Archive for Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Heard on the Hill: Art exhibit focuses on campus history; new Edwards Campus building taking shape; old grade report finds GPAs at KU are going up

August 10, 2011


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

• Here’s an exhibit I found interesting at the Helen Foresman Spencer Museum of Art.

It’s called “Glorious to View,” and features art pieces that celebrate the history of the campus.

They focus on Spooner Hall, Fraser Hall, Old North College and Potter Lake.

Since I’m assuming you all are hard-core KU history folks, I’m betting you know what all those are.

Just in case you aren’t, here’s a bit of a primer on the odd building on that list, Old North College, the first building on the campus.

The Spencer Art Museum’s exhibit will be displayed until Dec. 31, and will feature material from both the museum and the Kenneth Spencer Research Library.

• The KU Edwards Campus in Overland Park has provided some photos of the ongoing construction of the new Business, Engineering, Science and Technology building there on its Facebook page.

The building, lovingly referred to as the BEST building, is scheduled to be completed in January, and will house two 15-seat seminar rooms, two 40-seat classrooms, eight 45-seat classrooms, four 65-seat lecture halls and one 100-seat lecture hall.

That’s to go along with 36 faculty and administrative support offices and five computer labs. A bachelor’s of business administration is already being offered, and some of these new programs will likely join that program soon.

The building is paid for with funds from a sales tax generated in Johnson County.

• Whenever I get bored, it’s easy for me to find something interesting if I poke around KU’s Office of Institutional Research and Planning long enough.

For instance, here’s a study of grade point averages for juniors and seniors from fall 1984 to fall 2004.

The study basically finds that over that 20-year time period, the average GPA at KU increased by 0.20 points. However, the study goes through great pains to point out that it was not studying grade inflation, because it didn’t compare course level grades for specific groups of students.

“Explicit grade inflation specifically refers to the situation in which students with comparable backgrounds and performance received higher grades than their counterparts in previous cohorts from faculty with similar backgrounds,” the study said.

So, without knowing officially whether grade inflation was occurring, the study did cite one reason that the GPA at KU went up during that time.

The GPA rose at that time at a proportional rate with an increasing number of women enrolling at KU.

And women, the study points out, have higher GPA’s on average than their male counterparts. So there’s some ammo for that next argument you’re having with your boyfriend.

But — whatever the reason — there’s no doubt that grades went up during that time. In 1984, KU awarded slightly more B’s than A’s, but by 2004, A’s accounted for 45 percent of all grades awarded on the Lawrence campus, while B’s were 34 percent.

• Unlike KU Info, I can’t tell you the meaning of life, but I can keep giving you news, notes and links from all around campus. But I still need you to help me out by sending me some tips at


Bob Forer 6 years, 10 months ago

This is Kansas. More A's than B's issued??? That's not grade inflation, its grade exaggeration.

LJD230 6 years, 10 months ago

Times have changed. Once upon a very long time ago a student couldn't receive a degree frrom KU without demonstrating his/her ability to construct a comprehensible sentence and speak clear and concise English absent the words "like" amd "you know" uttered six or seven times in a ten word sentence.

Grade inflation improves retention. And dhe consequence: kids enter the job market ill prepared to succeed in a competitive workplace populatedf by folks educated in a more rigorous academic environment with a far more focused definition of those qualities that characterize an educated individual.

Post high school education is a privilege not a right.

jmadison 6 years, 10 months ago

When did KU start teacher reviews by the students at the end of the semester?

Bob_Loblaw 6 years, 10 months ago

No no no.... Expectations of students have gone down.... Our general education system is a joke unless you are talking about someone working for a PhD in a specific field. In which case the expertise may be here and not abroad.

A letter in the alphabet is now being handed out more often. Lets not infer anything about quality or retention of knowledge from it.

Commenting has been disabled for this item.