Your daily dose of news, notes and links from around Kansas University.
• Here’s an interesting story I’m working on for later today, but — as usual — Heard on the Hill readers get a sneak peek.
Thanks to a great tipster, who told me KU is getting a car-sharing program. It scheduled to begin in January, and here’s how it works, courtesy of Donna Hultine, KU’s director of parking and transit.
KU Parking and Transit has worked with the Hertz rental car company to have four cars available — two on Daisy Hill and two near the Kansas Union.
People will be able to go online and reserve the cars for a period of time, and will be charged an hourly rate of $8 to use the cars, and they’ll have to put them back where they found them when they're done. They'll use a site like this one to reserve the cars.
People using the service will have a card resembling a credit card that will (using some "Jetsons"-like technology that I don't quite understand) get them access to the vehicle at the time they reserved it.
Though the service is designed with students in mind, anyone — faculty, staff or plain old Lawrence residents — will be able to sign up for the service, Hultine said.
A credit card that users have on file with Hertz will allow them to easily book the window of time.
The service is scheduled to begin in January, but people will likely be able to sign up to use it on this website starting next week, Hultine said.
KU won't be paying anything for the service, as Hertz intends to get all of the fees it needs to provide the service through its users. The idea, Hultine said, is to provide an alternative for bringing a car to campus or riding the bus.
Again, look for a bigger story on this later on today. Posters and other advertisements for the service should be popping up on campus soon, too.
• Letters have apparently gone out to those being asked to serve on the search committee to find KU’s next dean of KU’s School of Medicine.
As a reminder, Barbara Atkinson, who serves in both that role and as executive vice chancellor of KU Medical Center, is transitioning out of both of those roles, but will be leaving the medical school’s deanship first.
She will stay on as executive vice chancellor until December 2013.
But we could have an announcement of the search committee possibly by early next week. I didn’t get any letters, sadly. Mine must have gotten lost in the mail…
• A quick follow-up to a story I mentioned earlier this week involving foreign student recruiters.
I mentioned this Associated Press story that delved into the issue of foreign student recruiters, and how many of them (who are paid by the student) are bringing back underqualified students to inflate their own numbers.
I heard from Joe Potts, KU’s director of international student services, after I asked for some additional information.
He told me that KU does not employ — and has never employed — this kind of international student recruiter.
“Respected higher education leaders differ on the issue: some use paid agents as long as those agents meet certain standards; some are against it entirely; others are monitoring the practice,” Potts wrote to me in an email. “Good schools can be found in each category; KU is in the third one.”
• Heard on the Hill’s first birthday is today. It all started Nov. 30, 2010, with news that Student Senate was considering a resolution asking for a building to be named after former KU Chancellor Laurence Chalmers. (He still doesn’t have a building). It’s been a thrill for me to connect with all kinds of people I never would have except for this blog/post/column/whatever you want to call it. No presents, though. Just keep sending me tips at firstname.lastname@example.org.