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Archive for Thursday, February 24, 2011

Heard on the Hill: KU version of ‘Dancing With the Stars’ is tonight; KU chancellor, provost come in near the middle of salary list; look for KU production of ‘The Vagina Monologues’ this weekend

February 24, 2011

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

• Student Union Activities is sponsoring an event tonight that has some potential to be pretty interesting.

It’s a sort of “Dancing With the Stars: KU Edition.” Ten KU “stars” will be paired with dancing professionals and will showcase their skills on the fifth floor of the Kansas Union in the ballroom.

The event is scheduled from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. Admission is free, but SUA is asking that you pick up a voucher from the SUA office on the fourth floor of the Kansas Union if you want to go watch. I’ve got it on good authority, though, that if you just show up at the door, they’ll let you in as space allows.

Stars include Rod Harris, KU football player; Catherine Carmichael, KU volleyball player; Shade Little, husband of the chancellor; Michael Wade Smith, student body president; Matt Rissien, a KU Hillel member who’s described as a “KU super fan”; Abby Rimel, Jayhawk Motorsports member and Ex.C.E.L. award finalist; Curtis Marsh, KU Info director; Jennifer Wamelink, student housing residence life director; Caitlin Wise, 2010 Panhellenic president and homecoming director.

My money, however, is on Baby Jay, who surely will win if he (she?) can pull off any kind of dance in that costume.

• One thing that usually piques my interest is salary information for public officials. In that spirit, I figured I’d pass along this report from the University of California-Berkeley. It shows the salaries of the presidents and provosts from all the universities in the Association of American Universities, a group of leading research universities of which KU is a member.

The public institutions show salaries from 2010, and the private universities have data from 2008, the earliest year available from tax returns.

At KU, Chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little earns $425,000, placing her in a tie for 47th place among the 61 American institutions.

Provost Jeff Vitter earns $350,000, a nice, round number that’s apparently pretty popular as a provosts’ salary. Six other schools, including Gray-Little’s old school, the University of North Carolina, also pay their provosts that amount. Texas A&M University, Vitter’s previous employer, is also among them.

One oddity I noticed from the data — the University of Virginia pays its provost $706,800. I thought that was high for a provost, and it tops the list by a fair margin.

The same university pays its president $485,000, according to the data, good for about 38th on that list. I bet that’s the result of some kind of error, or other issue with the data.

• Speaking of Texas A&M, that university still hasn’t found a provost to replace Vitter, who stepped down in June 2009. Vitter stepped aside after the resignation of Elsa Murano, Texas A&M’s president at the time. Murano resigned a day before the system’s regents were to meet to discuss the future of higher education leadership there.

Vitter has told me he resigned to make way for a new leadership team.

• One more quick KU event that could be worth your time.

KU’s Commission on the Status of Women will feature its annual stage reading of “The Vagina Monologues” at 7:30 p.m. on Friday and Saturday.

Tickets are $5 and benefit the GaDuGi Safecenter and the Willow Domestic Violence Center, both in Lawrence, and the V-Day fund for women in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Sixteen students are involved in the production, most of whom will be reading different monologues relating to sex, menstruation, rape, genital mutilation, masturbation, birth and orgasms.

• If life were a talent show, my talent would be collecting tips for Heard on the Hill. And I depend on you all to do it. Keep it up by sending them to ahyland@ljworld.com. Otherwise I might have to take up dancing. And nobody wants to see that.

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