Archive for Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Heard on the Hill: Vice provost Marlesa Roney’s new ‘professor of practice’ explained; former KU administrator Lori Reesor involved in imbroglio at UND; new KU administrator Caboni is a Twitter fan

June 8, 2011


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• I learned something new while reporting on the departure of Marlesa Roney as KU’s vice provost for student success. She’ll become a professor of the practice at KU’s School of Education.

I had never heard that term before, so I went on a little fishing expedition. And, lo and behold, here’s a policy document that explains a little more about it.

As it turns out, the position is intended to enable KU to hire people with extensive professional backgrounds on the faculty as teachers and professors.

It’s a nontenure track position for a maximum of three years in the initial term. Research is supported but not required.

If, after the initial term, the instructional unit is happy with the person’s performance, the person can be re-appointed for up to five years.

KU approved the policy in 2009, but I’m not sure how many of these “professors of the practice” are out there. Anyone else know of some?

• Lori Reesor, a former KU associate vice provost for student success, moved on to the University of North Dakota to become a university vice president there.

Three months in, Reesor is involved in an interesting situation, according to the Grand Forks Herald.

As the newspaper describes it, as part of a reorganization, she eliminated the position of an associate vice president who had been serving at the university since 1974.

Reesor told the newspaper that the firing was part of a broader reorganization of the student affairs office and did not reflect on the associate vice president’s performance.

It apparently caused enough of a stir to get the local newspaper interested, and I thought the situation interesting enough to mention here.

• Finally, a welcome to Tim Caboni, KU’s vice chancellor for public affairs, who officially began in his post this week.

With that, he becomes the highest-ranking KU official (that I’m aware of, anyway) to maintain an active Twitter account.

Former Chancellor Robert Hemenway had a Twitter account briefly, but it really was more of a gag for his last commencement speech, and I’m not sure he ever actually got in and operated the account himself.

But I can confirm — it’s really Tim in there. And I’d be curious to know if I’m wrong about that highest-ranking KU official with a Twitter account thing …

• I’ll be out all day at some of KU’s Mini College events writing another story for our upcoming special KU edition that comes out every year near the beginning of the fall term. But that doesn’t excuse you from sending in tips for Heard on the Hill. Keep them coming at


JackRipper 7 years ago

is there something relevant about twitter? we use to read books on important issues but know we are a bunch of twits.

an office called student success leads me to believe there are too many who don't belong at the university. ridiculous power point presentations and backward walking tour guides would be best left to the business world and time to start acting like a university is a place for scholars, not for a bunch of under performing students that need their hand held. there are way too many students at ku that think education is just another trip to the mall and that they are a customer rather than scholars hungry for knowledge.

Scut Farkus 7 years ago

What's your point, besides the fact you should probably enroll in English 101?

JackRipper 7 years ago

And I graduated from the great institution no less! Do I prove my point?

JackRipper 7 years ago

And even with my woefully lacking skills of writing (never stressed in high school or college) I managed to navigate the enrollment process that required going from Hoch to Allen Fieldhouse to pull cards for classes! We didn't have backward walking, hand holding, communications studies students to help ease us into the world of academia. It is sad students today have lived such sheltered lives that they have to come with mommy and daddy to have their hands held to figure out how things work. Some time in the military might be more useful.

MyName 7 years ago

I'm confused about why you care about a bunch of students getting temp work showing other students around campus. If it helps people and it doesn't cost much then how is it a waste of money? Or is this one of those "walking uphill both ways in 10 ft. of snow" geezer stories?

And the people who do this are just one small office in Student Success (aka student services). If you want to see what the bulk of what the new Vice Provost will oversee:

rogerman 7 years ago

Andy writes a good article and provides just enough information, but needs to take it a step further. The appointment to a "new position" at an institution the size of KU at this point in the year is akin to being fired. The fact that it is a non-renewable 3 year position gives it a nice parachute. At a smaller school like UND, people are just fired. Welcome to the world of higher education.

Jim Williamson 7 years ago

While I agree with you that there are a lot of students who arrive on campus woefully unprepared, the marketplace is such that you can't just ignore academically-marginal students. Colleges now need to do what they can to (1) attract any and all students with a checkbook and (2) keep them on campus once they get there.

I know. I don't like it, either.

Bob_Keeshan 7 years ago

The local paper has taken an interest in some old timer being shown the door?

Thank goodness that never happens in Lawrence.......

jjjimjones 7 years ago

Interesting about Marlesa Roney's created position. Many people in student success were not happy with her reorganization, internal appointment of positions, and the way she has delegated authority. Although some staff did support these actions in her defense. Lori Reesor left during the height (or low point for some) of the reorganization. As rogerman (above) stated there is probably much more to this story if you just dig a little deeper. Good luck Marlesa in your new position.

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