Archive for Friday, June 17, 2011

Heard on the Hill: Former KU provost Richard Lariviere in hot water in Oregon; Liking KU Medical Center-Wichita on Facebook could give students a skeleton; Strong Hall really does face the correct way

June 17, 2011


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

• KU’s last provost wasn’t shy about expressing his opinions, and certainly made some enemies while he was here. And now, as president of the University of Oregon, Richard Lariviere appears to have attracted the ire of some on the Oregon State Board of Higher Education.

Just look at the lead paragraph of this story in The (Portland) Oregonian newspaper:

“University of Oregon President Richard Lariviere must become a team player, show up at board meetings and stop putting his university at odds with the state system if he wants to keep his job, says the State Board of Higher Education.”

The board, which typically renews the contracts of state higher education leaders for two or three years, only renewed Lariviere’s for one year.

Lariviere has broken with the state board on several occasions, including calling for a separate board to oversee the University of Oregon. He has also pushed a plan calling for $800 million in bonding authority for the school, which the board has asked him to kindly stop doing.

• The KU School of Medicine in Wichita has found an interesting gimmick to get folks to like them on Facebook that also ties in with the first class of freshmen medical students arriving on campus this fall.

So what happens if you like the KU School of Medicine’s page?

The 4-Wichita advancement board will donate $1 toward the purchase of… a skeleton!

The skeleton will be used for the students, and was described as a “bonus” skeleton model in a press release, to enhance the students’ overall experience.

The 4-Wichita board will donate up to $1,000, “which they hope happens by Halloween for obvious reasons,” the release stated.

It’s a strange idea, and we’ll see if it works. As of Thursday evening, the school had 126 likes from a variety of folks.

• The University Daily Kansan recently published an article dispelling various campus myths.

There’s the usual fare about not walking under the Campanile before commencement day if you want to graduate, and Wescoe Hall being designed as a parking garage, but they debunked one that I heard recently.

Namely, that Strong Hall was built backward.

I heard one person tell that to another at KU’s Mini College while standing outside the Spencer Research Library (and it’s easy to think that from that angle, with the words “University of Kansas” emblazoned on the outside, just as it is from the front).

“The west wing was built in 1908 and the center was built five years later. In 1940, the four-way entrance on the north side of Strong Hall was replaced with a new front entrance because the balcony and stairway were badly cracked,” the student newspaper reported. “The building was always designed to face Mount Oread.”

So there’s that, guy I overheard talking about Strong Hall facing the wrong way. Now you know.

• Maybe I should give someone a skeleton if I get a certain number of tips for Heard on the Hill. I’ll mull that one over, but in the meantime, just keep sending them to


Tim Quest 6 years, 9 months ago

You act as if the "Strong Hall faces backwards" story is some sort of recent fabrication. It's part of University folklore and is told to prospective students on University tours, or at least it certainly was told to me by some eager backwards-walking tour guide back in 1997.

ahyland 6 years, 9 months ago

Certainly didn't mean to imply that — I've heard it mentioned several times in the past too!

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