Heard on the Hill: 50 Works for 50 States collection at Spencer Art Museum has interesting back story; two KU employees picked to serve on state court panel; student success post has evolved over time

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

• I spent most of Wednesday touring around campus with the Mini-College folks for a story I’m doing for the Journal-World’s upcoming KU Edition.

I learned a great deal, and I’ll be reporting on that later.

Here’s just one thing I picked up on Wednesday. And that’s the really cool story behind the Vogel ’50 Works for 50 States’ exhibit that’s at KU.

I remembered it being briefly announced in the Journal-World, but didn’t know too much about it.

Herb and Dorothy Vogel, as the article said, lived in New York City and had a large collection of art. They lived modestly, however. He was a postal worker and she worked as a librarian in Brooklyn. They lived in a one-bedroom apartment (with cats) using Dorothy’s salary and used Herb’s salary to buy art.

They spent years collecting only art done since their marriage in 1962 and met several artists themselves before eventually getting connected with the National Gallery of Art in Washington and deciding to send all 50 states 50 works each from their collection.

Much of the collection is quite minimalist — take a peek at the works in KU’s collection.

It’s neat stuff. The exhibit will be open at the Spencer until July 24.

• Martha Hodgesmith, associate director of KU’s research and training center on independent living, and Karen H. Hester, KU School of Law director of career services and director of diversity and inclusion, have been named to a Kansas blue ribbon panel tasked to find ways to improve the way the court system operates in Kansas.

They’ll be two of 24 people that come from across the state who are looking for ways to ensure that the courts are being good stewards of taxpayer dollars.

• A Heard on the Hill commenter yesterday posted a good link that covers all of the departments that fall under the guidelines of the vice provost for student success, so I figured I’d reproduce it here.

Some of these were added in 2003 as former Chancellor Robert Hemenway oversaw a reorganization of what was then called the department of student affairs.

The slight changes in the position’s nature make it somewhat difficult to track. But Roney replaced Mary Lee Hummert, who served as the interim vice provost for student support for nearly a year. Hummert today works as KU’s vice provost for faculty support.

And Hummert stepped in to replace David Ambler, a truly splendid fellow who had served as the vice chancellor for student affairs for the previous 25 years.

I’ve told a few people this before, but I’ve always loved the name “student success.” Failure? That’s down the hall. Success? We can help you right here.

• Send your tips to the Department for Heard on the Hill Success at ahyland@ljworld.com.