Your daily dose of news, notes and links from around Kansas University.
• I heard word this week that Marcia Nielsen, vice chancellor for public affairs at KU Medical Center, would be taking on a new role there.
In a recent message she sent to colleagues, she said she would be transitioning over the next six months to a leadership position at KUMC’s department of health policy and management. Starting July 1, Nielsen, who is a former executive director of the Kansas Health Policy Authority, will be a full-time faculty member and vice chairwoman of the department of health policy and management.
She will also serve as the School of Medicine’s associate dean for health policy. She will continue teaching and expand her research into federal health policy reform, and will advise Barbara Atkinson, KUMC’s executive vice chancellor, on federal and state health policy issues.
Nielsen will continue to develop KUMC’s new School of Public Health.
C.J. Janovy, KUMC’s director of communications (and former editor of the Kansas City-area alternative weekly newspaper The Pitch), will lead a reorganized office of public affairs, with a greater focus on external communications, according to Nielsen’s note.
Interesting to see public relations and government policy functions separated on the campus in Kansas City, Kan., while the Lawrence campus seeks to unite them under a newly created vice chancellor for public affairs post.
• I spotted an announcement of a rather nifty new program on campus on Wednesday.
KU has a new “Professional Clothing Closet” that will allow students to acquire professional clothes for career fairs, interviews and work settings for free or reduced costs.
Students can find clothes at the University Career Center, in Room 110 of the Burge Union. Dressing rooms are available.
The program is available for all KU students. Any student is allowed up to five items.
Small monetary donations will be accepted — but aren’t required — in exchange for the clothing. The donations will be given to the Willow Domestic Violence Center in Lawrence.
And — best of all — students don’t have to return the items. It’s designed to make sure no student gets left behind simply because they don’t have access to professional clothes.
The program was the brainchild of Delta Epsilon Iota, a career-focused KU honor society. Clothing donations will be accepted year-round at the University Career Center, and unusable clothing will be donated to the local Goodwill.
The closet is scheduled to open on Feb. 1. It will be open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., with extended evening hours from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Feb. 1, 2 and 7 in advance of the University Career Fair on Feb. 9.
• Before we entirely leave the season of “State of the (blank)” speeches, here’s one final note about President Barack Obama’s speech on Tuesday.
According to a Politico blog post, Obama made a reference to a speech Robert F. Kennedy gave here on the KU campus on March 18, 1968.
He quoted RFK directly, but the reference to the KU speech was a bit subtler, Politico said.
Check out the link for a detailed description of how both referred to the same idea that the progress of the American people isn’t usually measured by purely economic data alone.
Here’s a link to RFK’s entire speech, in case you were doing something else that day and happened to miss it.
• Who’s got a good tip for Heard on the Hill? I’ll bet Daniel Gene Pentlin, dietitian with the KU Memorial Unions, knows something I don’t. Give it a whirl, Daniel, and tell me something I don’t already know at firstname.lastname@example.org. That goes for the rest of you, too.