Archive for Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Heard on the Hill: Husband of new KU business dean to teach at KU; planting event planned for new pharmacy garden; KU Professional Clothes Closet plans extended hours

April 20, 2011


Your daily dose of news, notes and links from around Kansas University.

• Here’s a quick item I learned late last evening after a commenter raised the point on my story about Neeli Bendapudi’s appointment as dean of the KU School of Business.

Her husband will be teaching at the business school, too. It’s not terribly uncommon for married academics to travel in pairs in these kinds of situations.

Her husband, Venkat Bendapudi, serves as a senior lecturer of management and human resources at Ohio State University.

He will take an academic year, non-tenure track lecturer appointment at the KU business school, a KU spokesman confirmed to me Tuesday.

• The KU School of Pharmacy will host a planting event at its new educational medicinal garden on May 3.

The event is scheduled from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. May 3 at the School of Pharmacy.

The garden will include about 70 different species, and many of them will be native to Kansas.

A group of about 15 pharmacy students will help plant the new garden. They are members of Kappa Epsilon, a fraternal group focused on professional development.

The garden will be installed on the south side of the new pharmacy building, 2010 Becker Drive, near the cafeteria.

Pharmacy parking lots 227 and 228 and the Park and Ride lot will be open to the public for event parking. Cars without KU stickers won’t be ticketed after 2:30 p.m. those days.

The public is invited to participate.

• KU’s professional clothes closet will have extended hours before an upcoming career fair.

The closet, in the University Career Center, 110 Burge Union, offers free professional clothes to KU students. It will be open from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. today and Thursday.

It’s usually open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. year-round.

As of March 31, more than 100 students have used 254 items from the closet.

It’s not a borrow-and-return kind of thing — students can keep up to five items from the clothes closet.

An online listing of available clothes can be found at

Small donations are welcome but not required, and all donations support the Willow Domestic Violence Center in Lawrence.

Clothing donations are accepted year-round and can be dropped off at the University Career Center.

And that career fair? It’s from 1:30 to 4:30 p.m. at the Kansas Union ballroom. Here are some companies that have signed up. The event is for KU students only.

• Every now and again, I break out the KU directory, and point to a random page, and ask specific, random folks to submit tips for Heard on the Hill. I’m not terribly ashamed to admit only one person ever got back to me (I heart you, Kim S. Hubbel). It is a little silly, after all. But that doesn’t stop me from trying. So come on, Cathy M. Dwigans, program associate for the Self Graduate Fellowship. Tell me something I don’t already know. Just shoot me an email at


consumer1 6 years, 11 months ago

nep·o·tism/ˈnepəˌtizəm/Noun: The practice among those with power or influence of favoring relatives or friends, esp. by giving them jobs.
So, is this practice okay among the liberal educators??

Thunderdome 6 years, 11 months ago

We aren't getting off to a good start here. One of the many problems during Fuerst's tenure was that his wife also works at Business School. Now we are doing the same thing with the new Dean. Does anyone at KU understand what constitutes good human resources policy?

guess_again 6 years, 11 months ago

For Fuerst, it was wife AND daughter on the school payroll.

PugnaciousJayhawk 6 years, 11 months ago

And to think Fuerst let his daughter botch at least one important new program at the B-School in her time there. I always kind of wondered how a 20 something could be a senior lecturer in charge of creating new programs. Then again when you’re family who cares!

CowardlyLion 6 years, 11 months ago

It seems like Venkat would understand good human resource policy. My basis for this: He is one of the core curriculum teachers of Ohio State's Master of Labor and Human Resources Program. He has been recognized on the College and University level for his ability to motivate student, while helping them to succeed.

kuprof54 6 years, 11 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

irvan moore 6 years, 11 months ago

wow, how lucky are we that her husband is obviously the most qualified person for that job?

MyName 6 years, 11 months ago

Actually, if he's going from "Senior Lecturer" at tOSU to a non-tenure lecturer position at KU, then he probably was the most qualified. By a large amount as the KU one is basically an entry level category for newly minted PhDs while the Senior Lecturer is for someone who has several years of experience.

oakfarm 6 years, 11 months ago

Not true. The "senior" in "Senior Lecturer" is purely honorific and, in almost any case, they are non-tenure track positions with an inflated, flattering title. I never saw one called a "Junior Lecturer." Besides, if there was no search -- and apparently no open position, this position was probably created for him -- how can you assume/claim he is "most qualified"?

George Lippencott 6 years, 11 months ago

Her husband will be teaching at the business school, too. It’s not terribly uncommon for married academics to travel in pairs in these kinds of situations

My gosh, they will make over $150K. tax the living what have you out of them - they are rich!!

Or maybe they worked hard to acquire the knowledge and skills they have and deserve the pay and the right to keep a goodly portion of it.

MyName 6 years, 11 months ago

Sorry to get in the way of a good rant by pointing out the obvious, but him going from a Sr. Lecturer to an entry level lecturer at KU is probably a lateral move at best. So basically we're getting a new Dean and they throw in an experienced teacher at a discount.

You may have a point if it was tenure track, but it's not.

oakfarm 6 years, 11 months ago

What discount? How do you figure that? And tenure or not, nepotism is in play and, worse, his job security is now determined not by tenure but by his spouse! Yeah, that makes sense. That's fair. That looks real good.

