Heard on the Hill: KU students to gain access to 50-inch telescope; KU Medical Center, KU Hospital can be difficult to distinguish; parking employees face perils on the job

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

• I was talking to Steve Hawley, KU’s own astronaut and professor of physics and astronomy about space shuttles yesterday, and we got around to talking about the telescope that used to be atop Lindley Hall.

There still is a six-inch telescope up there, he said, but access is closed because of structural issues. The six-inch telescope, he said, was designed by famous telescope maker Alvan Clark.

“It’s quite a historically important telescope, and it’s just sitting up there in the dome,” he said. “Nobody sees it anymore.”

KU students, however, will soon have access to a telescope in San Diego. It’s 50-inch telescope, he said, that KU will be able to use a portion of the time.

And, no, astronomy grad students won’t be taking trips to sunny beaches every time they want to look at the sky up close.

The telescope can be controlled remotely from Malott Hall, which I thought was pretty spiffy.

• Here’s one from our sister paper, the Shawnee Dispatch. This article discusses the dangers of sports-related concussions, as seen in a sports injury prevention clinic at KU MedWest in Shawnee.

This actually provides me with an opportunity to highlight the extremely convoluted nomenclature that exists at 39th and Rainbow in Kansas City, Kan.

There are two basic entities that live there in separate but adjacent campuses — KU Medical Center and KU Hospital. The basic way you can tell them apart is KU Medical Center is the teaching and research side, and KU Hospital is the clinical side.

The KU School of Medicine is housed within KU Medical Center, but is not synonymous with KU Medical Center (though the executive vice chancellor of KU Medical Center and the dean of the School of Medicine is the same person). KU Medical Center also is home to the School of Nursing and the School Formerly Known As Allied Health (in August it will become the School of Health Professions).

Confused yet? We haven’t even gotten started.

KU Medical Center receives funds from the state. KU Hospital doesn’t. The KU chancellor has direct control of KU Medical Center, but only has one seat on the KU Hospital board of directors.

The website KUMed.com is the website of … KU Hospital.

That’s probably because KU Hospital is colloquially and frequently referred to as “KU Med.”

And so we come back to “KU MedWest,” at 7405 Renner Road in Shawnee. It’s an offshoot of — you guessed it — KU Hospital.

This started with me talking about KU Hospital insights into sports concussions, but I’m all tuckered out now, so you’ll just have to go read that article to find out what that’s all about.

• I’ll leave you with a story on the dangers of being a parking employee, courtesy of the University Daily Kansan.

Some have been threatened with baseball bats and camera tripods (that one wasn’t me, I swear).

Another time, recently, police officers had to remove a student who refused to get out of his car so it could be towed.

But your best strategy, according to Rob Buffmire, a parking safety and security officer? Surprise, surprise — just be nice.

“If they’re nice and appropriate, we are not required to finish a ticket when the owner of a vehicle shows up,” Buffmire told the student paper. “We are usually very kind about it, and most people understand.”

• If you’re nice to me, I’ll be nice to you, too. Usually. I’ll be really nice if you submit a tip for Heard on the Hill to ahyland@ljworld.com.