Archive for Thursday, September 1, 2011

Heard on the Hill: Video shows new Wescoe spaces; university welcomes 53 new faculty members; some law school students start suing their alma maters; EcoKat history being rewritten

Both the main auditoriums on the third floor of Wescoe Hall and the Underground dining facility in the basement were renovated for the start of the fall semester.

September 1, 2011, 1:55 a.m. Updated September 1, 2011, 12:17 p.m.


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• It’s a video Daily Double edition of Heard on the Hill today, as I took some time to scope out the newly renovated sections of Wescoe Hall.

Both the two main auditoriums on the third floor and the Underground eating area got a facelift this semester, and both seemed to get good reviews from students and staff.

Take a peek up above.

• I reported awhile back on faculty members who were leaving the university.

Well, as it turns out, it’s a whole lot easier to find a list of faculty members who are joining the university. In fact, it’s right here on the provost’s website.

The list includes 53 new hires in all. Business reported the most new hires, with five, a figure that includes its new dean, Neeli Bendapudi.

Social welfare has four new faculty members. It’s important to note here, by the way, that not all hires are created equal. A few faculty members are coming on as full professors, all the way down to acting assistant professors.

UPDATE: Laura Green with the provost's office contacted me and wanted to make sure I clarified that all these professors are either tenured or on tenure tracks, and that the "acting" part of the title is reserved for those who have not yet officially finished their doctorates, and the "acting" title is removed once the professor earns his or her Ph.D. It's a good reminder that even though some of these blurbs can get a little short sometimes, I shouldn't neglect to fully explain stuff. Thanks, Laura!

• First Bell reporter extraordinaire Mark Fagan turned Heard on the Hill tipster yesterday and forwarded me this interesting article that features disgruntled law school graduates suing their law schools for what they say is fraudulent advertising.

Alexandra Gomez-Jimenez and others sued New York Law School, claiming they were misled by job placement stats, according to the article.

Now, she’s faced with a mounting debt load of $190,000 and no high-paying job.

It’s a curious idea, for sure.

“"I don't expect to get any money out of this lawsuit," she says. "But I want to change the process. They get so much money from us, but the law school didn't even try to help me or my classmates."

EcoKat still wants you to change your light bulbs.

EcoKat still wants you to change your light bulbs.

• And, finally, not to bash on poor EcoKat anymore than I need to, but did anyone else notice what some Heard on the Hill commenters noticed yesterday?

Namely, that Kansas State had removed most pictures of EcoKat from its website and took down its first EcoKat video. Here’s the sanitized version.

A colleague here called it “the whitewashing of history.”

Don’t worry, though, I’ll keep this photo around in case we ever need it.

• I’ll take tips for Heard on the Hill any way you can get them to me — be that by your own creative videos (or uncreative ones, for that matter), by telephone or in person at Heard on the Hill World Headquarters here at Seventh and New Hampshire. The easy way though, is still to email them to me at


Ron Holzwarth 6 years, 9 months ago

I read the article about the honesty of the law school's job placement claims, and I believe that I can explain the statistics that were presented.

Here is a clip from the article: "New York Law's school literature, she says, claimed that alumni would find jobs with $70,000 to $80,000 salaries, and that 90% found jobs within six months of graduating"

Here is my explaination:

Each year, two or three alumni of the New York Law school could expect to find a job with a salary of $70,000 to $80,000.

And, 90% of them could expect to find a job at McDonald's.

Richard Heckler 6 years, 9 months ago

The 400 Richest Americans Can Pay Off ALL Student Loans and STILL Remain Billionaires

How is it the Reagan/Bush and Bush/Cheney white collared crooks that run together throughout the beltway can receive forgiveness after ruining the lives of millions upon millions upon millions by eliminating millions upon millions upon millions upon millions of jobs?

Yet students seeking degrees to make themselves available to the USA job market only to discover jobs are not there = duped and duped again.

Considering students are being fed fraudulent information put together by the fraudulent people somewhere to keep students in college so USA fraudulent financial institutions can rake in the dough with a system that once worked UNTIL the fraudulent repub party turned the student loan system into a massive profit making system.

All the while millions upon millions upon millions upon millions of jobs are being eliminated in the USA by fraudulent corp america which receives tax incentives that makes employing those abroad profitable.

Yes I do believe students are being duped therefore deserve to have their loans forgiven !

Richard Heckler 6 years, 9 months ago

This AM radio news = indepth report concluded that the very wealthy families and corporations do not pay taxes but do want to enjoy all of the features that USA taxes afford.

Reducing spending reduces economic growth which keeps job opportunities in the negative.

Entitlements? Which entitlements should we dump? Bush tax cuts = entitlements.

yourworstnightmare 6 years, 9 months ago

Should ku be hiring so many "acting" professors who have not yet received their phds? Seems like most of the humanities and arts hires fall into this category.

yourworstnightmare 6 years, 9 months ago

Not true. There are professors in the arts and journalism who have master's degrees. Not doctors, but professors.

Beth Ann Bittlingmayer 6 years, 9 months ago

The title at KU is "acting professor" prior to actually receiving the PhD. It is possibe to be hired in this manner and never complete the degree, also known as ABD (all but dissertation). Those who don't complete the dissertation never become "assistant professors" on the tenure track.

Many people remain also ABD forever, such as the computer science whizzes who started Google.

yourworstnightmare 6 years, 9 months ago

I just don't think KU should be hiring professors before they complete their phds. In many fields in academia, significant post-doctoral work is required to even be eligible for a professorship.

If these folks can't finish their dissertations in a timely manner, why is KU hiring them? It bodes ill for their futures as academics at KU.

"ABD forever" is, in my opinion, not what KU should be shooting for.

equalaccessprivacy 6 years, 9 months ago

Fascinating statistics on student loan debt, Merrill.

EJ Mulligan 6 years, 9 months ago

Andy, a footnote to your law school story (which I love, because who can blame them?): KU Law is decreasing total class sizes by a bit for the future, because there are getting to be more new lawyers than jobs for them.

ahyland 6 years, 9 months ago

Thanks for the tip — I'll check it out!

yourworstnightmare 6 years, 9 months ago

Having an education is no guarantee of success, but it is certainly becoming a requirement.

As a nation I think we need to have a serious discussion about the benefits of higher education and professional training.

We need ditch diggers and plumbers and framers just as much or more than we need doctors and lawyers and teachers.

I personally believe our educational system only rewards one type of learning, and that is learning involving professional education

I also believe that too many students are told that they will be able to succeed in professional training and so cut off all other options.

We need some system of early tracking of students. Not everyone can be a doctor or a lawyer or a surgeon.

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