Archive for Monday, May 16, 2011

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

May 16, 2011


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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

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.


Jim Williamson 7 years, 1 month ago

" – drab..."

Write your own joke.

kuprof54 7 years, 1 month ago

Nice job Bschool admins. I think the committee was reinstated early this fall. Why did it take until May to release the report? It should've been released last fall. Releasing it now means they waited until students were graduating and could ask no more questions. Once again, the bschool admin counts on student turnover to hide another problem.

Jack Martin 7 years, 1 month ago

The advisory committee's first meeting was October 22. If you look at the notes of the meetings, you'll see that a year-to-date report as of December 31 was shared with the committee early in the spring. That report was approved by the committee in mid-March and posted here April 4:

kuprof54 7 years, 1 month ago

You're missing the point. It wasn't released to all students until now. It doesn't matter what happened in committee. It took them from Oct. 22 to now to develop a format? Where was the leadership of the dean to make this a priority to happen in early November? Typical lack of leadership that plagues KU and that BGL continues to allow.

Jack, I know you work at KU so maybe you also probably won't understand this point. This report should've been a priority to disseminate and should've been done early in the Fall. But because KU employees are in higher ed and think that its operations are an exception to everywhere else, you and the Bschool dean won't understand that. This is part of the problem. KU and higher ed only functions like it does because it's allowed to. Period.

The dean should've known this was a priority to clear up and it should've been done earlier. And why did they wait to meet at the end of October? Example after example of laziness and lack of motivation to fix problems.

Jack Martin 7 years, 1 month ago

It was available to all students online more than a month ago.

Thunderdome 7 years, 1 month ago

It may have been online somewhere, but students didn't receive notification that it was there until last Friday. That sounds sort of suspicious since Friday was stop day.

kuprof54 7 years, 1 month ago


Thanks for confirming my assertion. You didn't understand my point. Figured that would happen.

The point is that the committee wasn't reconvened until Oct. 22. Why wasn't it done in August or early Sept.? Why weren't students told on April 4 that the report was available? Why were they told this week? Why did it take so long? This administration has a history of wanting to hide things. Once again, their actions don't look good. Wait an entire school year to release a report when students can't ask questions about it. If it were me, the committee would've been reinstated and had a report issued by fall break. Not releasing the report until now shows a lack of concern, a lack of urgency, and a lack of respect for students who have a right to know where their money is going.

Thunderdome 7 years, 1 month ago

Duck and cover and deflect. That's the modis operandi at KU. It's happening at the Business School and, with BGL's help, it's happening at the Medical School as well.

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