Archive for Monday, September 26, 2011

Heard on the Hill: KU still looking to use software to boost retention rates; Jayhawk license plates a hit in Texas; 10 seniors nominated for Ex.C.E.L. awards

September 26, 2011


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

I wrote last year about how KU was planning to use a new software program that would flag students who are struggling earlier in the process.

I caught up with Cindy Derritt, assistant vice provost, last week. She’s been involved with the effort and said that KU hasn’t yet begun using a software program like the one I described last year.

However, the university did run a simple test involving a few students and asked professors to report issues the students were having to a centralized location.

The small test was met with success, Derritt said, and KU is now asking professors what kinds of things they’d like to see in a potential software.

I reported last year that KU had been talking to Starfish Retention Solutions, in Arlington, Va., about a potential software program. But Derritt told me that KU would submit a request for proposals on the program later, and no decisions on which company to use had been made.

• I spotted on the Kansas Athletics Facebook page that those KU license plates in Texas were the second-highest sellers among the many specialty plates the state of Texas offers.

The Facebook post pointed out that on the first day the KU plates were available, they outsold Missouri and Kentucky plates combined.

Here’s a story I wrote with some of the back story on the availability of the KU plates (and the wide array of other license plate logos you can buy in Texas — they’ve even got a Dr. Pepper plate).

• Ten seniors — including two Lawrence High School graduates — have been selected as finalists for the 21st annual Ex.C.E.L. awards, which provide an annual $500 scholarship to two students. The winners plan a leadership conference during the spring semester.

Nominees were selected based on leadership, effective communication skills, involvement at KU and in the Lawrence community, academic scholarship and the ability to work with a variety of students and organizations.

The nominees are:

• Andrew Peterson Kriegh, a communication studies major from Lawrence.

• Emily Ruth Lamb, an American studies major from Lawrence.

• Megan Kristen Ritter, a philosophy and international studies major from Overland Park.

• Benjamin Harris Wilinsky, a journalism and Spanish major from Overland Park.

• Kelly Ann Tankard, an English major from Lenora.

• Hunter Michael Hess, a business administration major from McPherson.

• J. Gregory Loving, a chemical engineering and economics major from McPherson.

• Erin Elizabeth Atwood, a genetics major from Wichita and Alameda, Calif.

• Amber Lynn Jackson, a journalism major from Kansas City, Kan.

• Joshua Taylor Williams, a speech-language-hearing sciences and linguistics major from Kansas City, Kan.

Two winners, one male and one female, will be announced during halftime of the KU-Texas Tech homecoming football game at Memorial Stadium that kicks off at 11 a.m.

• Kentucky and Missouri don’t have Heard on the Hill, either, so that automatically makes us more awesome. You help make it that way by sending me tips at


MaryKatesPillStash 6 years, 9 months ago

Ooooh, I wish they'd have a Jayhawk license plate in Oklahoma!!

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