would be asking for "low standards and mediocrity" if they offered him the job. I kind of think as a finalist, they may have vetted him just a little bit better than some anonymous LJWorld forum hound with an obvious axe to grind.

beaujackson 7 years, 5 months ago

KU should pray for the re-incarnation of (Chancellor) Franklin Murphy.

blindrabbit 7 years, 5 months ago

Never been close since Dr. Murphy departed for UCLA!

1983Hawk 7 years, 5 months ago

Good point, Wilbur. I'm sure all those Republican tools in Washington who passed a bill on behalf of the now sainted Ronald Reagan (who gave Saddam Hussein the only WMD he would ever have) to change the name of Wasington National Airport to "Reagan" a few years will be so fascinated by your advice to Chalmers' family that they will no doubt opt to repeal that legislation now.

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