Your daily dose of news, notes and links from around Kansas University.
• In chatting last week about student groups with Rueben Perez, director of KU’s Student Involvement and Leadership Center, for a separate story, another interesting topic came up.
He said his organization proudly makes groups content-neutral, meaning that any organized group of students can register, regardless of its purpose.
And, as you might expect, there are groups from all across the political and social spectrum — though, Perez adds, he was somewhat surprised a Tea Party group never got off the ground at KU.
He said he never worries about what groups may arise, with one small exception.
What if, say, the Ku Klux Klan wanted to form a student group at KU?
Such a group based purely around hate would seem to be contradictory to the university’s mission — and Perez said the university’s legal team would probably get involved if the issue ever arose. Though he said he honestly doesn’t know what he would do.
It’s never come up, and Perez — only half-joking, I think — said he would hold me responsible if the KKK decided to actually go ahead and form a group after reading this. And I don’t need that on my head. But it’s still an interesting dilemma.
• A bit more on the law dean search at Pepperdine University — which we wouldn’t care much about if not for former KU faculty member and administrator and current federal appeals court Judge Deanell Reece Tacha being one of five finalists for the position.
I spoke with Greg Ogden, a law professor at Pepperdine who’s the search committee chairman about the search details.
Because Pepperdine is a private university, they’re not required to release many details of the search, but Ogden was kind enough to fill me in anyway.
They’ve announced four candidates so far. Two of them are external — Tacha and Russell K. Osgood, who served as president of Iowa’s Grinnell College from 1998 until this July. And two are internal — Richard Cupp, a former associate dean and current law professor, and L. Timothy Perrin, the school’s vice dean and professor of law.
A fifth candidate will be announced soon.
After all five candidates have visited the campus, the law school’s faculty will meet on Dec. 17 to winnow the field down to three candidates that will be presented to President Andrew K. Benton — who, by the way, is a Lawrence native. Benton will then make a selection from among those three names.
Tacha made clear to me that the position is only one of many options she’s considering after becoming eligible for senior status in January.
• The most recent winner of the NBC television show “Last Comic Standing” apparently has a KU connection.
Iliza Shlesinger, the first female winner on the talent-seeking show, attended KU for her freshman year before transferring to Emerson College. At least, according to WikiPedia, the great knower of all things.
Anyone remember her?
• Though I hate to disappoint my legion of fans, I’m going to use this space to inform Chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little that I’m not interested in the open athletics director position. So no need to call. Just send me tips for Heard on the Hill instead at email@example.com.