Archive for Monday, March 21, 2011

Heard on the Hill: Law school blog post gives more information on US News ranking; KU Recycling asks if you can name this building; Kansas attorney general calls for community to be alert over break

March 21, 2011

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

• The KU School of Law fell 12 spots among all law schools in the latest U.S. News and World Report rankings, and the interim dean of the school said a temporary slump in bar passage rates were to blame.

A post on the school’s blog, however, pointed out a different aspect of the ratings.

Todd Rogers, assistant law dean for career services, used a change in methodology to make a point he has raised with me before — that he feels the U.S. News employment statistics don’t offer the transparency and nuance needed for students to make an informed choice about law schools.

“Perhaps the best answer is to stop expecting that a single ‘employed at graduation’ or ‘employed nine months after graduation’ statistic will provide the most meaningful yard stick for comparing schools’ employment records,” Rogers wrote. “Schools will continue to provide these statistics, but should also make available other relevant information on which a well-reasoned enrollment decision can be made.”

Lost, he says, are data on the percentages of students who accept bar-required jobs and salary data for the positions students accept. Both of those, among other statistics, Rogers argues, should be widely available to prospective law students.

He also details changes made to the employment formula, and explains how those affected KU’s scores.

• I noticed that KU Recycling’s Facebook page has a “where is that?” competition.

Here’s the description accompanying the photo.

“This building of red brick, an open plan over steel trusses, has 115,000 square feet; it absorbed new Fowler Shops, which had opened in 1949, adding about 26,600 square feet. Old mechanical engineering shops were razed to make way for the $5.75 million project, dedicated April 9, 1978.”

I know where that is — in fact, I was just in that building last week. But I won’t ruin it for anyone else.

• And finally, here’s a good reminder from Kansas attorney general Derek Schmidt as we begin this spring break week at KU.

“In the past, we have seen increases in crime surrounding university breaks,” Schmidt said. “We encourage students and community members to be especially alert and report any suspicious activity to local law enforcement.”

Law enforcement has connected 13 sexual assaults occurring between breaks from school in Lawrence and Manhattan, the last of which occurred in December 2008.

• KU got a nice recognition recently when it was named in the top 10 most effective universities in the nation at using social media, according to a new report from Web Strategy Research. More than 270 colleges and universities were examined. I don’t know what that means for my volume of tips for Heard on the Hill, but I can only hope it will go up. Socially interact with this media member anytime at ahyland@ljworld.com

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