Archive for Friday, November 4, 2011

Heard on the Hill: Search for dean of graduate studies coming to a close; Kansan editor quoted in Wall Street Journal about student debt; study shows students really, really love their cellphones

November 4, 2011, 12:01 a.m. Updated November 4, 2011, 9:06 a.m.


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

• KU’s search for a new dean of graduate studies is entering its wrap-up stages, as three of four candidates have been announced for the post.

The position became vacant after Sara Rosen was chosen to become senior vice provost for academic affairs.

The three announced finalists for the position are Arvin Agah, professor of electrical engineering and computer science; James Lichtenberg, associate dean of graduate studies in the School of Education; and Thomas W. Heilke, a professor of political science and former associate dean of international programs in the graduate school and the office of international programs.

A fourth candidate has yet to be announced. The search was limited to internal candidates.

Joshua Rosenbloom, associate vice chancellor for research and graduate studies, is serving as the interim dean.

• Kelly Stroda, the current editor of the University Daily Kansan, made her way into the Wall Street Journal this week, talking about a topic that’s on a lot of people’s minds these days: student debt.

She’ll be carrying more than the average $25,250 debt load among students who have debt when she graduates in December 2012.

"But it hasn't hit me yet, because I haven't gotten that first bill," she told the newspaper.

That average level of debt? Yeah, it’s about 5 percent higher than it was the previous year, according to the newspaper, which cited a report from nonprofit Project on Student Debt.

• Here’s an interesting infographic on cellphone use from the fine folks at, based on a survey of college students on Facebook (which may admittedly skew these results a bit).

It certainly shows, as they put it, “Students love their phones. A lot.”

Ninety-four percent of students text every day, and 60 percent report feeling “addicted” to their phone.

Half (?!) of students reported they have secretly read a friend's or significant other's texts. And one-quarter admitted they use their phone in every single class period. Yikes.

• I’ll admit it — I read a fair amount of the tips you send me for Heard on the Hill to on my trusty iPhone. But I’m not addicted. I could leave it any time I want to. Really. Truly. Any. Time. I. Want. To.


ahyland 6 years, 6 months ago

Thanks to a smart tipster who pointed out that my brain apparently took a short break when I said Jim Lichtenberg worked in engineering and not education. It's right now!

Carol Bowen 6 years, 6 months ago

The federal govern,ent no longer subsidizes loans from Sallie Mae and others. That legislation was passed about the same time as Obamacare.

thinkinganalytically 6 years, 6 months ago

I think that the majority of graduates from KU had no student debt. Is that still true?

ahyland 6 years, 6 months ago

That's certainly true — it's just over half, as I reported in this other story about student debt issues.

ahyland 6 years, 6 months ago

This is true — and an important distinction. The 50 percent figure is for undergraduates only. While I don't have specific figures for graduate students with debt, anecdotally I can tell you that nearly all the graduate students I speak with have some kind of debt, so you're probably right that considering ALL students, the figure is lower.

FlawontheKaw 6 years, 6 months ago

"She’ll be carrying more than the average $25,250 debt load among students who have debt when she graduates in December 2012."

Is that all? What did she do--drop out early?

FlawontheKaw 6 years, 6 months ago

It helps to be a child of the 1%. No student loans since M & D are paying for it all.

FlawontheKaw 6 years, 6 months ago

I was not commenting on your post about your wife's Sociology degree. The figure just seemed a little too low. Mine is over 100K and did not even go to KU.

Carol Bowen 6 years, 6 months ago

Students are definitely addicted to their cell phones. They will risk using them in classes even when it affects their grades.

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