Heard on the Hill: KU School of Business releases differential tuition report; KUMC study links stomach problems to depression in rats; graduation ceremony steeped in rules, traditions

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

• A Heard on the Hill tipster forwarded me a message sent to business school students that detailed the work done by the student advisory committee on its course fees and pointed students to a website that had several related documents, including one that detailed the differential tuition expenses from the 2011 fiscal year.

And because I like sharing, here are those expenses.

The report takes into account recommendations made in an external review of course fees made last November, including one that sought to clearly differentiate the uses between regular funds and differential tuition funds.

So now we can get a simple breakdown of costs — we know, for example, that of the nearly $7.6 million collected in student fees, $3.1 million went to faculty salaries, just more than $1 million paid staff salaries and $1.1 million paid for student hourly positions including GTAs and GRAs.

The student advisory committee apparently developed the format of the reports, and met five times between October 2010 and April 2011.

Time will tell if this will assuage the concerns of the gadfly-like MBA students who brought this topic up in the first place.

• Qian Li, of the department of pharmacology and toxicology at KU Medical Center, was one of several researchers who documented that early stomach problems to depression in rats.

The research was published in the journal PLoS One, and garnered a mention in a Los Angeles Times health blog, along with a strange stock photo of a rat in a beaker.

(Does Heard on the Hill need more photos of rats in beakers?)

Beyond the general annoyances that I usually encounter with stomach problems, the research shows that the stomach stuff might affect the development of the central nervous system and causing anxiety and depression. Interesting stuff.

• Because this will be the last Heard on the Hill before commencement (I’m actually already out of the office on vacation until next Wednesday), here’s a few tips to remember.

I’ve always been fascinated by the rules and regulations that go into these kinds of ceremonies, which are quite steeped in tradition.

The tassel rules are pretty familiar to most. Wear them hanging on the left side of the face, to be turned over only after you’ve graduated.

Those receiving bachelor’s degrees should wear their gowns closed, but people getting master’s or doctoral degrees apparently have the choice of wearing them open or closed, according to commencement.ku.edu.

A live stream of the ceremony will be available here if you can’t be in Lawrence to watch a particular graduate walk down the hill.

And, of course, you have to have your tassel in the proper color, as set by the American Council on Education. I always thought journalism folks like me got off pretty well with the “cardinal” color. It’s better, I’ve always thought, than, say … drab, to pick on one in particular.

These are the colors for undergraduates: allied health – light green, architecture – blue-violet, business – drab, education – light blue, engineering – orange, journalism – cardinal, law – purple, liberal arts and sciences – white, medicine – green, music – pink, nursing – apricot, pharmacy – olive green and social welfare – citron.

• Feel free to fill up my inbox at ahyland@ljworld.comwith tips even though I’ll be away. Heard on the Hill will be back next Thursday.