Archive for Friday, October 7, 2011

Heard on the Hill: KU lobbying research used in creation of new market index; Lew Perkins raising money in Connecticut again; KU hoping to improve its distance learning offerings

October 7, 2011


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

• Some KU research got a brief mention in The Economist magazine recently. KU wasn’t mentioned by name, however, so I’m happy to give credit where credit is due.

The article discusses how the investing in lobbying efforts can lead to big returns. It uses a market index produced by Strategas, an investment research firm, that measures the success of the 50 firms that spend the greatest percentage of their assets on lobbying.

“In aggregate the results have been stunning, comparable to the returns of the most blistering hedge fund,” the article said. “The index has outperformed the S&P500; by 11% a year since 2002.”

The KU bit comes in later.

“The outright return on lobbying costs, according to one of the various studies that served as inspiration for the Strategas index, was $220 for each $1 spent,” the article said.

That study is this one, conducted in 2009 by Raquel Alexander, assistant KU business professor; Stephen Mazza, who is now KU’s dean of law; and Sue Scholz, associate KU business professor.

• It always seems a few topics floating around out there I can bring up again and again and keep driving Internet traffic. One is providing updates on what former KU athletics director Lew Perkins is doing.

He’s got his own consulting business now, and he’s found some work, according to the Hartford Courant. That’s in spite of his company not having a very impressive website.

He’ll serve, according to the newspaper, as the chief fundraiser for a Connecticut sports television network, in the state where he used to serve as athletics director at the University of Connecticut.

“With Lew's connections and his Connecticut Rolodex we think this guy can raise some money for us," CPTV chief executive officer and president Jerry Franklin told the newspaper.

• Thanks to everyone who gave me some feedback on KU’s admissions process in the comments and by email yesterday.

One anecdote I heard from a colleague yesterday was a story of a person who would have gone to KU to get a second bachelor’s degree in teaching, but chose to go to Kansas State because they offered an online program. I’d heard many similar stories before.

In this area historically, KU has offered many online courses but had a dearth of degree programs available online.

Greg Simpson, KU’s former interim dean of liberal arts and sciences, discussed online education at KU back when he was applying for the full-time gig in a story I wrote at the time.

“We’ve been a little bit behind some of the other schools in Kansas,” Simpson said back in February 2010. “There’s a population that I’m talking about, that can’t come to the university physically, that we can serve.”

This May, KU announced the formation of a new Center for Online and Distance Learning. The results of that effort will be one of many interesting things I’ll be watching as KU undertakes numerous initiatives to boost its enrollment.

• If you’ve got interesting things for me to watch, let me know by submitting your tips to


just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 6 years, 7 months ago

"“The outright return on lobbying costs, according to one of the various studies that served as inspiration for the Strategas index, was $220 for each $1 spent,” the article said."

More honest terms for this would be corruption and bribery.

Paul R Getto 6 years, 7 months ago

Bozo: Perhaps, but that's the way the game is played on many levels (speech is money, you know.) The late, great Molly Ivins wrote about these 'investments' many times.

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