Your daily dose of news, notes and links from around Kansas University.
• I had a good conversation on Thursday with Jim Guthrie, a KU professor of business who’s helping to lead the search for a new business dean.
A few highlights of our chat:
• Guthrie said — though his optimism may have been tempered a couple of weeks ago — that he’s been pleased with the quality of the candidate pool. KU is considering a number of sitting deans, associate deans at peer and higher-ranked universities, and executives from outside the halls of academe.
• The position can be a difficult one with high burnout — the average dean’s tenure is about four years, Guthrie said. He said pressures to raise money from high-powered business alumni coupled with ever-present pressures to move up in the school rankings can turn a lot of people off. But for the right person, it presents a welcome challenge.
• The committee is charged with winnowing the list down to three to five finalists, who will be publicly announced and will make campus visits. They will then present Provost Jeff Vitter with their unranked list of finalists, but will add the committee’s views on each of the candidates, including their strengths and weaknesses.
• Guthrie outlined his expected schedule over the next few months:
Rest of January — continued development of the candidate pool.
First two weeks of February — develop a “short list” of eight to 10 names.
Last two weeks of February — develop a “shorter list” of three to five finalists.
March — schedule campus visits for candidates.
March/April — announce a new dean.
• Apparently, someday soon, you’ll be able to wear a Jayhawk on your jeans.
That’s according to the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal, which described jeans that “will show off their school pride and create new opportunities for cotton farmers and the local economy.”
GAMEDAY Jeans will be manufactured by the Plains Cotton Cooperative Association based in Lubbock, Texas.
The article lists a number of universities, including KU, that will have GAMEDAY denim products of their own.
In looking at the picture of the new GAMEDAY jeans, I guess I’m wondering why anyone would go through the trouble of sewing something on the inside of the waistline of the jeans, where, presumably, no one would see it in the normal course of wearing them.
But, then again, I’m certainly not paid as a fashion consultant.
• KU’s provost is calling for KU faculty and staff to submit proposals that would become “strategic initiatives” as part of the university’s ongoing master planning process.
The submissions look to be rather involved, and will explore initiatives that would help KU address what Provost Jeff Vitter called “grand challenges” facing the university today.
The proposals will call for specific lists of faculty members involved, resources needed, ways to secure those resources and much more.
I’m curious to know — how is this strategic planning process going? Feel free to let me know, either by e-mail, or in the comments.
And, by the way, this is as good a time to mention this as any — I never reveal the names of anyone who writes to me concerning items pertaining to this blog without their permission. I'm mostly just trying to get a sense of where things stand, usually, as background or context. Occasionally I'll want to publish something, and if the person agrees, great, and if not, that's OK too. Often, too, stuff can be used without publishing someone's name, especially here in "blog-land"...
• A quick thanks, by the way, to the many of you who wrote in response to the New York Times story I linked to Thursday. It looks like it wasn’t lying — there are indeed many law school students struggling to secure jobs that will pay off the large debt loads. Look for a story sometime soon.
• Taking a page out of the GAMEDAY Jeans playbook, I may start operating under the procedure that everything sounds cooler in capital letters. So, please send me those TIPS for HEARD ON THE HILL at AHYLAND@LJWORLD.COM.