Archive for Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Heard on the Hill: KU unveils legislative priorities; KU alumna becomes first African reporter in China; Kansas Athletics ‘The Wheel Club’ explained

January 5, 2011


Here's yet another edition of news, notes and links from around Kansas University.

Related document

KU 2011 Legislative Agenda ( .PDF )

• I’m in the middle of putting together a blurb on KU’s legislative agenda for the upcoming year. We’ll run it this weekend along with what a bunch of other local entities are looking for out of the upcoming session.

But, as usual, Heard on the Hill readers get an advance sneak peek at the list. I’m including the entire agenda here.

KU’s state lobbyist Kathy Damron tells me it essentially boils down to two main areas of focus — securing investment in key areas of economic growth (like KU’s new engineering building and its quest for NCI cancer designation) and repealing outdated state laws that hamper KU’s efficiency.

I’d welcome your thoughts on KU’s wish list, by e-mail or in the comments below.

• In further proof that you can find Jayhawks just about anywhere, a School of Business alumna has become the first African reporter on the Chinese mainland, and was recently named as the Chinese cultural ambassador for her country.

Vimbayi Kajese, a 2005 School of Business graduate from Zimbabwe, reads the news at CCTV-9, the English Channel of China Central Television.

Check out a video of her work below.

• Wrapping up all this Sheahon Zenger stuff for now, one other item I'd read in the new athletic director's contract dealt with something I'd never heard fully explained called "The Wheel Club." So I checked it out.

It came up in the contract because Zenger will be allowed the use of two cars, subject to the rules of the Wheel Club.

It essentially works as a courtesy car program, available to head coaches and certain other administrative staff members at the discretion of the athletic director.

Dealers provide cars to the athletics department in return for other perks, like priority Williams Fund seating points, the ability to purchase two men's basketball tickets per car, a signed basketball (men's and women's) and an invitation to an annual golf outing.

Kansas Athletics allows staff members and spouses to drive the cars, and pays insurance and registration costs.

Coaches and staffers are use the cars for a period of time, and then the vehicles are given back to dealers and sold.

• In an effort to increase the already significant number of tips for Heard on the Hill (thanks, everyone!), I’m going to start appealing to individual people at random. So I opened my KU directory and blindly pointed to a name on the page.

This means I’m looking at you, Nicole Singleton Horn, graduate teaching assistant in the curriculum and teaching department. Tell me something I don’t already know! You (and everyone else) can reach me at


Vimbayi Kajese on CCTV 9

Vimbayi Kajese


Enoughsaid 7 years, 4 months ago

Nice article about the Wheel Club for the Athletic Department. As a taxpayer it has bothered me for years how the Athletic Department treats the public and has the attitude they can do whatever they want.

It ranges from parking in loading zones daily, telling the public they can't watch a football practice from a public sidewalk or Anderson Sports Complex is closed to the public. Once I was told Memorial Stadium is private property.

To further make my point the idea of certain members of the Athletic Department driving vehicles with dealer plates is a direct violation of Kansas Statue 8-2406. If you google the statute, it states the following are authorized the use of dealer license plates; -Licensed dealer and spouse, sales manager and other dealership personnel, customer when operating a motor vehicle with negotiations to purchase said vehicle or during a demonstration.

I'm no attorney, but I don't see how the Athletic Department can operate a vehicle with dealers plate. I was told by a local dealership it is okay to do this and since the vehicles were never titled, they are sold as demonstrators, not used vehicles.

missmagoo 7 years, 4 months ago

I think the idea is.. right or wrong.. that the vehicles are "loaned" to administrators and coaches for usually 6 months or less as a "demo", then they are returned to the dealership (aka Laird Noller) and sold at a high value because "hey, this is Bill Self's old car!" I test drove a car once that they pulled this gimmick on me... though the sticker price was way over the car was worth.. it was driven by a KU coach and I was told specifically which one it belonged to. It must work because the program has been going on for a LONG time now! So it's a win-win because the coaches and administrators get to drive brand new cars for nothing and the dealer makes a good profit on the cars they drive, plus the perks listed above for tickets, etc.

bigjaybabyjay 7 years, 4 months ago

They don't have dealer plates. They also pay taxes on the msrp.

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