Archive for Friday, July 22, 2011

Heard on the Hill: KU strategic planning process continues to take shape; 5k run in Overland Park helps bring JCCC students to KU; reader offers more feedback on honorary degrees

July 22, 2011


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• KU’s strategic planning effort is chugging along, with some new information being released on it this week at the provost’s website.

We’ve got four new strategic initiative themes now, on which KU will focus as it puts more elements of the plan into place in the coming months.

The themes and co-chairs are:

• Sustaining the Planet, Powering the World. Led by Bob Honea, director of the KU Transportation Research Institute; Joane Nagel, distinguished professor of sociology; and Judy Wu, distinguished professor of physics.

• Promoting Well-Being, Finding Cures. Led by Jeff Aubé, professor of medicinal chemistry; John Colombo, director of KU’s Life Span Institute; and Dave Ekerdt, professor of sociology.

• Building Communities, Expanding Opportunities. Led by Marta Caminero-Santangelo, professor and chair of English; Derrick Darby, associate professor of philosophy; Don Deshler, director of KU’s Center for Research on Learning; and Steven Maynard-Moody, director of KU’s Policy Research Institute.

• Harnessing Information, Multiplying Knowledge. Led by Perry Alexander, director of KU’s Information and Telecommunication Technology Center; Nancy Baym, associate professor of communication studies; and Kris Krishtalka, director of KU’s Biodiversity Institute and its Natural History Museum.

I’ll be watching in the future to see what kinds of efforts come out of the grand plan.

• Here’s an interesting idea I spotted this week. A 5k run in Overland Park will support scholarships for students who transfer from Johnson County Community College to KU’s Edwards Campus.

It’s the fourth year for the program, which has raised $35,000 for undergraduate scholarships in the last three years.

The race, in a fine bit of symbolism, begins at JCCC and ends at the Edwards Campus at 127th Street and Quivira Road in Overland Park.

• Reader John Eberhardt of Denver contacted me with a story he recalled from his days on campus in the 1940’s dealing with honorary degrees.

He said he recalled that KU’s policy at the time of granting no honorary degrees went back in some degree to the days of William Allen White, the famous editor of the Emporia Gazette who lent his name to KU’s School of Journalism and Mass Communications.

As he recalled, the policy of not granting degrees began after White refused one that was offered to him. Don’t know if anyone’s heard anything similar, but let me know if you have.

• Put a little something in the Heard on the Hill tip jar by sending me some good info at


devobrun 6 years, 9 months ago

Strategy is a forward looking plan with few details, but with large scale goals.

"Sustaining the Planet, Powering the World" "Promoting Well-Being, Finding Cures" "Building Communities, Expanding Opportunities" "Harnessing Information, Multiplying Knowledge"

So forward looking is 1970s thinking?

Read alternatively we have: Down with big oil, Go organic, Join hands and sing together Proselytize using mass media ......propaganda.

To bad Jimmy Spheeris isn't around to write us a song.

yourworstnightmare 6 years, 9 months ago

Jealous much, David?

Read: Energy and climate Pharmacy and biomedical Humanities Informatics/computer science

devobrun 6 years, 9 months ago

Not jealous nightmare, bored. The same 3 or 4 notes repeated over and over since the 1970s.
Energy and climate. Actually the climate angle is relatively new. It is the same eco-garbage, but in a more global and strident package. So if cloud feedback, or ocean current shifts reverse temperature trends over the next 20 years or foolish will all this chicken little stuff look? Energy is the ability to do work. And methane is going to be doing more and more of it. Old stuff, and KU's tertiary oil recovery program was on the cutting edge of horizontal fracture technology way back in the 70s. Oh wait, it wasn't. It must be tough to be a young petroleum engineering student today. Such guilt.

And the genetic engineering advances of the 80s has yielded a cure for cancer and many new antibiotics......oh wait, no.

Humanities are lost on the inner city thugs that are running rampant in Chicago. Say it loud: "I'm black and I'm proud". Lotta good that did.

Informatics is........defining how large the header must be to catch the maximum attention of an otherwise disinterested reader of your report. Oh, and Facebook and Twitter.

Yawn, wake me up when you old hippies finally quit setting the agenda.

yourworstnightmare 6 years, 9 months ago

I agree with KRichards. Let's hear your ideas.

I dislike "old hippies" as much or more than you. If you think that these ideas are "old hippie", well, then you either haven't paid attention or you are just using that term without thought and just as an insult.

devobrun 6 years, 9 months ago

Well, thank you for the invitation.

Science is the test, the experiment, the forcing of action to support, or deny the thought. Thinking isn't good enough. Logic isn't good enough. Rational description is just another story.

If you can't do it, but you can say it, then you're engaged in fiction.

Do it. Or shut up.

Now that I changed the rules of expert eructation, I'll continue with decision making. Details:

1) Computer model runs are not experiments. 2) There are so few things in this world that are really facts that the word should be banished from erudite discussion. 3) Because we know so little....really know so little, we should approach life as if we don't know and take action that risks death. We should acknowledge that heroes risk death and hail them when they fail or succeed equally. 4) The above note should be offered to old people, wild crazy convicts, X-game participants, Mot-Cross participants, etc., In other words, there are crazies (or dieing) in this world....use them. 5) Believe nothing that has not been tested (e.g. evolution). Stop wasting time on that which is meaningless.

Oh nightmare, the last unquestioned (by the elite) bastion of hippieville is environmentalism. Politics, drugs, free sex, "if it feels good, do it" and many more hippie feelings have been dealt with as endeavors and tests and results and modifications of human behavior.

Except environmentalism. It is the last area of hippie thought that has not been challenged by the thinkers from Harvard. Yes nightmare, the erudite and influential must be squirming at the failure of the green economy. A crashing world economy (except China) is proof positive that green, environmental, yadda yadda yadda is killing independent thought, creative solutions, and the freedom that fuels innovation.

And that is why the strategic planning effort is just a rehash of new-speak from the 1970s. Question authority. Finally question the green inspiration. It is just feelings and thought and it doesn't deliver. Challenge kids to cast off the old and come up with something that really will change the world. Change it away from green and SRS and all that has not worked.

question4u 6 years, 9 months ago

We "should approach life as if we don't know" and should "stop wasting time on that which is meaningless" (i.e., life)?

It's okay to describe "a crashing world economy " as "proof positive", but at the same time the word fact "should be banished from all erudite discussion"?

We should "believe nothing that has not been tested", but at the same time we should "question authority"? Does testing somehow provide a legitimate basis for belief but no authority (i.e., no basis for adjudication or otherwise settling issues)?

Curious stuff.

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