Archive for Thursday, January 27, 2011

Heard on the Hill: Another vice chancellor candidate says hello; KU libraries to say ‘Happy 150th Birthday’ to Kansas; interactive map shows the counties with the most bachelor’s degrees

January 27, 2011


• I got a nice note on Wednesday from Dara Troutman, one of KU’s candidates for its vice chancellor of public affairs. She likely spotted that one of her competitors for the job started following me on Twitter last month. She mentioned that she reads me, too, but she just doesn’t follow me on Twitter. At least, not yet, anyway...

She also gently reminded me that, while I said she was chief of staff to the president of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, she’s actually chief of staff to the president of the University of Nebraska’s four-campus system. So I figured I’d set the record straight in this space.

The way I figure it, if the candidates for this job are already reading my stuff, the other finalists should make themselves known to me, too, and then I could moderate a kind of Heard on the Hill debate among all the candidates right here.

I’ll let you know when that actually happens…

• KU Libraries is commemorating the state’s sesquicentennial anniversary with an exhibit in Watson Library, “1861: Kansas from Statehood to Civil War.”

The exhibition will run from Feb. 4 to April 1.

Items featured include a handwritten diary kept by a civil war soldier at Fort Leavenworth, maps of the Kansas Territory and a sketch from Harper’s Weekly depicting the ruins of Lawrence after that nasty William Quantrill sacked the town.

The library is hosting an opening reception from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. on Feb. 4, and it’s free and open to the public, although those interested in attending should RSVP to or call 864-3601.

The reception will feature a talk led by Sherry Williams, curator of the Kansas Collection at Spencer Research Library. She’ll discuss Kansas statehood and its representation at the collection.

Kansas Day is on Saturday, which marks the official 150th birthday of the state.

• A colleague alerted me to a spiffy interactive graphic in the Chronicle of Higher Education.

It lists the percentages of adults who have earned bachelor’s degrees in each county in the United States.

In Douglas County, that figure is 47.34 percent, well above the Kansas average of 28.85 percent and the national average of 27.53 percent. That’s to be expected for a university community, and many university cities across the country show similar percentages.

However, the largest percentage in Kansas belongs to neighboring Johnson County, where 50.45 percent of adults have bachelor’s degrees.

• A reminder: I’ll be covering Bernadette Gray-Little’s State of the University speech today. I don’t know how many folks are planning on attending (it’s at 4 p.m. in Woodruff Auditorium at the Kansas Union). But if you see me there, pull me aside and say hello. I’ll be the one with the skinny reporter’s notebook jotting everything down. And be sure to head back here for the complete report on the state of KU. (Good money says that, according to the chancellor, the state of KU is “strong.” That’s typically the adjective of choice for these kinds of speeches).

• Whether you’re a candidate for an open position at KU or not, you can always give me a good tip at


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