Your daily dose of news, notes and links from around Kansas University.
• A new group of 32 people will help Dean H. David Wilson raise money for his KU School of Medicine-Wichita campus.
The group includes Wichita’s mayor, the president of Wichita State University and a former chairwoman of the Kansas Board of Regents.
Wilson estimates the school has raised just more than half of the $5 million it needs to fund the first four years of an expansion to a four-year medical school.
I read all that on his blog. I’m almost 100 percent certain that Wilson is KU’s only blogging dean (unless Ken Audus has been tapping out some kind of pharmaceutical blog without my knowing…)
I like that Wilson mixes in some personal notes, and that his writing actually sounds like him on the phone when I’ve spoken to him in the past. That makes me think he’s actually the face behind the blog, and some sort of Sedgwick County media relations specialist.
For example, his most recent post touches on a good place to get some chocolate in Wichita.
I must admit, I’ve always kind of liked Wilson since he arrived in August 2009 from North Dakota. He’s never stodgy and talks like a real person. And he’s not afraid to take risks.
It was a bold move to ask for $100 million in naming rights for the KU Medical School-Wichita campus two and a half weeks after his first day on the job, but asked for it anyway. He hasn’t found any takers yet, and the whole thing could run into potential issues (think Missouri’s Paige Sports Arena), but I admired the effort and the boldness in asking for it.
“No guts, no glory,” he said at the time.
It will be interesting to follow the developments in Wichita, and to see if Wilson can succeed in raising the funds he needs. I imagine many rural Kansans are watching closely, too, looking to fill their need for primary care physicians.
• One year ago today, KU’s Student Senate passed a resolution making comedian Stephen Colbert honorary student body president for life, provided he actually shows up to claim the prize.
So far, he hasn’t bothered to come claim his spot on the throne. But I suppose there’s always hope.
• KU is providing weekly updates from Topeka on its government relations page, courtesy of Kathy Damron, the university’s state lobbyist. The most recent update detailed the different approaches the Kansas House and Kansas Senate took to a proposed 7.5 percent pay cut for state employees.
The site also tracks pieces of legislation the university is hoping to shepherd through the Legislature, like one that would improve efficiency in KU’s management of IT projects.
• UPDATE: An earlier posting in this spot incorrectly referenced that Wally Meyer might be out as the KU business school's director of entrepreneurship programs. As it turns out, the search firm had incorrectly posted the link, and so I got my wires crossed.
Wally is, in fact, still with us, and will still be doing his same job. So all is well. As it turns out, there is a job opening, but it's a separate position. It's one that will report to Meyer.
My fault for not checking all this out beforehand.
• One more weather-related event postponement to relate — the KU Memorial Unions hope to reschedule “Discovering Pluto,” with Michael Byers, author of the novel “Percival’s Planet.” Scheduled originally for Thursday night, the event could be rescheduled for sometime in April.
• I got a (not-so) helpful tip from a Mr. Richard Winston, who had a Hong Kong e-mail address, informing me about a lucrative financial opportunity “wherein [I] will be benefited by 40% of the business.” Surely you have a better tip for Heard on the Hill than that. Let me know at firstname.lastname@example.org.