George Lippencott 6 years, 11 months ago

hI CONSUMER. Hiring both halfs of a couple when a senior position is involved is not uncommon in business (includes universities and even government). You want themn you pay for them. Guess it would be nice if we were all wanted.

johnnycash 6 years, 11 months ago

This is very true. Least all of these people are qualified (almost over-qualified) to do the job. This happens EVERYWHERE.

oakfarm 6 years, 11 months ago

Some people are confusing the legitimacy of dual-career concerns with the illegitimacy of nepotism and an appointment to a position without search. Even if he is not tenured, do you think his wife would fire him? Doesn't ethics, diversity and good human resource practice suggest an open search for his position? You'd think a search headed by a chaired professor of human resource management would figure this one out. In any case, it is the appearance of impropriety in a school that teaches and promotes ethical business practices that defies logic. Right after a serious case of the ethically challenged riles the school. Go figure.

BillyGoat 6 years, 11 months ago

As pointed out, this is a very typical scenario especially when universities want to lure top talent. A smart, talented person is often married to a smart, talented person and, if they are both academics, if you want the one, you will often have to accommodate the other. Where else would you expect her husband to get a position equivalent to his OSU position? You either also offer the spouse a job or throw your big fish back in the lake. This all assumes, however, that the person being accommodated is a quality hire. If the Fisher School at Ohio State kept him around year after year despite his non-tenured status, he must be pretty good. The concern about the reporting relationship is more legitimate and, as the person who negotiated this package deal, this is something the Provost should consider. However, dual hires at universities --- all universities -- are pretty darn common. If you want to play in the major leagues, you've got to learn to play ball.

oakfarm 6 years, 11 months ago

That old "Everybody does it argument" is getting kind of old, isn't it? And that "top talent" assumption is a bit heroic. Being impressed that keeping him around "year after year despite his non-tenured status" reveals an ignorance of the role of non-tenure track faculty in business schools today. And wasn't the whole public relations fiasco of the Fuerst resignation fresh enough in anyone's mind? And all that plus about a 20% boost in the dean's base? In any case, the don't let your spouse be your boss. Yes, many dual-career couples work at the same place, but the good, ethical places don't let them work for one another. Defending this is disingenuous as best, dishonest at worst.

CowardlyLion 6 years, 11 months ago

All this concern about Venkat and Neeli working together is clouding the judgment of JayHawk Nation. Far too long has Barack Hussein Obama been nepotizing the country. Just because he was elected president, I don't understand why his wife gets to become the 1st lady!

BillyGoat 6 years, 11 months ago

Thanks for that link. As I said above, smart talented people tend to marry smart, talented people. Here's the other half of the tandem:

But you folks have it all figured out (as is always the case in these forums) --- every person involved in this decision was either inept or unethical (or both). And, the people who were hired by these incompetent, unethical nincompoops also lack both talent and a moral compass (unlike all of you, who are faultless).

Against my better judgment, I drop in on these forums every few months and in many ways it's just like a soap opera. You can miss several months of the broadcast and you really aren't very far behind. The same cast of characters is saying the same things. Just like on TV, the lines are delivered in a very dramatic, over-the-top fashion. Again, just like with TV stars, I'm sure it's very important that you shield yourselves from your adoring public by sharing your words anonymously. You are such paragons of virtue, kindness and wisdom (dispensed freely out of the goodness of your heart!) that you would be swamped with people beating a path to your door seeking your advice, council and friendship.

oakfarm 6 years, 11 months ago

Those teaching ratings are dated and inflated, and some it them bad. just like your rhetoric. Worse, they are irrelevant, just like your rhetoric. The job is not a teaching appointment and the nepotism is blatant and arrogant. The "it happens all the time" is not only untrue, it is a silly "everybody does it argument". No one is asking for or expecting perfection, just accountability, and to practice the very human resource ethics that they preach and teach. And you find this amusing or wrong? And no one is being "dramatic" or "over-the-top," other than you in comparing this multi-milion dollar deal to one of the many lame scripted TV shows. And rather than address the problem, or even recognize that it exists, you smugly accuse people of using anonymity to do what terrible thing? Expose the truth! How's this for an old parable: The emperor isn't wearing any clothes. And, yes, anonymously, because speaking truth to power is noble yet often suicidal if done openly. In any case, the facts matter, not the author. Billy Goat Gruff would be welcome to stay off the bridge unless he wants to get run over by a fellow troll. And to not hide behind anonymity. What's stopping you?

mom_of_three 6 years, 11 months ago

Were any of you involved in the search process? Do any of you know the qualifications of the other candidates? Didn't think so. so stop making broad accusations and judgements.

oakfarm 6 years, 11 months ago

Yes. Yes. So you're wrong. And no one is making "broad accusations and judgments" (sic). You're just making spelling errors and erroneous assumptions, and ignoring the facts. The matter has little or nothing to do with the qualifications of the other candidates. It has to do with nepotism. It has nothing to do with a couple working at Kansas; it has to do with a spouse supervising her spouse. It has to do with business ethics. It has nothing to do with athletics. It's an academic integrity issue. What happens if a student has a grade appeal against the husband? Who is going to sign off on his annual evaluation?

Commenting has been disabled for this item.